Section Menu

Multiple Intelligences

  • What is the traditional view of an intelligence?
    • Introduction to Multiple Intelligences
  • What constitutes an intelligence?
  • What are the multiple intelligences?
  • Who are the leading supporters of the MI Theory?
    • Leading supporters
    • Leading opposers
  • Are there any activities that help establish multiple intelligences?
  • What are MY intelligences?
  • References

Traditional View of Intelligence
The traditional view of intelligence is how we perceive and comprehend, examine and analyze, react and respond to outside stimuli 
whether it is anticipating an opponents next move in chess or trying to solve a logical problem.

Multiple Intelligences--Intelligence Criteria
What constitutes an intelligence?
Intelligence criteria
Return to the main Multiple Intelligences page
What constitutes an intelligence? 
    An intelligence CAN be defined as the ability to answer items on tests of intelligence.  It can also be defined as "the ability to solve 
problems or fashion products that are of consequence in a particular cultural setting or community."  (Gardner, H., 1993)
 

  Intelligence Criteria
    •    Must have an identifiable core operation or set of operations.
    •    Must also be susceptible to encoding in a symbol system.
    •    Knowledge about normal development.
    •    Information about the breakdown of cognitive skills under conditions of brain damage.
    •    Studies of exceptional populations, including prodigies, savants and autistic children.
    •    Data about the evolution of cognition over the millennia.
    •    Cross-cultural accounts of cognition.
    •    Psychometric studies, including examinations of correlation among tests.
    •    Psychological training studies, particularly measures of transfer and generalization across tasks.
(Gardner, H., 1999)

    •      Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
    •         Interpersonal Intelligence
    •         Intrapersonal Intelligence
    •         Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence
    •         Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
    •         Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence
    •         Naturalist Intelligence
    •         Visual-Spatial Intelligence

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
Bodily/kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to use the body to express emotion (as in dance and body language), to play a game (as in sports), and to create a new product (as in invention). Learning by doing has long been recognized as an important part of education. Our bodies know things our minds do not and cannot know in any other way. For example, our bodies know how to ride a bike, roller-skate, type, and parallel park a car. This intelligence can been seen in such people as actors, athletes, mimes, dancers, and inventors. (MI Theory)
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence  enables one to manipulate objects and  fine-tune physical skills. It is evident in athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople. In Western societies, physical skills are not as highly valued as cognitive ones, and yet elsewhere the ability to use one's body is a necessity for survival as well as an important feature of many prestigious roles.(Campbell, Campbell, and Dickinson, pages xvi, xvii)
 
Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence  "Teaching Strategies"
Body Language/Physical Gestures--"embodying" meaning, interpretation, or understanding of an idea in physical movement 
Body Sculpture/Tableaus--arranging (sculpting) a group of people to express an idea, concept, or process 
Dramatic Enactment--creating a mini-drama that shows the dynamic interplay of various concepts, ideas, or processes 
Folk/Creative Dance--choreographing a dance that demonstrates a concept, idea, or process 
Gymnastic Routines--designing an orchestrated flow of physical movement which embodies relationships and connections with a topic 
Human Graph--standing along a continuum to express agreement or understanding of a concept, idea, or process 
Inventing--making or building something that demonstrates a concept, idea, or process (e.g., a model to show how something works) 
Physical Exercise/Martial Arts--creating physical routines that others perform so that they may learn concepts, ideas, or processes 
Role Playing/Mime--performing skits or charades to show understanding of concepts, ideas, or processes 
Sports Games--creating a contest or game based on specific knowledge about a concept, idea, or process 
(Lazear, page143)

Interpersonal Intelligence
Interpersonal intelligence involves the ability to work cooperatively with others in a group as well as the ability to communicate, verbally and nonverbally, with other people. It builds on the capacity to notice distinctions among others such as contrasts in moods, temperament, motivations, and intentions. In the more advanced forms of this intelligence, one can literally pass over into another's perspective and read his or her intentions and desires. One can have genuine empathy for another's feelings, fears, anticipations, and beliefs. This form of intelligence is usually highly developed in such people as counselors, teachers, therapists, politicians, and religious leaders. (MI Theory)
Interpersonal intelligence is the capacity to understand and interact effectively with others. It is evident in successful teachers, social workers, actors, or politicians. Just as Western culture has recently begun to recognize the connection between mind and body, so too has it to come to value the importance of proficiency in interpersonal behavior. (Campbell, Campbell, Dickinson, pages xvi, xvii)
 
