Ms. Cathy Kappius
03 December 2014
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences “I believe that we should get away altogether from tests and correlations among tests, and look instead at more naturalistic sources of information about how people around the world develop skills important to their way of life”- Howard Gardner (Armstrong 88)
Howard Gardner is the professor of cognition and education of Harvard Graduate School of Education and authored the book Frames of the mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence. Gardner felt there is more to students than just learning how to read, write, and solve math problems as is typical in the modern school system. He formulated a theory that describes eight different kinds of intelligences (figure 1). Linguistic intelligence is the ability to use words both orally and in writing (Nolen 1). Musically inclined individuals are said to have musical intelligence. Logical and mathematical intelligence: the ability to use numbers effectively. They are individuals who are good in math and problem solving. Architects, painters, filmmakers are under the spatial intelligence wherein they have the ability to think in pictures, to perceive the visual world accordingly and recreate it in the mind or the paper (Nuzzi 1). Kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to solve problems using one’s body. They could include dancers, athletes and surgeons. Individuals who genuinely appreciate the aspect and balance of nature are said to have naturalistic intelligence. And the last two intelligences that Gardner defined are the interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. Interpersonal intelligence consists of the ability to understand, perceive and discriminate between people’s mood, feelings and, motives while intrapersonal deals with one’s self. The Theory of Multiple Intelligence is not implemented as a part of a curriculum. However, the theory suggests that teachers need to expand their way of teaching and minimizing the focus on linguistic and logical thinking. So, how effective is the multiple intelligence theory when applied to education?
For better understanding of the effectiveness of Multiple Intelligence theory (MIT), let us first dissect an MI teacher’s lesson plan. The MI teacher creates a lesson plan by formulating objectives (figure 2). This is all in effort to translate material from one kind of intelligence to the other. She may formulate a number of questions like how she can use spoken and written words to assess linguistics? How can she bring numbers, calculations and critical thinking? How can she use visual aids, arts and metaphor? How can she evoke personal feelings? How can she incorporate living things? How can she engage students in peer sharing? How can she incorporate environmental sound? And how can she involve the use of hands-on experience? (Armstrong 41)
To solve the teaching objectives and develop the eight kinds of intelligence a teacher would incorporate certain tools unique to each form of intelligence. Linguistic intelligence combines well with word games, story-telling, and journal writing. Math formulas, creating hypothesis from a science experiment, and number games work for logical-mathematical intelligence. Spatial intelligence requires applying certain activities like sketching geometry, art activities, and reading books filled with diagrams. For bodily-kinesthetic intelligences, a teacher may include hands-on learning, drama, dance, exercise, and tactile activities. Musical intelligences utilize rapping, rhythmic learnings and using of songs. For naturalistic intelligence she includes ecological awareness and animal care. The teacher gives classroom work to students such as reflective writing, self-esteem building and independent study to develop intrapersonal intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence includes cooperative learning, peer tutoring, and simulations to develop the interpersonal intelligence (Armstrong 49).