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Howard Gardner - The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

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Luis Fernandez

on 7 March 2015

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Transcript of Howard Gardner - The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Eight intelligences - eight qualitatively independent ways to be intelligent - have been identified.
All the intelligences
differ not only neurologically,
but in the symbol systems that they apply, the tools they call on, the core or sub-abilities included, and how they are utilized in the real world.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to use your whole body or parts of your body, your hands, your fingers, and your arms to solve a problem, make something, or put on some kind of a production. The most evident examples are people in athletics or the performing arts, particularly dance or acting.
Linguistic intelligence is the capacity to use language, your native language, and perhaps other languages - to express what’s on your mind and to understand other people.
People with highly developed logical-mathematical intelligence understand the underlying principles of some kind of a causal system, the way a scientist or a logician does, or can manipulate numbers, quantities, and operations, the way a mathematician does.
Spatial intelligence refers to the ability to represent the spatial world internally in your mind, the way a sailor or airplane pilot navigates the large spatial world, or the way a chases player or sculptor represents a more circumscribed spatial world.
Interpersonal intelligence understands other people. It’s an ability we all need, but is at a premium if you are a teacher, clinician, salesperson, or politician. Anybody who deals with other people has to be skilled in the interpersonal sphere.
Intrapersonal intelligence refers to having an understanding of yourself, of knowing who you are, what you can do, what you want to do, how you react to things, which things to avoid, and which things to gravitate toward.
Musical intelligence is the capacity to think in music - to be able to hear patterns, recognize them, remember them, and perhaps manipulate them. People who have a strong musical intelligence don’t just remember music easily—they can’t get it out of their minds, it’s so omnipresent.
Naturalist intelligence designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations).
Howard Gardner
The Theory of
Over the past decade, Multiple Intelligence theory has been a popular basis for reform efforts among individual teachers and entire school. Many educators use MI theory because it validates what they already known and do.
They believe that their students represent a diversity of cognitive strengths and ways of learning, and they use diverse practice in response.
The traditional view of intelligence has played a significant role in driving standards school fare, preserving an antiquated emphasis on the same narrow set of language and math skills as reflected on those early test items. Core curricula and determinants of good or smart students find their roots in this long held view of intelligence.
Gardner found that most theories of intelligence looked only at problem solving and ignored the creation of products. They also assumed that their notion of intelligence would be apparent and appreciated anywhere, regardless of cultural values and beliefs.
Gardner (1999b) has since refined the definition of intelligence, which now describes intelligence as:
…the bio-psychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve a problem or fashion a product that is valued in one or more community or cultural settings. (pp. 3334).



Computer programmer


Budget analyst


Music critic
Disc jockey
Piano tuner
Sound engineer
Recording sampling
Soundtrack accompaniment
Dance set to music
Musical opera
Sound effects
Recital performance
Critique analysis
This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef I also speculate that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligence, which Can Naturalistic be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like The kind of pattern recognition valued in certain of the sciences may also draw upon naturalist intelligence.







Sign language interpreter

Social scientist researcher

Community organizer





Religious leader

Negotiator arbitrator

Management consultant









Spiritual leader
Sign language
Preset ranger
Environmental educator
Howard Gardner
In his own words...

I was born in Scranton, PA in 1943, the son of refugees from Nazi Germany. I was a studious child who gained much pleasure from playing the piano; music has remained very important throughout my life.
All of my post-secondary education has been at Harvard University. I was trained as a developmental psychologist and later as a neuropsychologist.
For many years, I conducted two streams of research on cognitive and symbol-using capacities, one with normal and gifted children, the second with adults who suffered from brain damage. My effort to synthesize these two lines of work led me to develop and introduce the theory of Multiple Intelligences in my 1983 book Frames of Mind.
Attracted to developmental psychology by his reading of Jean Piaget and his meeting of Jerome Bruner, he soon gravitated to cognitive development, with a special interest in human symbolic capacities.
Howard Gardner and his work in progress...

