Multiple Intelligence recognizes the fact that (i) all students are not the same, (ii) our abilities differ and education is effective only when these differences are taken into account. Anyone pattern or approach to education will not benefit the entire class. For example, some learn visually, some learn by listening, while others learn experientially. Psychologist Howard Gardner (1999) “posits that there are at least nine types of human intelligence which undergird how people make meaning of their learning experiences.” Gardner’s theory recognizes individual differences which means that students should not be expected to learn like the others in their class.
The 9 Types of Intelligence according to Gardner:
1. Naturalist Intelligence (nature smart)
Naturalist intelligence is the human ability to differentiate among living things like the plants, birds, and animals, understanding other features of the earth. This ability was essential for hunters, gatherers, and farmers in the past; now to it is important to botanist or agri-scientists, or even farmers. Children with this intelligence have an affinity for nature and enjoy studying about her.
2. Musical Intelligence (sound smart)
￼Musical intelligence is the capacity to recognize pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables students to recognize and react to music. They are emotional and are sensitive. Interestingly, Mathematical and musical intelligence may share common thinking processes.
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (number/reasoning smart)
￼Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, and complete mathematical operations. It enables a person to understand and relationships to use abstract, symbolic thought; develop reasoning skills and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Students with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games, and experiments.
4. Existential Intelligence (life smart)
￼Sensitivity and ability to ponder and question about human existence, such as the meaning of life, death, and creation.
5. Interpersonal Intelligence (people smart)
￼Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (body smart)
￼Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills which requires the mind and body to work in unison. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftsmen exhibit well-developed bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
7. Linguistic Intelligence (word smart)
￼Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.
8. Intra-personal Intelligence (self-smart)
￼Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self but also of the human condition. It is evident in a psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.
9. Spat, al Intelligence (art or 3D smart)
￼Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, graphics and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Children with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.
This goes to prove no one child is similar to another. Hence expecting all to learn in the same way or at the same pace is unreasonable. Recognizing the different capacities of students will help teachers innovate on their teaching methodology to benefit the maximum.