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Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory

By ngaki1230 Nov 29, 2005 825 Words
Dr. Howard Gardner was the first to suggest the theory of Multiple Intelligence in 1983. This theory suggests that the traditional grading for one's IQ, which was mostly based on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence, was too limited. Instead, Gardner proposes eight different categorizes of intelligent to account for a broader grading system of human intelligence. Moreover, he proposes that each areas of intelligence can have no relations with the other. This idea was highly accepted after another study of the Savant Syndrome. Savant Syndrome, which was formally called idiot savant, is a child that has an amazing memory that is very focused in one area. These children would be called a genius or prodigy in one subject area while mentally challenged with the rest. This genetic disease was able to prove Gardner's theory that an area of intelligence can have no relations with the other. Gardner's definition of intelligence is a person's ability to create a product or offer a service that is valued in a culture. Intelligence is a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems they encounter in life. It is the potential to find solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge. Intelligence is a mixture of several abilities and nobody is good at all of them. Gardner's eight different intelligences include linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, musical intelligence, naturalist intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence. Linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence is the most used to test one's IQ, the most widely known is the standardize test call SATs. Linguistic intelligence is the ability to use language to express what is on your mind and to understand other people. People who are writers, speakers, lawyers, or any occupations that requires a great deal of knowledge in language has a great linguistic intelligence. Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to understand the principles of a system, similar to how a scientist functions, or the ability to work with numbers like a mathematician. Musical intelligence is the ability to think in music and able to hear patterns and recognize them. People who have strong musical intelligence do not just remember music easily, they often incorporate music into their everyday life. Kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to use one's whole body or parts of one's body to solve a problem or invent something. The most evident examples are people in athletics or the performing arts, especially dancing or acting. Spatial intelligence is the ability to visualize the spatial world in one's mind, similar to the way a sailor or airplane pilot navigates the spatial world or how an architect visualize a form to fit in a limited space to achieve a maximum special outcome. Spatial intelligence is mostly shown in people who work in the arts or science area. Naturalistic intelligence is the understanding and knowledge of the natural world. This includes the knowledge of plants, animals, and the environment around them. This ability was very important for hunters, gatherers, and farmers. Intrapersonal intelligence is having an understanding of yourself, this includes knowing who you are, what you can do, what you want to do, how you react to things, and which things to avoid. People are usually drawn to others who have a good understanding of themselves. Intrapersonal intelligence people know what they can and cannot do, and to know where to go if they need help. Interpersonal intelligence has the ability to understand other people. It is an ability everyone needs but is especially important for teachers, clinicians, salespersons, or anyone who often deals with other people. From the Multiple Intelligence Theory, schools are now able to develop a new method of teaching. Gardner's claim that there are several different kinds of intelligence gave the teachers a new way to approach and understand their students. Instead of teaching numbers alone to a person who is strong musically but weak numerically, it is easier for the person to develop numerical and logical skills through music. Also, instead of forcing a person who is weak bodily and physically but strong numerically to box or play football, it is easier to increase his/her kinesthetic intelligence by encouraging them to learn about the mathematical and scientific relationships between exercise, diet and health. In another words, it is better to focus on what an individual can do than what they cannot because a person's strength is also a learning channel. It is proven that the pressure of being forced to act and think unnaturally, have a negative influence on learning effectiveness. Happy relaxed people learn more easily than unhappy stressful people do.

APA Citation
Bibliographic Reference
Guignon, A. (2004). Multiple intelligences: a theory for everyone. Retrieved Nov. 27, 2005, from

Armstrong, T. (1998). Multiple intelligences. Retrieved Nov. 27, 2005, from

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