The theory of multiple intelligences developed by Howard Gardner in 1983 “suggests that traditional ways of testing may be biased to certain types of individuals.” . Dr. Gardner researched and developed the theory that the notion of intelligence is not limited to the constraints of reading, writing and arithmetic alone. He is one of the first to publish on the concept that “we should not judge others according to this narrow definition of intelligence.”. He recognized that the traditional methods of determining intelligence were too limited and did not account for the full scope of an individual’s capabilities. The old testing methods did not take into account that a person might excel musical ability and not have that register under these methods.
Seeing that the existing system needed improvements, Dr. Gardner developed a range of eight primary intelligences. Under this theory, a person’s intelligences can be determined and evaluated individually on a hierarchal basis. This method of determining intelligences allows an instructor to approach a person by using their strong abilities to understand concepts more commonly associated with other types of intelligence. For example, a musically talented student might find it easier to understand language or mathematics by relating to them in musical terms. . Likewise, a kinetically gifted football player might be able to approach geometry from the basis of examining how the team uses them to develop football plays. In an interview first published on 23 August Dr. Gardner discusses the benefits of ‘Individuation’ and ‘Pluralization.’ Individuation takes into consideration a person’s cognitive profile and teaching in such a way that maximizes their potential.
In his discussion regarding this, he observes, “At one time individualized education was available only to people who had the means to hire a tutor. But now, thanks to the new digital media, we live at the first moment in human history where anyone with access to a "smart device" can have individualized learning. That's amazing!” . When hel talks about Pluralization he says, “Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences.” . Later on in this interview he observes, “When we teach in pluralistic ways, there are two wonderful dividendswe reach more students” and “we show what it is really like to understand something.”
This line of thinking takes into consideration devices that provide potential learning experiences that were simply not available thirty years ago in 1983 when he first published his work. In his work entitled Five Minds for the Future he expands upon the eight types of intelligence by considering how education could approach them in light of the following four factors, “l) globalization; 2) the technological/digital revolution; 3) lifelong learning; and 4) increasing knowledge about the mind, the brain, and the human genome. ” . His new work Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Twenty-First Century Dr Gardner makes the following, powerful statement. “the advent of the digital media has not fundamentally altered the establishment of truth.” he expands upon this by observing that, although the medias are flooded with both valid and invalid reports the truth is out there and “it’s still vital to establish truth.” .
The present established levels of intelligence are as follows
Linguistic: Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to language as a means of expression, a method of acquiring and applying knowledge and a means to remember information.
Musical: Musical intelligence encompasses the skills of performance, composition and appreciation of music.
Logical Mathematical: Logical mathematical intelligence deals with the capacity to analyze problems, carry out mathematical operations, and scientifically investigate issues.
Naturalist: Naturalist intelligence is the capability to utilize features of the environment.
Spatial: Spatial intelligence is that form of intelligence that grants the potential to recognize and use wide and confined spaces.
Bodily kinesthetic: Bodily kinesthetic intelligence are the abilities to use mental ability to coordinate bodily movements and the ability to use bodily movement to solve intellectual problems
Intrapersonal: Intrapersonal intelligence involves the ability to understand one’s self.
Interpersonal: Interpersonal intelligence concerns the ability to understand and work effectively with others.
In my own life, I can see how I use many types of intelligence every day. I use the kinetic intelligence, which we all have to one extent or another, to interpret maps, directions and even geometric theory. Similarly, I use linguistic intelligence to participate in education on all subjects. I also use interpersonal intelligence to interact with other students, faculty, friends, relations and other individuals on a daily basis. Spatial intelligence allows me to navigate through a room without bouncing off the furniture and walls.
I certainly have my own opinions regarding multiple intelligence theory as set forth by Dr. Gardner; I agree with Dr. Gardner when he says in his 23 August 2012 interview with Matthew Lynch the study of human intelligence is differentiated from that of plants and atoms in that “..when we study human beings, our findings can affect the future behavior of humans.” . However, I disagree with him when he says that human intelligence is unique in this respect; starting with the “Double Slit” experiment of 1909, physicists established that everything, including plants and atoms and down to the very ions that compose them are affected by being observed and analyzed. I also differ with Dr. Gardner in that I know it is not necessary for someone to have “human and artifactual resources”. available in order to develop an intelligence. Human experience shows we can create new ways of looking at things independent of scientific, social and other resources. Dr. Gardner proved that himself when he developed his theory of Multiple Intelligences.
Because Dr. Gardner is still developing his theories there are others following his work, confirming it and developing it further. By expanding into the realms of spiritual intelligence, Dr. Gardner recognizes the growing religious and spiritual awareness that has been present in the news events unfolding concurrently with his research. In the second part of his interview with Matthew Lynch Smith released on 23 August 2012, he investigates the socio-ethical repercussions involved with the extent a society and the individuals within it pay to the consideration of respect and ethics. . In the course of this interview, he expresses the opinion that as a nation the United States has historically been admired for its many outstanding social institutions. These institutions include the American free press, justice system, accountable science, equal opportunity and accurate auditing systems. He further states that the apparent threats to these institutions is likely to engender a congruent loss of respect throughout the World Communities and that if these same institutions “continue to dissolve, then we will not be admired and we will not deserve to be admired.” . Dr. Gardner concludes this interview by citing the observations of and quoting two other people. The first is the Minister of Education in Singapore who said to him "It takes 15-20 years to change an educational system. How can you hope to effect real change in a country where everything is determined by quarterly profits and biennial elections?" . The second quote comes from Sir Winston Churchill who observed, "The American people always do the right thing -- after they have tried every other alternative." . I definitely agree with Dr. Gardner that America needs to realign and maintain itself with its historically high standards in regards to its institutions. Along with Dr. Gardner I am sure we can do this.
Gardner, H. (2012). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved 08 23, 2012, from Howard Gardner: http://www.howardgardner.com/FAQ/faq.htm
Lynch, M. (2012, 08 23). Living Legends: An Interview With Howard Gardner, Part I. Retrieved 08 23, 2012, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/howard-gardner_b_1192229.html
Lynch, M. (2013, 08 23). Living Legends: An Interview With Howard Gardner, Part II. Retrieved 08 23, 2013, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/howard-gardner_b_1193068.html
Multiple Intelligence Theory. (2012). What are Multiple Intelligences? Retrieved 08 22, 2012, from Multiple Intelligence Theory: http://www.multipleintelligencetheory.co.uk/
Smith, M. K. (2008). howard gardner, multiple intelligences and education. Retrieved 08 22, 2012, from infed: http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm