Also termed as MI Theory.
Howard Gardner is a psychologist and Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Based on his study of many people from many different walks of life, Gardner developed the theory of Multiple Intelligence Test. Gardner believes that intelligence, the way it has traditionally been understood (logically, as with I.Q. tests), does not explain the wide variety of human abilities. The theory of Multiple Intelligences suggests that we excel with different types of intelligence. He performed brain research on hundreds of people, including stroke victims, prodigies, autistic individuals, and so-called “idiot savants.”
Multiple Intelligence Test Theory states that each student’s intelligences has strong ramifications in the classroom. Teachers can accommodate children more successfully according to their orientation to learning, If a child’s intelligence can be identified. Teachers in traditional classrooms primarily teach to the verbal/linguistic and mathematical/logical intelligences.
The Nine Intelligences are:
- Intrapersonal Intelligence : People with Interpersonal intelligence are good with people. They thrive at and enjoy social interactions.
- Logical-Mathematical Intelligence : People with Logical intelligence are driven by logic and reasoning.
- Musical Intelligence : People with musical intelligence are musically gifted. They have a “good ear” for rhythm and composition.
- Linguistic / Verbal Intelligence : People with Linguistic intelligence are naturally good with writing or speaking and memorization.
- Naturalist Intelligence : People with Naturalist intelligence have a sensitivity to and appreciation for nature. They can “see” how nature works.
- Existential Intelligence : Phil Smart
- Interpersonal Intelligence : People with intrapersonal intelligence are adept at looking inward.
- Spatial / Visual Intelligence : People with Visual intelligence are good at remembering images and are aware of surroundings.
- Bodily / Kinesthetic Intelligence : People with Kinesthetic intelligence love movement, have good motor skills and are aware of their bodies.
Gardner’s MI Theory challenged traditional beliefs in the fields of education and cognitive science. According to a traditional definition, intelligence is a uniform cognitive capacity people are born with. Short-answer tests can easily measure this capacity.
According to Gardner, intelligence is:
- The ability to create an effective product or offer a service, valued in a culture.
- A set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life
- The potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge
In addition to this, Gardner claims that:
- All human beings possess all intelligences in varying amounts
- Each person has a different intellectual composition
- We can improve education by addressing the multiple intelligences of our students
- These intelligences are located in different areas of the brain and can either work independently or together
- These intelligences may define the human species
- We can nurture and strengthen Multiple Intelligence or ignore and weaken it.
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