Interpersonal Intelligence "Teaching Strategies"
Collaborative Skills Teaching--recognizing and learning the social skills needed for effective person-to-person relating 
Cooperative Learning Strategies--using structured teamwork for academic learning 
Empathy Practices--expressing understanding from someone else's standpoint or life experience 
Giving Feedback--offering honest, sensitive input on one's performance or about one's opinion(s) 
Group Projects--investigating a topic with others in teams 
Intuiting Others' Feelings--second-guessing what someone else is feeling or experiencing in a given situation 
Jigsaw--dividing the learning and teaching of a topic into distinct segments so that students can learn from and teach each other 
Person-to-Person Communication--focusing on how people relate and how to improve their relating 
Receiving Feedback--accepting another's input or reaction to one's performance or opinions 
Sensing Others' Motives--exploring a topic by discovering why others acted in a certain way or made certain decisions 
(Lazear, page144)

Intrapersonal Intelligence
Intrapersonal intelligence involves knowledge of the internal aspects of the self, such as knowledge of feelings, the range of emotional responses, thinking processes, self-reflection, and a sense of or intuition about spiritual realities. Intrapersonal intelligence allows us to be conscious of our consciousness; that is, to step back from ourselves and watch ourselves as an outside observer. It involves our capacity to experience wholeness and unity, to discern patterns of connection within the larger order of things, to perceive higher states of consciousness, to experience the lure of the future, and to dream of and actualize the possible. This intelligence can be seen in such people as philosophers, psychiatrists, spiritual counselors and gurus, and cognitive pattern researchers. (MI Theory)
Intrapersonal intelligence refers to the ability to construct an accurate perception of oneself and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one's life. Some individuals with strong intrapersonal intelligence specialize as theologians, psychologists, and philosophers. (Campbell, Campbell, Dickinson, pages xvi, xvii)
 
Intrapersonal Intelligence "Teaching Strategies"
Know Thyself Procedures--finding personal implications or applications of classroom learning for one's personal life 
Metacognition Techniques--thinking about one's thinking (i.e., tracing the various processes ar steps used) 
Mindfulness Practices--paying conscious attention to one's life experience (the opposite of mindlessness or "living on automatic pilot") 
Altered States of Consciousness Practices--learning to shift one's mood or awareness into an optimal state 
Emotional Processing--becoming aware of the affective dimensions (i.e., How does it make me feel?) of something one is studying 
Focusing/Concentration Skills--learning the ability to focus one's mind on a single idea or task 
Higher-Order Reasoning--moving from memorizing facts to synthesizing, integrating, and applying 
Independent Studies/Projects--working alone to expresses feelings and thoughts on a topic 
Silent Reflection Methods--working with reflection tools such as reflective journals, thinking logs, learning diaries, etc. 
Thinking Strategies--learning what thinking patterns to use for what task 
(Lazear, page145)

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
Logical/mathematical intelligence is most often associated with what we call scientific thinking or inductive reasoning, although deductive thought processes are also involved. This intelligence involves the capacity to recognize patterns, work with abstract symbols (such as numbers and geometric shapes), and discern relationships and/or see connections between separate and distinct pieces of information. This intelligence can be seen in such people as scientists, computer programmers, accountants, lawyers, bankers, and of course, mathematicians. The logical/mathematical and verbal/linguistic intelligences form the basis for most systems of Western education, as well as for all forms of currently existing standardized testing programs. (MI Theory)
Logical-mathematical intelligence makes it possible to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complex mathematical operations. Scientists, accountants, engineers, and computer programmers all demonstrate this intelligence.(Campbell, Campbell, Dickinson, pages xvi, xvii)
 
Logical/Mathematical Intelligence "Teaching Strategies"
Abstract Symbols/Formulas--designing meaningful summary notation systems for different processes or knowledge content 
Calculation--using specified steps, operations, processes, formulas, and equations to solve a problem 
Deciphering Codes--understanding and communicating with symbolic language 
Forcing Relationships--creating meaningful connections between noncongruent ideas 
Graphic/Cognitive Organizers--working with logical thought maps such as webs, Venn diagrams, classification matrices, ranking                                                ladders, etc. 
Logic/Pattern Games--creating puzzles that challenge others to find a hidden rationale or pattern 
Number Sequences/Patterns--investigating numerical facts or gathering and analyzing statistics on a topic 
Outlining--inventing point-by-point logical explanations for items 
Problem Solving--listing appropriate procedures for problem-solving situations 
Syllogisms--making if. . ., then . . .logical deductions about a topic 
(Lazear, page 142)

Musical Rhythmic Intelligence
Musical/rhythmic intelligence includes such capacities as the recognition and use of rhythmic and tonal patterns, and sensitivity to sounds from the environment, the human voice, and musical instruments. Many of us learned the alphabet through this intelligence and the A-B-C song. Of all forms of intelligence, the consciousness altering effect of music and rhythm on the brain is probably the greatest. This intelligence can be seen in advertising professionals (those who write catchy jingles to sell a product), performance musicians, rock musicians, dance bands, composers, and music teachers. (MI Theory)
Musical intelligence is evident in individuals who possess a sensitivity to pitch, melody, rhythm, and tone. Those demonstrating this intelligence include composers, conductors, musicians, critics, instrument makers, as well as sensitive listeners.(Campbell, Campbell, Dickinson, pages xvi, xvii)
 
Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence "Teaching Strategies"
Environmental Sounds--using the natural sounds that are related to the object, concept, or process being studied (e.g., weather 
conditions, geographical locations, animals) 
Instrumental Sounds--employing musical instruments to produce sounds for a lesson (e.g., background accompaniment, enhancements 
for the teaching) 
Music Composition/Creation--composing and creating music to communicate understanding of a concept, idea, or process (e.g., the 
stages of a cell dividing) 
Music Performance--creating presentations or reports in which music and rhythm play a central role 
Percussion Vibrations--using vibrations or beats to communicate a concept, idea, or process to others and the self 
Rapping--using raps to help communicate or to remember certain concepts, ideas, or processes 
Rhythmic Patterns--producing rhythms and beats to show the various aspects of a concept, idea, or process 
Singing/Humming--creating songs about an academic topic or finding existing songs that complement a topic 
Tonal Patterns--recognizing the tone dimension(s) of a topic (e.g., sounds a computer makes) 
Vocal Sounds/Tones--producing sounds with one's vocal cords to illustrate a concept, idea, or process 
(Lazear, page 144)

Naturalist Intelligence
Naturalist intelligence involves the ability to discern, comprehend, and appreciate the various flora and fauna of the world of nature as opposed to the world created by human beings. It involves such capacities as recognizing and classifying species, growing plants and raising or taming animals, knowing how to appropriately use the natural world (e.g., living off the land), and having a curiosity about the natural world, its creatures, weather patterns, physical history, etc. In working with and developing the naturalist intelligence one often discovers a sense of wonder, awe, and respect for all the various phenomena and species (plant and animal) of the natural world. This intelligence can be seen in such people as farmers, hunters, zookeepers, gardeners, cooks, veterinarians, nature guides, and forest rangers. (MI Theory)
Naturalist intelligence consists of observing patterns in nature, indentifying and classifying objects, and understanding natural and human-made systems.  Skilled naturalists include farmers, botanists, hunters, ecologists, and landscapers. (Campbell, Campbell, Dickinson, pages xvi, xvii)
 
Naturalist Intelligence "Teaching Strategies"
Archetypal Pattern Recognition--discovering the repeating, standard patterns and designs of nature that manifest themselves throughout the universe 
Caring for Plants/Animals--completing projects that involve caring for and/or training animals, insects, other organisms, and/or growing natural things 
Conservation Practices--participating in projects that care for and preserve the natural environment (including its animals) 
Environment Feedback--understanding and appreciating the environment and tuning in to the natural feedback coming from the environment 
Hands-On Labs--performing experiments or activities that use objects from the natural world 
Nature Encounters/Field Trips--going outside for firsthand experiences in nature and/or bringing nature in via videos, objects, animals, plants, etc. 
Nature Observation--participating in observation activities such as bird-watching, geological exploration, keeping nature journals 
Nature World Simulations--re-creating or representing nature in some form (e.g., dioramas, montages, photographs, drawings, nature 
rubbings, etc.) Species Classification (organic/inorganic)working with classification matrices to understand characteristics of natural objects 
Sensory Stimulation Exercises--exposing the senses to nature's sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and sights 
(Lazear, page 145)

Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence
Verbal/linguistic intelligence is responsible for the production of language and all the complex possibilities that follow, including poetry, humor, storytelling, grammar, metaphors, similes, abstract reasoning, symbolic thinking, conceptual patterning, reading, and writing. This intelligence can be seen in such people as poets, playwrights, storytellers, novelists, public speakers, and comedians. (MI Theory)
Verbal/Linguistic intelligence consists of the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Authors, poets, journalists, speakers, and newscasters exhibit high degrees of linguistic intelligence.(Campbell, Campbell, Dickinson, page xvi, xvii) 

 
Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence "Teaching Strategies"
Creative Writing--writing original pieces without boundaries 
Formal Speaking--making verbal presentations to others 
Humor/Jokes--creating puns, limericks, and jokes on academic topics 
Impromptu Speaking--instantly speaking on a randomly drawn topic 
Journal/Diary Keeping--tracing and keeping track of one's own thoughts and ideas 
Poetry--creating one's own poetry and reading and appreciating others' poetry 
Reading--studying written materials on a concept, idea, or process 
Storytelling/Story Creation--making up and telling stories about any topic one is studying 
Verbal Debate--presenting both sides of an issue in a convincing manner 
Vocabulary--learning new words and practicing using them accurately in regular communication 
(Lazear, page 142)

