Multiple Intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are:

  • Verbal Linguistic - the ability to use words and language
  • Logical Mathematical - highly developed ability to use reason, logic and numbers
  • Bodily Kinesthic - capacity to control body movement and handle physical objects
  • Visual Spatial - strong visual capacity to think in pictures and create pictures in their mind
  • Musical Rhythmical - heightened ability to appreciate and produce music and sound
  • Interpersonal - advanced ability to relate to and understand other people
  • Intrapersonal - exhibit a strong sense of self and ability to understand and share their inner thoughts and feelings
  • Naturalist - recognition, appreciation and understanding of the natural world around us

Dr. Gardner says that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on a narrow range of intelligence that involves primarily verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical skills. We esteem the highly articulate or logical people of our culture. However, Dr. Gardner says that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world in which we live.