Multiple Intelligence Theory

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Beginning in the early 90’s Howard Gardner, out of Harvard, began to establish that intelligence is more than can be measured by an IQ test. For many this was a relief as they knew intelligence was present in either themselves or their children, but since it didn’t show up on an IQ test the individual was marginalized.  (One explanation of Gardner’s research – )

Gardner’s theory awakened parents and educators to the idea of leveraging one intelligence to learn in another. For example if your picture smart and you need to increase your literacy you could picture what you are reading (close your eyes and imagine the characters doing the action in the story). Or even stop and draw pictures of key parts of the story to help you better understand what is going on.

Here are the 8 postulated intelligences.

Picture – Visual/ Spatial – think in terms of physical space, as do architects and sailors. Very aware of their environments. They like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles, read maps, daydream. They can be taught through drawings, verbal and physical imagery. Tools include models, graphics, charts, photographs, drawings, 3-D modeling, video, videoconferencing, television, multimedia, texts with pictures/charts/graphs.
BodyBodily/ Kinesthetic – use the body effectively, like a dancer or a surgeon. Keen sense of body awareness. They like movement, making things, touching. They communicate well through body language and be taught through physical activity, hands-on learning, acting out, role playing. Tools include equipment and real objects.
MusicMusical – show sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music, but they are also sensitive to sounds in their environments. They may study better with music in the background. They can be taught by turning lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, tapping out time. Tools include musical instruments, music, radio, stereo, CD-ROM, multimedia.
PeopleInterpersonal – understanding, interacting with others. These students learn through interaction. They have many friends, empathy for others, street smarts. They can be taught through group activities, seminars, dialogues. Tools include the telephone, audio conferencing, time and attention from the instructor, video conferencing, writing, computer conferencing, E-mail.
SelfIntrapersonal – understanding one’s own interests, goals. These learners tend to shy away from others. They’re in tune with their inner feelings; they have wisdom, intuition and motivation, as well as a strong will, confidence and opinions. They can be taught through independent study and introspection. Tools include books, creative materials, diaries, privacy and time. They are the most independent of the learners.
WordLinguistic – using words effectively. These learners have highly developed auditory skills and often think in words. They like reading, playing word games, making up poetry or stories. They can be taught by encouraging them to say and see words, read books together. Tools include computers, games, multimedia, books, tape recorders, and lecture.
LogicLogical/ Mathematical – reasoning, calculating. Think conceptually, abstractly and are able to see and explore patterns and relationships. They like to experiment, solve puzzles, ask cosmic questions. They can be taught through logic games, investigations, mysteries. They need to learn and form concepts before they can deal with details.
NatureNaturalistic – sense and appreciation of the natural world. These learners are observant and enjoy identifying and classifying things like plants, animals, or rocks. (If they live in the city, they may classify other things like CDs or what people wear). They love being outdoors and may be interested in gardening, taking care of pets, cooking or getting involved in ecological causes.  They can be taught in and through nature by considering the patterns and cause/effect relationships that occur in the physical world.

Implications for our projects –  Our project will make sure there are learning experiences in every basic game unit (Training Rooms and Mission).  This will give our learners the chance to choose experiences in which they feel more comfortable and more intelligent.

You can find a couple of MI (Multiple Intelligence) assessments on our website

A great parent resource


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