Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Theory of multiple intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences is a theory proposed by the Harvard developmental psychologist Howard Gardner in 1983. The theory proposes that people have several kinds of "intelligence." Gardner bases much of his theory on studies of people who have had brain damage and studying their relative ability or inability to learn.

He proposed that intelligence is the ability to solve problems that have value in at least one culture. The seven intelligences he defined are:

  1. logical-mathematical intelligence
  2. linguistic intelligence
  3. spatial intelligence
  4. bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
  5. musical intelligence
  6. intrapersonal intelligence
  7. interpersonal intelligence
Other intelligences have been suggested, such as naturalist intelligence or spiritual intelligence.

Schools emphasize the development of logical intelligence and linguistic intelligence (mainly reading and writing). People may also have various degrees of spatial intelligence (such as that possessed by architects and sculptors), kinesthetic intelligence (athletes and ballet dancers for instance), musical intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence (ability to reflect and know oneself) and interpersonal intelligence. According to Gardner, schools must strive to develop all intelligences, at the same time recognizing that children will usually excel at only one or two of them and should not be penalized for this.

Books by Howard Gardner

Gardner is the author of 18 books, including:

See also:

External Links