Howard Gardner's Theory on Multiple Intelligence

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Howard Earl Gardner (born July 11, 1943 in Scranton, Pennsylvania) is an American developmental psychologist who is John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences. Multiple intelligences is an idea that simply states that human beings have many different ways to learn and process information, or "intelligences." In response to the question of whether or not measures of intelligence are scientific, Gardner suggests that each individual manifests varying levels of different intelligences, and thus each person has refined in subsequent years.

According to Gardner, intelligence is “the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings” (Gardner & Hatch, 1989) “all societies value different types of intelligences” (Gardner, 1983). Howard Gardner proposes that there is not a single intelligence, but rather that there are nine, maybe more. These include Linguistic intelligence, Logical/Mathematical intelligence, Visual/Spatial intelligence, Musical intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence, Interpersonal intelligence, Intrapersonal intelligence, Naturalist intelligence, Existential intelligence (Smith, 2002). He claims also claims that we possess all of these intelligences but in varying degrees of strength, skill and limitation. Just as we all look different and have unique personalities and temperaments, we also have different profiles of intelligences, no one kind of intelligence is better than another. We will now look at each intelligence in some detail.

Linguistic Intelligence often called verbal/linguistic intelligence is having mastery of language and also the ability to manipulate language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically. It also uses language as a means to remember information. The second, Logical/Mathematical intelligence is the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This is often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking. Visual/Spatial intelligence gives one the ability to manipulate and create mental images in order to solve problems. This intelligence is not limited to visual domains as Gardner notes that spatial intelligence is also formed in blind children.

Musical intelligence encompasses the capability to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. Auditory functions are required for a person to develop this intelligence in relation to pitch and tone, but it is not needed for the knowledge of rhythm. Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence refers to the ability of one’s mental abilities to coordinate one’s own bodily movements. This intelligence challenges the popular belief that mental and physical activity is unrelated. Interpersonal intelligence speaks of the ability to recognize feelings, intentions and motivations of others. Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand one’s own feelings and motivations. This also includes the ability to use that information to regulate one’s own life. Naturalist intelligence coordinates the ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature. Existential intelligence contains sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence (i.e., the meaning of life? why do we die? how did we get here?)

There are also a few more that are being examined two of these are Moral Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence Moral Intelligence “is a concern with those rules, behaviours and attitudes that govern the sanctity of life – in particular, the sanctity of human life and, in many cases, the sanctity of any other living creatures and the world they inhabit” (Gardner, 1999) Gardner believes, that until we accept the existence of a moral realm is it then possible to speak of moral intelligence if we speak of a...
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