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Learning Styles vs. Multiple Intelligences
Transcript of Learning Styles vs. Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences- Howard Gardner developed nine distinct intelligences that "relate to a person’s unique aptitude set of capabilities and ways they might prefer to demonstrate intellectual abilities" (Northern Illinois University, n.d., p. 1).
The theory of Learning Styles developed from the idea that people learn best when the information is presented to them in the form of their strongest learning style. For example, a person who favors bodily-kinesthetic learning will learn best if they are taught through movement and hands-on activities.
There is no doubt that student have a preference in the way that they receive information. The myth of Learning styles, however, lies with "the notion of attempting to match teaching to individual students’ supposed learning style" (Masson & Sarrasin, 2015, para 4).
Where the Confusion Lies
"Educators are eager for innovative methods to improve student learning, but they lack the scientific training to critically assess the methods of neuroeducation" (Farah & Hook, 2012, p. 1).
"Learning Styles don't Exist"
Dr. Daniel Willingham
Learning Styles vs. Multiple Intelligences
Cognitive Psychology & Neuroscience Defined
Thus, our intentions are good, however we must understand the difference between neuroscience and cognitive psychology (Farah & Hook, 2012, p. 9).
Cognitive Psychology- "Refers to the study of human mental processes and their role in thinking, feeling and behaving" (McLeod, 2015, para 1).
Neuroscience- "Is the study of how the nervous system develops, its structure, and what it does" (Nordqvist, 2014, para 1).
Among the most common of the nine intelligences are Verbal-linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Bodily-kinesthetic, and Spacial-visual.
The problem with the idea of Learning Styles is that there is "no convincing evidence to prove that when an instructor changes the presentation mode of his course to match the learning style of his students [it] actually helps them learn" (Ed Tech Team, 2016).
Howard Gardner also disagrees with the idea of Learning Styles (Gardner, 2013, para 8).
Some research has concluded that students may learn better "outside of their comfort zones" (Costandi, 2013, para 6).
Implications upon Teaching Practices
What is known about learning is that "the brain holds on to what is relevant, useful or interesting" (Carey, 2014, p. 36), so continuing the use of Multiple Intelligences as a way to differentiate instruction and engage learners is a practical strategy.
However, we must maintain the knowledge that this practice does not guarantee better learning.
Carey, B. (2014). How we learn: The surprising truth about when, where, and why it happens.
New York, NY: Random House.
Costandi, M. (2013, April 11) The myth of learning styles. Retrieved from
Ed Tech Team. (2016). The myth of learning styles ‘debunked’. Retrieved from
Farah, M.J., & Hook, C.J. (2012, April 11). Neuroscience for educators: What are they
seeking, and what are they finding? Neuroethics. doi:10.1007/s12152-012-9159-3
Gardner, H. (2013, October 16). Howard Gardner: ‘Multiple intelligences’ are not ‘learning
styles’. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/
Masson, S. & Sarrasin, J.B. (2015, September). Neuromyths in Education. Retrieved from
McLeod, S. (2015). Cognitive psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/
Nordqvist, C. (2014, September 26) What is neuroscience? Retrieved from
Northern Illinois University. (n.d.) Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Retrieved
Willingham, D. (2008, August 21). Learning styles don’t exist [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/