Multiple Intelligence Theory

  • What Gardner's research says for schools is that we must go beyond the traditional educational approach and address all of our intelligences. Children learn in different ways and our teaching methods and curriculum content must reflect these ways. The question to be asked is not, "Are you smart?" but "How are you smart?"

    Related to written and spoken language. These learners typically learn their best by seeing, hearing, and saying language. They often think in words and enjoy reading, writing or storytelling.

    Deals with deductive thinking and reasoning with numbers and abstract thought. These learners form concepts by looking for patterns, relationships, and categories. They need to actively manipulate objects and experiment in an orderly way to constantly question and wonder about natural events.

    Relies on the sense of sight and the ability to visualize an object to create mental images and pictures. These learners need to be taught through pictures, images, and color. They are motivated through audio/visual materials and have a highly developed spatial awareness.

    Relates to the physical movement and the wisdom of the body. These learners process knowledge through whole-body sensations, often making decisions based on "gut-feelings". They have excellent large and fine motor skills, communicate very effectively through gestures and other forms body language, and internalize information by touching, manipulating, moving, and acting things out.

    Recognizes tonal patterns, including environmental sounds, with sensitivity to rhythm and beats. These learners form concepts by putting information to music. They sing, hum, whistle, and move along with rhythm; are sensitive to nonverbal sounds in the environment.  They readily respond to the musicality of language and music.

    Operates primarily through groups, person to person relationships and communications while relying on all the intelligences. These learners are often classroom leaders, group organizers and communicators. They enjoy problem-solving activities. They learn best by relating, cooperating and dynamically interacting with others.

    Relates to inner states of being, self-reflection, awareness of spiritual realities. They are self-motivating, have a deep sense of their inner feelings, dreams and ideas.

    Relates to distinctions in natural world through observation, identification and classification of plants and animals. They enjoy finding ways in which to study things which weave human, animals, and environmental concerns together.