Howard Gardner

Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Biographical Information

Howard Gardner was born on July 11, 1943. He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. After high school, he intended to go on to Harvard and study law, though that obviously fell through when he was inspired by the work of Jean Piaget, and instead decided to study developmental Psychology (Cherry, 2014a).

The Theory

Gardner worked with two different groups of people: the "normal" and the "gifted" children, as well as the brain-damaged adults. He worked with them to construct his theory of multiple intelligences. He even went as far as to publish a book in 1983 to outline his work. According to this theory, people have various different ways in which they learn. Gardner identified 8 different ways, in fact (Cherry, 2014a).

The Various Types

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Visual-spacial intelligence

If you use this style of intelligence, it means you learn better when looking at things like pictures, images, colors, or even maps. It also means that you probably like to draw, or do jig-saw puzzles (Cherry, 2014b).

Linguistic-verbal intelligence

People with this style of intelligence learn through and think in words. They are taught through saying and seeing words. They normally enjoy reading, playing word games, and making up stories or even poetry (Cherry, 2014b).

Mathematical intelligence

Most people using this type think through abstracts. They must know the concept before they can focus on the details. They can be taught through logic games and investigations. They enjoy experiments and solving puzzles (Cherry, 2014b).

Kinesthetic intelligence

People with Kinesthetic intelligence have a keen sense of body awareness. They learn best through physical activity, acting things out, role playing, and being hands-on. They like to make things (Cherry, 2014b).

Musical intelligence

These people show a sensitivity to sound, and even rhythm. They love music, and learn best when there is music in the background. They can be taught through turning lessons into songs, or something of the like (Cherry, 2014b).

Interpersonal Intelligence

These people are the ones that learn through interacting with other people. Most have lots of friends, and can be taught through group activities. Other things that can help them learn are seminars (Cherry, 2014b).

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Most people with this particular type of intelligence learn best by being by themselves. They tend to shy away from other people, in fact. They can mostly be taught by independent study (Cherry, 2014b).

Naturalistic intelligence

This is the newest addition to Gardner's theory. People with this type are good at finding patterns and relationships in nature. According to Howard, they tend to want to learn more about other species and like to explore their environment (Cherry, 2014b).
"We have this myth that the only way to learn something is to read it in a textbook or hear a lecture on it. And the only way to show that we've understood something is to take a short-answer test or maybe occasionally with an essay question thrown in. But that's nonsense. Everything can be taught in more than one way." – Howard Gardner, 1997

Awards

Howard Gardner has won the following awards for his work:
  • 1981, MacArthur Prize Fellowship
  • 1987, William James Award, American Psychological Association
  • 1990, University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education
  • 2000, John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
  • 2011, Prince of Asturias Award in Social Sciences

Sources

Cherry, K. (2014a). How Howard Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesal/p/howard-gardner.htm


Cherry, K. (2014b). Which type of intelligence do you have? Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/educationalpsychology/ss/multiple-intell_2.htm