If you have heard the phrase “intelligence” you have probably thought about IQ testing. We often define intelligence as our intellectual potential, that which we had at birth, which could be measured and which cannot really be changed. But recent years have presented other views to intelligence and specifically that of the Harvard psychologist named Howard Gardner. He produced the theory of multiple intelligences which suggests that our traditional view of intelligence is far too limited.
His book on multiple intelligences was produced in 1983 and it suggested that there are eight different intelligences and that people can have one of these eight, and are not confined to having just one type of intelligence. In order to appreciate the full range of intelligences that people have, not just their intellectual capacity, he notes the eight theories of intelligence which include musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, linguistic intelligence, and spatial-visual intelligence. Someone might be strong in intelligence such as musical intelligence, but also be strong in naturalistic intelligence too.
Musical intelligence has to do with a high sensitivity to music. People with this intelligence often have perfect pitch. Visual spatial is another intelligence that deals specifically with the ability to spatially judge things and visualize things in the eye. Verbal linguistic is another intelligence which deals with words and languages. People with this ability can tell stories and memorize dates and are good at reading and writing. Logical mathematical intelligence has to do with understanding logic and the underlying principles therein. Bodily kinaesthetic intelligence has to do with the kinaesthetic control of your motions. Interpersonal intelligence has to do with the ability to interact with others. This person would be sensitive to the feelings and motivation s of others.
Intrapersonal intelligence has to do with self-reflective capacities and having a deep understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses to the point of being able to predict one’s reactions or emotions. Naturalistic intelligence concerns itself with nurturing and the ability to relate information from the surroundings. It is an ecological receptiveness as well that is rooted in a holistic understanding of the world.
This theory of multiple intelligences has come under criticism from educators and psychologists who claim that it is too broad and that it merely represents abilities, talents, and personal traits. In spite of this criticism, this theory has become widely popular among other educators who view in their classroom a range of intelligences that are not IQ based. They have begun to integrate this theory into the classroom and used it to cultivate their teaching.
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