Dr. Howard Gardner also the Professor of Education at Harvard University developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences in 1983 (Campbell 12). This principle is well known to most teachers. Although people disagree with his theory, Gardner believes that rather than a single intelligence, we acquire all seven intelligences in different amounts. All seven Gardner’s intelligences should be incorporated in every lesson, to include; linguistic, logical-mathematical, body kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.Howard Gardner defines intelligences as “the biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture” (Gardner 23).
Gardner proposes seven different intelligences to account for a more broad range of human potential in children and adults (Gardner 24). Intelligences are things one can do, Such as figuring out strategies or skills. Intelligences are focused on how much, for instance high amounts of intelligence are preferable to low amounts.Intelligence is usually linked to a certain domain of content such as verbal or musical ability. The seven intelligences Gardner defined are: linguistic, logical-mathematical, body-kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal (Steenhagen). Linguistic intelligence is defined as having a mastery of language.
This intelligence includes the ability to effectively manipulate language to express oneself (Nolen). It also allows one to use language as a means to remember information (Steenhagen). Linguistic intelligence can be assessed by an IQ test and an ACT test (Helding).Characteristics of a linguistic student would be as follows: spells easily, memorizes easily, enjoys word games, and develop high level auditory skills.
Linguistics is one of the two intelligences that schools and cultures focus on the most. Logical-Mathematical intelligence consists of the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively, and think logically (Dickinson). Children first explore this intelligence by ordering and re-ordering objects (Kazu). These children usually do extremely well in the traditional classroom ecause of their ability to follow logical sequencing. Students with this intelligence are able to conform to the roll of a model student (Gardner 30).
Characteristics of these children are that they enjoy computer games and puzzles, have organized thoughts, and notice and use numbers, shapes and patterns (Steenhagen). This intelligence is the second most focused on in schools and cultures. Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to understand through using your body. People can use their body in expressive skilled ways for a distinct purpose (Campbell 45).
They have very fine motor skills of the fingers and hands and control of their gross motor movements (Helding). Their characteristics go together with their ability to manipulate objects, and to carry out delicate movements using precise control (Gardner 27). Children with bodily intelligence usually perform well in the arts and athletics. Some characteristics of these children are their coordination, use their body language, they are hands-on learners, and have good body control.
Students with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are sometime labeled as fidgety children.These abilities lead to professions such as surgeons, carpenters, plumbers, dancers, and athletes. Spatial intelligence gives one the ability to manipulate and create mental images in order to solve problems (Campbell 14). This intelligence is not limited to visual domains (Nolen). Gardner notes that spatial intelligence is also formed in blind children (Nolen). Children that have spatial intelligence have the ability to “think in pictures”; they perceive the visual world and recreate it in the mind of on paper (Dickinson).
They view objects from different areas and they actualize mental pictures. People with spatial intelligence characteristically enjoy maps and charts, like to draw, and love videos and photos (Steenhagen). Spatial intelligence is highly developed in artists, architects, designers, and sculptors (Campbell 45). Musical intelligence encompasses the capability to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. (Auditory functions are required for a person to develop this intelligence in relation to pitch and tone, but it is not needed for the knowledge of rhythm) (Helding).Characteristics of musical intelligence are remembering melodies, listening to music, and keeping the beat.
Dancers, musicians, and musical composers show high levels of musical intelligence. Children with musical intelligence can easily convey their emotions through music. This intelligence is usually seen at an early age. Individual differences between those with musical intelligence and those without are apparent from the day a child learns to sing (Gardner 16).
These students are usually able to read music, to critique performances, and to use musical-critical categories (Steenhagen).Interpersonal intelligence consists of the ability to understand, perceive, and discriminate between people’s moods, feelings, motives, and intelligences (Gardner 17). Students with interpersonal intelligence choose professions such as teaching, politics, sales, therapist, and counselor (Steenhagen). These children grow up to be skilled parents.
Children with this intelligence enjoy cooperative games, understand the feelings of others, have many friends, and prefer group work. Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand one’s own feelings and motivations (Steenhagen).Children with intrapersonal intelligence are original, patient, disciplined, and motivated. These children have a great deal of self-respect. Such characteristic allows these children to pursue personal interests, to set goals, and to be insightful and reflective (Steenhagen). Students with this intelligence do well with imagination and long term projects.
