Multiple Intelligences - A Primer
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Testing - where did it come
Two psychologists named Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon created
the first Intelligence Scale in 1905. The French government
had commissioned this test to assess which students would
likely succeed or fail in the French school system.
In 1930, Lewis Terman made revisions to this original assessment
and renamed it the Intelligence Test. This was the first time
in history that an intelligence quotient to measure a child's
mental age against their chronological age.
Through the years, our school systems have come to rely heavily
on IQ and "standardized" testing, which puts an inordinate
amount of focus on verbal-linguistic and math-logical intelligences,
typically at the expense of other intelligences. But, the
question remains, what is this Multiple Intelligence idea
Researching the Theory of Multiple Intelligence
The first exploration into the theory of Multiple Intelligence
was in a book by author Dr. Howard Gardner in 1983. Dr. Gardner
defined intelligence as consisting of three components:
- Ability to create an effective product or service that is
valuable to one's culture
- Set of skills that enables an individual to solve problems
encountered in life
- Potential for finding or creating solutions for problems,
which enables a person to acquire new knowledge.
Dr. Gardner, who has become a world-renowned authority on
the topic of MI, derived this theory based on extensive brain
research, as well as interviews, tests, and research on hundreds
of individuals. He studied the cognitive abilities of people
afflicted with strokes and accident victims, as well as child
prodigies, autistic children and those with learning disabilities.
His conclusions became the foundation for his MI theory in
that intelligence is not one inborn fixed trait that dominates
all a student's skills or problem-solving abilities, but rather
each person has different parts of their brains that may be
more highly developed than other parts. While these different
parts of the brain are interconnected, they may work independently
or in concert to help a student learn, depending on the educational
environment and the child's preferred intelligences.
With this in mind, Dr. Gardner identified eight different
intelligences that every person would have, to varying degrees.
These intelligences are verbal/linguistic, math/logical, spatial,
bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal,
The Eight Intelligences Explained
Verbal-Linguistic - The Writer/Speaker
Children with strong Verbal-Linguistic intelligence will have
a propensity to produce language and sensitivity to the nuances,
order and rhythm of words. These students love to read, write
and tell stories. They have good memories for names, places,
dates and trivia. Professionals with strong VL intelligence
will be writers, public speakers, teachers, and actors. Some
historical examples include Abraham Lincoln, T.S. Elliot and
Math-Logical - The Scientist
Children with strong Math-Logical intelligence have the ability
to reason deductively and can recognize and manipulate abstract
patterns or relationships. Students who have strong problem-solving
and reasoning skills will excel in this intelligence. Adults
with this intelligence will work as scientists, mathematicians,
computer programmers, lawyers or accountants. Some historical
examples include Albert Einstein, Nicolae Tesla, Alexander
Spatial - The Builder
Children with Spatial intelligence have the ability to create
visual-spatial representations and can transfer them mentally
or concretely. Students who exhibit this intelligence need
a mental or physical "picture" to understand the information
being presented. Professionals in this intelligence are typically
graphic artists, architects, cartographers and sculptors.
Some historical examples include Frank Lloyd Wright, Pablo
Picasso, and Bobby Fischer.
Musical - The Composer
Children with strong Musical intelligence have great sensitivity
to the rhythm of sounds (e.g. pitch, timbre, composition).
Students strong in this intelligence will enjoy listening
to music and may ultimately work as singers, songwriters,
composers, or even music teachers. Some historical examples
include Ludwig van Beethoven, J.S. Bach, and Mozart.
Bodily-Kinesthetic - The Athlete
Children with strong Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence gravitate
towards athletics; however, they also may use their bodies
to solve problems, or convey ideas and emotions. Students
with BK intelligence will be good at physical activities,
have good hand-eye coordination and may have a tendency to
move around a lot while expressing themselves. Professionals
using BK intelligence will include athletes, surgeons, dancers
and even inventors. Some historical examples include Michael
Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Andre Agassi.
Interpersonal - The Peacemaker
Children with strong Interpersonal intelligence work effectively
in a group and understand and recognize the goals, motivations
and intentions of others. Students with this intelligence
thrive in cooperative, group work situations and are skilled
at communicating, mediating and negotiating. Professionals
in this intelligence may be teachers, therapists, and salespeople.
Some historical examples include Mohandas Gandhi, Mother Theresa
and Ronald Reagan.
Intrapersonal - The Philosopher
Children who are strong in the Intrapersonal intelligence
have the ability to understand one's own emotions, goals and
motivations. These students have good instincts about their
strengths and abilities. This intelligence will be highly
developed in professionals who work as philosophers, psychiatrists
or religious leaders. Some historical examples include Eleanor
Roosevelt and Sigmund Freud.
Naturalist - The Earth Lover
Children with strong focus in this intelligence will exhibit
an affinity for all things nature. These students will enjoy
and thrive when learning about nature topics, such as flora
and fauna. Some professions with focus on this intelligence
will include forest rangers, botanists, farmers and biologists.
Some historical examples include Charles Darwin, John Muir.
Please remember, while we have outlined some of the specific
traits, professions and historical examples associated with
each intelligence type, everyone has some level of proficiency
in each and every intelligence, and it behooves us, as parents,
to learn how to cultivate each of these intelligences in our
Misunderstood Historical Figures
This last section is meant to shine a little glimmer of hope
on all of us who may have not measured up to every task presented
in our lives. We hope it helps bring into focus how despite
the influence of some naysayers early in their lives, some
of the most influential and historic people in the world also
suffered from their own misalignment with the "status quo"
of their times.
- Albert Einstein was four years old before he could speak
and seven before he could read.
- Beethoven's music teacher once said of him, "As a composer,
he is hopeless".
- A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he had "no
- Abraham Lincoln entered the Black Hawk War as a captain
and came out as a private.
- Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was too stupid to learn
- And last, but not least, Louisa May Alcott was told by an
editor that she would never write anything that had popular
Peter Petracco runs WonderBrains, an educational toystore
based on the principles of the Multiple Intelligence Theory.
He also contributes to WonderWaves, a monthly newsletter full
of educational tidbits and guidance on educational toy shopping.
Visit the WonderBrains website at http://www.wonderbrains.com.
Article Source: http://www.goarticles.com