Since the middle 1980s, I have been heavily involved in school reform efforts in the United States. In 1986, I began to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Education while continuing my long-term involvement with Project Zero, a research group in human cognition that maintains a special focus on the arts.
During the last fourteen years, my research has focused on the GoodWork Project. With colleagues, I am also studying the nature of interdisciplinary work as it is carried out in pre-collegiate and collegiate settings and also in research institutions. Colleagues and I are studying the role of trust and trustees in contemporary American Society.
The GoodWork Project is a large scale, multi-site effort to identify individuals and institutions that exemplify good work-work that is excellent in quality, socially responsible, and meaningful to its practitioners, and to determine how best to increase the incidence of good work in our society.
While we continue to write and speak about good work, at present most of our attention is focused on a series of new research initiatives the application of our ideas; and the expansion of successful initiatives:
The Civic Trust Among Young Immigrants Project seeks to understand how today’s immigrant youth perceive, trust (or distrust), and engage with key civic institutions.
The Collaboration Study seeks to understand factors that contribute to successful collaborations and those which compromise collaborative work.
The Developing Minds and Digital Media Project (also known as DM2) is a study of the myriad ways in which “new digital media” such as the internet, cell phones, and the like-influence the culture, psychology, and creativity of young people and of adolescence as a developmental phase.
The Good Participation Project seeks to explore forms of contemporary youth civic and political participation, and to discern broader notions of citizenship held by contemporary youth.
The GoodPlay Project explores the ethical character of young people’s activities in the new digital media.
The GoodWork® Toolkit is a Guidebook and a set of Narratives and Value Sort Cards designed to inspire conversation and reflection about excellent, ethical, and engaging work. The primary purpose of the Toolkit is to engage individuals in reflective questions that all professionals should consider.
The Quality Project seeks to understand what quality looks like and how it is judged in a fast-paced world where goods and experiences are readily available and accessible to so many individuals.
The Trust & Trustworthiness Project is exploring how young people think of issues of trust and the role, if any, that trust plays when young people consider their goals as they carry out their school work, participate in different communities, and eventually take on new roles and responsibilities (particularly civic ones) in the broader society.
Presentation by:

Luis E. Fernandez

EPI0004 – The Teaching & Learning Process - July 2012
Educator Preparation Institute - Broward College

Nurture the child, know the child, and trust the child.

Multiple Intelligences Institute
White Papers
•MI Basics: The Theory
•MI Theory to Practice
•What Makes a School an MI School
Retrieved from:

Project Zero
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Howard Gardner
Retrieved from:

The History of Howard Gardner
By Ellen Winner
Retrieved from:
Project Zero
Schools Using Multiple Intelligence Theory
With Project Zero's Project SUMIT (Schools Using Multiple Intelligence Theory) were defined some guidelines for successful introduction and/or application of the Multiple Intelligences theory in schools; these guidelines are comprised in six Compass Point Practices:
1) Culture:

Acting on a value system that maintains that diverse students can learn and succeed, that learning is exciting, and that hard work by teachers is necessary.
2) Readiness:

Preparing people to work with Multiple Intelligences and other new ideas. Building staff awareness of MI and of the different ways that students learn.
3) Tool:

Seeing Multiple Intelligences as a means of fostering high-quality work. Using MI as a tool to promote high-quality student work rather than using the theory as an end in and of itself.
4) Collaboration:

Promoting informal and formal exchanges among the staff, in which they share ideas and make constructive suggestions.
5) Choice:

Providing meaningful curriculum and assessment options. Embedding curriculum and assessment in activities that are valued by both the students and the wider culture.
6) Arts:

Giving the arts a significant role in the school. Employing the arts to develop children’s skills and understanding within and across disciplines.
How those principles of Multiple Intelligences apply to my classroom
Multiple Intelligences theory provides a framework for teachers so they can understand how their students learn.

MI helps educators understand cognitive abilities and frame decisions about curriculum.
The use of Multiple Intelligences in schools helps educators move instruction beyond linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences that leave many students out of the learning process.
Teachers of diverse students and students with special needs recognize that not all learners excel in the Linguistic and Logical-mathematical Intelligences.
Without an Multiple Intelligences framework for designing learning opportunities, students’ strengths could be ignored, and their opportunities to learn could be lost as well.
Balanced instructional presentations that address Multiple Intelligences benefit all learners and strengthen their underutilized intelligences.
The greatest impact of Multiple Intelligences theory lies in the ability of teachers to identify students’ areas of intelligence and to organize their instruction accordingly. As a result, teachers can meet the needs of students from multicultural backgrounds.
The use of Multiple Intelligences theory promotes diversity and inclusiveness, rather than the “one size fits all” approach to teaching.

The challenge for teachers is to create learning environments that foster the development of all eight intelligences.
...that integrates multiple intelligences into the daily life of education as a unique and special place conductive to learning. Students are active learners who create projects, work with others, and use their own intelligences profiles to succeed.
Students need a workspace with access to the various tools required to engage in serious learning through many different methods.
Students need a learning environment where teachers can use Multiple Intelligences theory to adapt curriculum structuring subject matter. Teachers are transforming subject-specific lessons and curriculum units into meaningful MI experiences.
Students and teachers need alternative methods of assessment including Authentic Performance Testing, Portfolio Assessment, Project-Based Assessment, and Observational Assessment, and other types of authentic evaluation than the traditional testing. The learning process is intertwined with more qualitative than quantitative assessment.
Creating a classroom environment
Rethinking and restructure policies, curricula, cultures and practices in schools and learning environments so that diverse learning needs can be met, whatever the origin or nature of those needs.
Multiple Intelligence theory as a valuable framework and tool to designing classrooms, instruction, and curricula that meet the individual needs of diverse learners, focusing in their strengths, their multiple talents…

...simply Intelligences.
All students can learn and benefit from education, and schools should adapt to the physical, social, and cultural needs of students, rather than students adapting to the needs of the school.
Full transcript