Visual-Spatial Intelligence
Visual spatial intelligence deals with the visual arts (including painting, drawing, and sculpting); navigation, mapmaking, and architecture (which involve the use of space and knowing how to get around in it); and games such as chess (which require the ability to visualize objects from different perspectives and angles). The key sensory base of this intelligence is the sense of sight, but also the ability to form mental images and pictures in the mind. This intelligence can be seen in such people as architects, graphic artists, cartographers, industrial design draftspersons, and of course, visual artists (painters and sculptors). (MI Theory)
Visual/Spatial intelligence instills the capacity to think in three-dimensional ways as do sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects. It enables one to perceive external and internal imagery, to recreate, transform, or modify images, to navigate oneself and objects through space, and to produce or decode graphic information.(Campbell, Campbell, Dickinson, pages xvi,xvii)
 
Visual/Spatial Intelligence "Teaching Strategies"
Active Imagination--finding connections between visual designs (or patterns) and prior experiences (or knowledge) 
Color/Texture Schemes--associating colors and textures with various concepts, ideas, or processes 
Drawing--creating graphic representations of concepts, ideas, or processes being studied (e.g., diagrams, illustrations, flowcharts, etc.) 
Guided Imagery/Visualizing--creating mental pictures or images of a concept, idea, or process (e.g., characters in a story, a period of history, a scientific process) 
Mindmapping--creating visual webs of written information 
Montage/Collage--designing a collection of pictures to show various aspects or dimensions of a concept, idea, or process 
Painting--using paints or colored markers to express understanding of concepts, ideas, or processes (e.g., mural creation) 
Patterns/Designs--creating abstract patterns and designs to represent the relationships between different concepts, ideas, or processes 
Pretending/Fantasy--creating fun, new scenarios in the mind based on factual information 
Sculpting--creating clay models to demonstrate understanding of concepts, ideas, or processes 
(Lazear, page 143)

Leading Supporters
    •         Howard Gardner
    •         Linda Macrae Campbell
    •         Bruce Campbell
    •         New City School, Saint Louis, Missouri
    •         Guggenheim, Chicago Illinois
    •         San Jose Elementary School, Jacksonville, Florida
    •         Mesa Elementary School
    •         Harvard "Project Zero"
    •         Key Elementary School, Indianapolis, Indiana
Leading Opposers
    •    E.D. Hirsch
    •    George A. Miller
Introduction to Multiple Intelligences
To introduce you to the concept of multiple intelligence, please take the following True/False Quiz.
 
Instructions: For each of the following statements, mark a T if the statement is true and an F if it is false. 

 _____ I may not be tapping the full learning potential of my students.
_____  I sometimes wonder why certain students do not get it, even when I am doing my best teaching.
_____  I feel that many of my students know more about a topic than they demonstrate on the tests I give.
_____  I have noticed that some of my students are highly skilled in areas  that are not included in the curriculum I have to teach.
_____  When Im teaching, I often feel my students tune me out or seem to be operating on a different wave length.
_____  I worry that my teaching does not seem to stimulate my student's enough, so they have a hard time getting on board with their education.
_____  I have trouble keeping my students motivated and actively involved in the learning process.
_____  I often feel that I am in competition with TV, videos, rock music, and sports for the minds of my students.

What are MY intelligences?
Directions:  Answer YES or NO to the following questions
1. I am a whiz at memorizing poetry and TV jingles. 
2. I usually notice when other people are sad or happy. 
3. I am curious about topics like the origin of time and would like to know more. 
4. When in a strange area, I seldom get lost. 
5. People have complimented me on the graceful manner in which I move. 
6. I enjoy singing and have a very good pitch. 
7. When I watch television, I prefer to watch a program like Nova or National Geographic rather than a sitcom. 
8. I usually have a book or article that I am reading. 
9. Learning a new dance or aerobic steps is usually easy for me. 
10. I would enjoy being part of a skit or play. 
11. When passing by landmarks and points of interest, I often remember events in my life related to those places. 
12. I can recognize the different musical instruments in a piece of music as I listen. 
13. When someone needs a map to a certain place, I usually draw a map. 
14. I find it easy to mimic the movements and gestures of other people. 
15. I find patterns of all kinds appealing and will often sort items into categories. 
16. I find it easy to understand how I feel and why I do certain things. 
17. I enjoy making up and telling stories to children and adults. 
18. I am very aware of the sounds around me. 
19. I often see people who remind me of other people I know. 
20. I am usually a good judge of what my strengths and weaknesses are in most areas.
 
If you answered YES to all three questions concerning the following intelligences, you are strong in that area.  Questions 1, 8, 17: Verbal/Linguistic; Questions 6, 12, 18: Musical; questions 3, 7, 15: Logical/Mathematical; questions 4, 11, 13: Spatial; Questions 5, 9, 14: Bobily/Kinesthetic; Questions 10, 16, 20: Intrapersonal; Questions 1, 10, 19: Interpersonal.

©