Multiple Intelligences—Howard Gardner Edutopia Interview

Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor in Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

His research in developmental and neuropsychology began in the early 70s, and led to the theory of multiple intelligences (MI).

MI basically posits that there are 7 solid (as of today) intelligences that we have, and that as individuals we tend to have stronger access to one intelligence over the others. Some of us are very musical, or bodily-kinesthetic… WE DANCE! While others are logical-mathematical… we’re good with numbers. And still others of us, are spatial learners—we communicate well with objects, shapes, and graphs.

The Original Set of Intelligences

Musical Intelligence

Bodily-Kinisthetic Intelligence

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Linguistic Intelligence

Spatial Intelligence

Interpersonal Intelligence

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Gardner’s research produces the materials which will help us to understand the how and why to put out-dated modes of education to rest.  Blanket teaching; prepping students for tests fails to engage the endless well of potential contained within every mind, resulting in superficial knowledge.

Private schools have sprung up over the last two decades that are informed by MI theory. Even China has integrated MI as practice. We can certainly learn from the successes, and not so successes of China’s laser beamed style of educating a family’s “allotted” one child.



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Writer, creative and critical thinker, art and cultural journalist. Founder of The Architecture of Tomorrow.

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