Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner of Harvard has identified seven types of intelligences that students possesses different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways. According to Gardner theory, we are all able to know the world through linguistic, logical- mathematical, musical, body-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal. The idea of multiple intelligences is important because it allows educators to identify different strengths and weaknesses in students and also contradicts the idea that intelligence can be measured through IQ. In researching about genius, was found that Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences provides a great alternative to the popular measurable IQ method. He offered several objections to that view; one was that IQ predictions might point to success in school but not necessarily to success in life. For example, students with middling scores performed at extraordinary levels in business another walks in life, whereas high achieving students often settled for middling careers. The reports of high performing executives indicated a considerable intelligence that could be measured by the binet tests. When regions of the brain suffer damage, as with stroke or accident, the functions for which they were specialized were harmfully affected. Garner proposes the existence of a variety of intelligent rather than one. The first is Linguistic intelligence, which is the capacity to use language, your native language, and perhaps other languages, to express what’s on your mind and to understand other people. These learners have highly developed auditory skills and often think in words. They like reading, playing word games, making up poetry or stories. They can be taught by encouraging them to say and see words, read books together. Tools include computers, games, multimedia, books, tape recorders, and lecture. The can become authors, poets, journalists, speakers, and newscasters exhibit high degrees of linguistic intelligence. It uses both the auditory and visual mode of perception. The second is Logical–Mathematical, people with a highly developed logical-mathematical intelligence understand the underlying principles of some kind of a causal system, the way a scientist or a logician does; or can manipulate numbers, quantities, and operations, the way a mathematician does. They like to experiment, solve puzzles, and ask questions. They can be taught through logic games, investigations, and mysteries. They need to learn and form concepts before they can deal with details. At first, it may seem impossible to teach to all learning styles. However, as we move into using a mix of media or multimedia, it becomes easier. As we understand learning styles, it becomes apparent why multimedia appeals to learners and why a mix of media is more effective. It satisfies the many types of learning preferences that one person may represent. A review of the literature shows that a variety of decisions must be made when choosing media that is appropriate to learning style. They can be scientists, mathematicians, accountants, engineers, and computer programmers all demonstrate strong logical-mathematical intelligence. Primarily uses visual mode of perception. The third is Musical intelligence is the capacity to think in music, to be able to hear patterns, recognize them, remember them, and perhaps manipulate them. People who have a strong musical intelligence don’t just remember music easily they can’t get it out of their minds, some people will say, “Yes, music is important, but it’s a talent, not an intelligence.” And I say, “Fine, let’s call it a talent.” But, then we have to leave the word intelligent out of all discussions of human abilities. Those demonstrating this intelligence include composers, conductors, musicians, critics, instrument makers, as well as sensitive listeners. Primarily uses the auditory mode of perception.
The fourth is Bodily Kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to use your whole body or parts of your body your hand, your fingers, and your arms to solve a problem, make something, or put on some kind of a production. The most evident examples are people in athletics or the performing arts, particularly dance or acting. This intelligence would also interact with other intelligences such as a musical or theatrical performance, as in a violinists fine motor finger manipulations in playing their instrument.
Then fifth is Visual spatial intelligence refers to the ability to represent the spatial world internally in your mind the way a sailor or airplane pilot navigates the large world, or the way a chess player or sculptor represents a more circumscribed spatial world. Spatial intelligence can be used in the arts or in the sciences. If you are spatially intelligent and oriented toward the arts, you are more likely to become a painter or a sculptor or an architect than, say, a musician or a writer. Similarly, certain sciences like anatomy or topology emphasize spatial intelligence.
Finally Gardner also defines two kinds of personal intelligence that are difficult to isolate and study but that he feels must be regarded as form of intelligence. One is interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand other people. It’s an ability we all need, but is at a premium if you are a teacher, clinician, salesperson, or politician. Anybody who deals with other people has to be skilled in the interpersonal sphere. For example, students learn through interaction they have many friends and empathy for others. They can be taught through group activities, seminars, and dialogues. Tools include the telephone, audio conferencing, time and attention from the instructor. We experience interpersonal intelligence all the times for some people is easy and for some not because they feel shy.
The last is Intrapersonal intelligence refers to having an understanding of yourself, of knowing who you are, what you can do, what you want to do, how you react to things, which things to avoid, and which things to gravitate toward. We are drawn to people who have a good understanding of themselves because those people tend not to screw up. They tend to know what they can do. They tend to know what they can’t do. And they tend to know where to go if they need help. We also see this all the time at school. The students can be taught through independent study and introspection. Tools include books, creative materials, diaries, privacy and time. They are the most independent of the learners.
Gardner’s view of intelligences affects the way in which we teach in our classrooms.
He challenges our ideas of what is intelligent behavior, in particular, the emphasis in schools on the development of verbal and mathematical abilities of children to the exclusion of a broader range of intelligent behaviors. While there may be some significant questions and issues around Howard Gardner's notion of multiple intelligences, it still has had utility in education. It has helped a significant number of educators to question their work and to encourage them to look beyond the narrow confines of the dominant discourses of skilling, curriculum, and testing. To the extent that Gardner's multiple intelligences theory has helped educators to reflect on their practice, and given them a basis to broaden their focus and to attend to what might assist people to live their lives well, then it has to be judged a useful addition. I agree what Garner proposes of the existence of a variety of intelligent rather than one.