The theory of multiple intelligences

4 Nov

The theory of multiple intelligences

 The theory of multiple intelligences is a theory based on the study by Howard Gardner at Harvard University. For Gardner intelligence is not seen as a unit or as something that meets several specific skills, but a set of multiple intelligences, different and independent. Gardner defines intelligence as “the ability to solve problems or create products that are of value in one or more cultures.”

Gardner claims that all human beings have these intelligences, but that people use them in different ways. He believes that anyone can improve their understanding through practice and study. The students are seen as individuals who have different styles, preferences and intelligence. Pedagogically is more likely to succeed when you are aware of these differences and when these are analysed. Both in general education and in the language, attention focuses precisely on those differences. Gardner (1933) proposed his vision of natural human talent, and named it 


Gardner describes eight types of intelligences:

1. Linguistics: refers to the ability to use the language in a special and creative way, as it happens with politicians, writers, poets, etc.. These individuals have the ability to speak and write effectively.

2. Logical-mathematical: refers to the ability to think rationally, as in the case of economists, engineers, scientists, doctors, etc.. These individuals have the ability to calculate, formulation, verification and assumptions.

3. Spatial: refers to the ability of perceiving space, as in the case of artists, photographers, architects, sculptors, painters, and so on. Are those who have the ability to make visual creations.

4. Music, for those who have a good ear, as musicians, composers, music critics, etc.. They have the ability to create and analyse music.

5. Bodily / kinetic: for those who have the ability to coordinate their body such as athletes and actors, models, etc.. They have the ability to communicate through their body.

6. Interpersonal: refers to the ability to work with others, such as administrators, teachers, psychologists, therapists, etc.. They have the ability to recognise and respond to the feelings of others.

7. Intrapersonal: refers to the ability to know themselves and to recognise how to apply their talents. See mature people who have a knowledge of their own talent. They have the ability to meditate and give the best of themselves.

8. Naturalist: Refers to the ability to understand and analyse the patterns of nature. They have the ability to identify and classify the members of new species and are also able to discover them.


The idea of multiple intelligences has drawn the attention of many educators as well as that of the general public. Many schools have used this theory to show that the teaching goes beyond books, pens and pencils.

 The parents along with the teachers have the task of recognising the talent of their children / students in order to create the necessary conditions to increase and develop their talents.

 There are no goals to education through the theory of multiple intelligences in linguistic terms. There is no curriculum to follow, although there is a sequence of steps to take as an alternative.

This sequence includes four basic steps:

 1. Awakening the intelligence through the multi-sensory experiences involving touch, smell, taste, see, etc.. In this way, students will be able to perceive what is around them.

2. Amplifying intelligence: Students reinforce and enhance their intelligence by using objects or events of their own choosing and defining with others the properties and contexts of experience of these objects and events. 

3. Teaching with and for intelligence: at this point intelligence is connected to the  goal of the lesson, that is some aspects of language learning. This is done through the creation of small projects and discussion groups.

4. Transfer of intelligence: students reflect on the experiences learned in the three previous steps and connect them with new challenges that will be exhibited in the real world.




One Response to “The theory of multiple intelligences”

  1. Dominique Ringelheim November 18, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Right here is the perfect site for everyone who would like to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for a long time. Great stuff, just great!

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