Theory and Application of Multiple Intelligences
Theories on learning have been developed with increasing frequency in recent decades. Researchers have struggled to pin down the essence of intelligence for some time. Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences utilizes aspects of cognitive and developmental psychology, anthropology and sociology to explain the human intellect. Gardner's theory challenges traditional, narrower views of intelligence. There are several ways to incorporate Multiple Intelligences Theory into classrooms; keeping in mind there is no set way to do so. Incorporation of Multiple Intelligences Theory approaches in the classroom has major implications in how an educator approaches instructional tasks. Multiple Intelligences Theory is learner centered, shifting from a 'one size fits all' to a learning paradigm in which instruction is student centered and directed to the strengths of each student in a class.
Theory and Application of Multiple Intelligences
Theories on learning have been developed with increasing frequency in recent decades. Researchers have struggled to pin down the essence of intelligence for some time. Over time advances have been made in identifying and quantifying ways to test intelligence and recognize the many different types of intelligences that people possess. Howard Gardner, of Harvard University has demonstrated that there are, in fact, nine different ways that people think. Gardner refers to these different mindsets as intelligences. The use of his Multiple Intelligences Theory in classrooms has a powerful impact in the methods that instructional material is delivered. Consequently, this affects student mastery of instructional material.
Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences utilizes aspects of cognitive and developmental psychology, anthropology and sociology to explain the human intellect. Gardner's theory challenges traditional, narrower views of intelligence. Gardner believed intelligence encompasses the ability to create and solve problems, create products or provide services which are valued within a culture or society (Chipogian, 2010).
According to Gardner's theory, all human beings possess all nine intelligences in varying degrees. Every individual has a different intelligence profile. Education can be improved by assessment of students' intelligence profiles and designing activities accordingly. Each intelligence occupies a different area of the brain. All nine of the intelligences may operate in consort or independently from one another. Subsequently, these nine intelligences may define the human species (Gardner, 1993).
To be able to use this theory in their classrooms, educators must understand the individual intelligences. Gardner identifies the nine following intelligences: Verbal/Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Bodily/Kinesthetic, Naturalistic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal and Existential.
Verbal/Linguistic intelligence refers to an individual's ability to understand and manipulate words and languages. This includes reading, writing, speaking and other kinds of verbal and written communication. Authors, journalists, poets, orators and comedians are obvious examples of people dominant in this intelligence. Some real life examples are T.S. Elliot, Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King Jr. (Giles, 2010).
Logical/Mathematical intelligence refers to an individual's ability to manipulate facts and data. Individuals are able to reason and calculate and think things through in a logical, systematic manner. These are the kinds of skills highly developed in engineers, scientists, economist, accountants and detectives. Some real life examples of people who are gifted with this intelligence are Albert Einstein, Niehls Bohr and John Dewey (Farnan, 2009).
Visual/Spatial intelligence refers to the...
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Campbell, Linda, (2004), Teaching and Learning Through Multiple Intelligences, Boston, MA, Ally & Bacon
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Gardner, Howard, (1993), Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice, New York, NY, Basic Books
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Sulaiman, Tajularipin, (2011), An analysis of teaching styles in primary and secondary school teacher based on the theory of multiple intelligences, Journal of Social Sciences, 7 (3) , 428-435
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