Gardners Theory of Multiple Intelligences - Essay Example

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The aim of the paper “Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences” is to explore the theory of multiple intelligences, which was developed by Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist. The initial theory stated seven different intelligences…
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Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences ‎ Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences ‎ The theory of multiple intelligenceswas developed by Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian, 2010, p.23). The initial theory stated seven different intelligences that people use to perceive or understand this world. He suggested that these intelligences existed in everyone; this challenged the traditional view that there were only two types of intelligences, and this has given a new perspective to cognitive sciences. Gardner referred to intelligence as the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting (Gardner and Hatch, 1989, p.5) Following are his seven proposed intelligences:
1. Linguistic intelligence: this is the ability to be use written or/and spoken words. It includes the ability to learn different languages and use them to achieve certain goals. This type of intelligence uses the language in terms of effective expression of thoughts, either poetically or rhetorically. The linguistic intelligence is more developed in lawyers, speakers, writers, poets and people of other professions.
2. Logical/Mathematical intelligence: this involves the use of logic, recognition of abstract patterns and the numbers. It involves thinking and reasoning abilities, both inductive and deductive. It is the capacity to analyze problems logically and then carry out mathematical operations and investigate issues scientifically. This form of intelligence is exceptional in mathematicians, scientists, etc.
3. Visual/Spatial: this refers to the ability of mind to visualize objects and spatial dimensions mentally. It is the mind’s potential to recognize and use patterns of confined areas and of wide space.
4. Body/Kinesthetic: it is the ability of mind to control physical responses or motions, to use mental abilities effectively to coordinate bodily movements. It is the use of the body parts in order to achieve something; it challenges the traditional concept that mental activity is not related to the physical one. This type of intelligence is more developed in dancers, athletes, etc.
5. Musical intelligence: this refers to the ability to master different beats, tones and rhythms of music. It is the skill to perform, compose and appreciate different musical patterns. According to Gardner, this intelligence and the linguistic intelligence are almost parallel in their structure.
6. Interpersonal: This type of intelligence refers to one’s ability to effectively communicate and develop relationships with people. It helps one understand the intentions, desires and motivations of people. People who work as counselors, sales-persons, etc. usually have a well-developed form of this intelligence.
7. Intrapersonal: this intelligence is the ability of recognizing and understanding one’s own motivations, thoughts and emotions. According to Gardner, a highly refined intelligence of this kind helps people regulate their lives effectively ‎(Gardner and Hatch, 1989, p.8) ‎
Advantages and Disadvantages
This theory of intelligences has several advantages; it allows each student to be seen as a unique person with unique strengths and weaknesses. Neither does it reduce the level of intelligence to a single IQ figure; instead, it gives credit to people for having different kinds of intelligences (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian, 2010, p. 283). It also allows the students to become better motivated when they find out what kind of intelligence – that is, what kind of strength – they have.
The disadvantage of using this approach is that it may be difficult and impractical to try and design lessons that will cater to all kinds of intelligences among the students, especially when the strength of the class is large. Another disadvantage of this approach is that there is no standard way to measure any of the intelligences.
Reference list
Gardner, H. and Hatch, T., 1989. Multiple intelligences go to school: Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences. Educational Researcher, 18(8), pp. 4-9.
Plotnik, R. and Kouyoumdjian, H., 2010. Introduction to psychology. Cengage Learning.
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