The Magnitude of Multiple Intelligences
Each individual has their own method of exquisite expression, their own multiple intelligences. We can all express ourselves in a multitude of manners but some simply flow more so than another. Most people have one or two means of expression that come naturally and authentically for them.
Expression can be viewed as a full circle. Just as a person expresses themselves, outwardly, to the world, the world expresses an array of messages back, inwardly, to that person. These messages can be from other people or life experiences. Each individual also has their own unique way of perceiving expression. For a child, this would include how well they receive and integrate guidance and discipline.
Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard, proposes the theory of multiple intelligences, which can be very useful in understanding child development and addressing challenging behavior effectively. He claims that there are eight distinct intelligences that delineate the different ways people process information. Everyone has the faculty for all of the eight intelligences, however, a person’s intellectual strengths reside in one of the categories of multiple intelligence. That category will be their most effective method of expression and reception.
The eight multiple intelligences…
Logical-Mathematical intelligence includes the ability for an abstract awareness of complex problems and relationships between actions, symbols, and processes.
-Individuals who are strong in this category of multiple intelligences learn best through logic, games, and exploration.
“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”–Isaac Asimov
Verbal-Linguistic intelligence refers to an inclination towards writing and verbal forms of expression. These individuals are able to express themselves through literature and articulation.
-Individuals who are strong in this category of multiple intelligences learn best through reading, writing, and creating stories.
“Where words fail, music speaks.”–Hans Christian Andersen
Musical intelligence describes an ability to gather meaning from sound.
-Individuals who are strong in this category of multiple intelligences learn best through music, lyrics, and rhyme.
“My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind.”-Nikola Tesla
Visual-Spatial intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to see the world in images, often 3D images. People who find expression through this form of intelligence think in regards to space and their environment.
-Individuals who are strong in this category of multiple intelligences learn best through imagery, art, models, visual aids, charts, videos, and text paired with images.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”-Albert Schweitzer
Interpersonal intelligence describes one’s ability to experience empathy and interact with others socially. People who are strong interpersonally are insightful to the ways of others.
-Individuals who are strong in this category of multiple intelligences learn best through interaction, group activities, and connection.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”-Aristotle
Intrapersonal intelligence refers to a person who is able to think introspectively. This individual is reflective, connected to themselves, and self-motivated.
-Individuals who are strong in this category of multiple intelligences learn best through introspection, individual time, books, and journals.
“The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.” Mata Hari
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence refers to a desire to move and create. People who find strength in this intelligence are able to express themselves and process information through/with movement.
-Individuals who are strong in this category of multiple intelligences learn best through body language, physical activity, hands-on-learning, role-playing, and acting.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”–Albert Einstein
Naturalistic intelligence refers to the ability to perceive patterns in the natural world.
-Individuals who are strong in this category of multiple intelligences learn best through exploration in nature, use of natural materials, and time outdoors.
Multiple Intelligences Quiz
There is no official assessment to assist you in labeling or profiling your multiple intelligences. Below is a link to a quiz developed by Howard Gardner to incite your reflection on where your strengths may reside.
books by Howard Gardner
“Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century”
“Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice”
“Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”