With intrapersonal intelligence children are able to see with their minds what needs to be done and they do it. Interpersonal intelligence shares many of it characteristics with intrapersonal intelligences (Steenhagen).Interpersonal consists of the ability to understand, perceive, and discriminate other people’s moods, feeling, and motives (Gardner 45); while intrapersonal deals more with the individual self (Campbell 22). These personal intelligences are often seen as the highest achievable level by human beings (Helding). Doctor Gardner claims that our schools and cultures focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences (Helding).
When accepting Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, all seven are eeded to productively function in the society. Teachers and parents should consider all intelligences equally important. Based on the theory of multiple intelligences, educators need to teach a broader range of skills and talents. For example, when teaching about the Revolutionary War, a teacher can show students battle maps, play Revolutionary War songs, organize a roll play of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and have students read a novel about life during that period (Gardner 47).A presentation like this allows a teacher to reinforce the material in a variety of ways.
Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences can also have implications for adult learning and development. Adults may be in a job that does not make the best use of their highly developed intelligences. For example, a highly bodily-kinesthetic individual who is stuck in a linguistic or logical desk-job would be much happier in a job where they could move around, such as recreational leader, a forest ranger, or physical therapist.Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences allows adults to look at their lives in a new way.
They can examine new potentials and opportunities through hobbies and programs of self development. Adults and children alike are born possessing the seven intelligences. Never-the-less, we all function with different sets of developed intelligences; meaning that each person has his/her own unique makeup of strengths and weaknesses. A person’s makeup helps determine how easy or difficult it will be to learn information when it is presented in a certain manner.Some people call this a learning style. Since there are many learning styles that can be found in one classroom, it is impossible for a teacher to accommodate each lesson to all learning styles.
Even though, the teacher can show students how to use their more developed intelligences to assist in the understanding of a subject, which normally employs their weaker intelligences. Howard Gardner’s theory supports the fact that we do not all learn in the same way. Therefore, children cannot all be assisted in uniform fashion.Teachers should create “intelligences profiles” for every student (Gardner 14). Knowing how each student learns will allow the teacher to properly assess the child’s progress (Campbell 58). This individualized evaluation practice will allow a teacher to make more informed decisions on what to teach and how to present information (Dickinson).
EDUCE is system that looks at these challenges using Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence as a guide for modeling learning characteristics and designing instructional material. SITE C) A research study EDUCE suggested that students with low levels of learning activity, and who use only a limited number of the resources available, have the most to gain from adaptive presentation strategies and that surprisingly learning increased when they are provided with resources not normally preferred. Results of this study may be significant for researchers and practitioners (SITE). For, researchers, it demonstrates that adaptive presentation strategies are important for learners who are not inclined to explore different learning options (SITE).For practitioners, it demonstrates how teaching in different ways can have an effect on learning.
The theory of Multiple Intelligences reflects an effort to rethink the theory of measureable intelligence embodied in intelligence testing. It is compatible with the motivation behind EDUCE: that intelligence is not a fixed static entity, but something that resides inside a person, and can be enhanced significantly through education and awareness. (SITE C) Gardner’s argument of multiple intelligences has gotten the attention of educators around the country.There is hundreds of schools using his philosophy to educate children; on the other hand, there are thousands of schools still only focusing on two of the intelligences linguistic and logical-mathematical.
A challenge for educators is to be able to work with children and teach each child in ways that are unique to their own minds. Teachers should try to incorporate all seven multiple intelligences in their every day lesson plans. A theoretical foundation for understanding the different abilities and talents of children falls under Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.This theory shows that even though all students are not verbally or mathematically gifted, they may have expertise in other areas.
Approaching learning using all seven of the multiple intelligences allows for a range of students to better participate in classroom learning. In conclusion structuring educational systems that recognize different learning characteristic of students can be challenging. Howard Gardner’s theory backed by EDUCE suggest that challenging students to engage in different styles of learning may be the key that dynamically tailors a positive learning environment for all students and teachers.Works Cited Campbell, Linda, et. al. Teaching and Learning Through Multiple Intelligences.
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