What is Multiple Intelligences Theory?
- Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences proposes that people are not born with all of the intelligence they will ever have.
- This theory challenged the traditional notion that there is one single type of intelligence, sometimes known as “g” for general intelligence, that only focuses on cognitive abilities.
- To broaden this notion of intelligence, Gardner introduced eight different types of intelligences consisting of: Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalist.
- Gardner notes that the linguistic and logical-mathematical modalities are most typed valued in school and society.
- Gardner also suggests that there may other “candidate” intelligences—such as spiritual intelligence, existential intelligence, and moral intelligence—but does not believe these meet his original inclusion criteria. (Gardner, 2011).
The theory of multiple intelligences was first proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book “Frames of Mind”, where he broadens the definition of intelligence and outlines several distinct types of intellectual competencies.
Gardner developed a series of eight inclusion criteria while evaluating each “candidate” intelligence that was based on a variety of scientific disciplines.
He writes that we may all have these intelligences, but our profile of these intelligence may differ individually based on genetics or experience.
Gardner defines intelligence as a “biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture” (Gardner, 2000, p.28)