Howard Gardner came up with the Multiple-Intelligences Theory in the twentieth century in an attempt to explain the term “intelligence.” Gardner basis his theory on the argument that the traditional definition of psychometrics as in the IQ tests lacks the representation of…
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The theory identifies nine fundamental traits of intelligence, namely spatial, mathematical, kinesthetic, linguistic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, existential and naturalistic intelligence. (Smith, 2002, 2008). Gardner never claimed that the traits of intelligence are limited to the ones he identified. Brief explanation of these types of intelligence is as follows:
Spatial intelligence is concerned with the imagination. Artists are typically equipped with such an intelligence. Linguistic intelligence makes it easy for an individual to memorize difficult vocabulary and interpret thoughts into words. People with technical accuracy of thoughts have mathematical intelligence. They are good at calculations. People with quick physical reflexes have a high kinesthetic intelligence. They are good at tasks requiring physical exercises. Some people compose very good songs and have a nice taste for music and hence excel in this field. They are equipped with sufficiently high musical intelligence. People with good interpersonal intelligence level are social and have management skills. Their social circle is large. Others who are introverts have a sound understanding of their own self and have inclination towards philosophy. They have a high intrapersonal intelligence level. People who stay close to nature and appreciate it have a goof level of naturalistic intelligence. Existential intelligence allows an individual to comprehend and interpret infinity.
The Multiple-Intelligences Theory has acquired mixed reviews of the philosophers and educationalists. Although the theory has not met with great success, there are many who acknowledge the theory proposed by Gardner as presenting the matter in a broader spectrum. The approach adopted by Gardner, is indeed realistic and mature in that it identifies nearly all traits of intelligence and explains why, some people with a high IQ are not good at performing certain tasks that their counterparts with lower
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A teacher is most probably using those in his/her own teaching. However, students are benefiting most in the classroom where a teacher is employing tasks and assignments to develop different intelligences. Importance of multiple intelligences can be better described with the help of Howard Gardner statement: It is of the utmost importance that we recognize and nurture all of the varied human intelligences, and all of the combinations of intelligences.
The theory of multiple intelligences is one of cognitive functioning which proposes that all people have capacities in the eight different intelligences. The intelligences work differently for different people in different complexities. Gardner does not believe that intelligence can be assessed by a mere number as the Intelligence quotient did.
According to Lazear (2003), the theory has the capability of improving theoretical knowledge, cultivating constructive attitudes toward learning and instruction, boost involvement or participation and satisfaction in classrooms, and build more reliable learning experiences.
An example of such suggestion is that if a student is quick in learning multiplication or division then he is not normally more intelligent than the one who is weak at learning the same. The theory suggests that the student who is weak at these particular subjects may outstand in subjects other than mathematics or a different approach would best suit the student or he may be learning the subject at a deeper fundamental level, and this type of deeper fundamental understanding of the subject may look like slowness and hide the child’s mathematical intelligence which is potentially high when compared to the one who is a quick learner, despite the later is able to memorize the division process
The theory holds that the tradition understanding of intelligence which is based on I.Q. testing is limited in describing the intelligence of individuals. According to Gardner (2006) the multiple intelligence theory is a diversion form tradition I.Q. view of intelligence which is psychometric and defines intelligence as a person’s ability to provide accurate answers to intelligence tests.
Education scholars and psychologists agree that learning is contextual and it is built upon and shaped by what an individual or group of individuals already know (Gardner and Moran, 2006). There are various styles of learning among humans: training, personal development and schooling.
Upon understanding the basic concept of the theory in detail, the sociologists, educationists, and psychologists of that time found it to be very useful in learning and teaching the core aspects of human behavior, personality development, and human intelligence.
Gardner illustrated seven issues for intelligence behavior: unique developmental progression, presence of savants, prodigies or other exceptional individuals, supported by psychometric results or experimental psychology, brain isolation potential due to
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