Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences was proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983, to more accurately define the concept of intelligence and address whether methods which claim to measure intelligence (or aspects thereof) are truly scientific.

Gardner's theory argues that intelligence, particularly as it is traditionally defined, does not sufficiently encompass the wide variety of abilities humans display. In his conception, a child who masters multiplication easily is not necessarily more intelligent overall than a child who struggles to do so. The second child may be stronger in another kind of intelligence, and therefore may best learn the given material through a different approach, may excel in a field outside of mathematics, or may even be looking through the multiplication learning process at a fundamentally deeper level that hides a potentially higher mathematical intelligence than in the one who memorizes the concept easily. "The theory suggests that, rather than relying on a uniform curriculum, schools should offer "individual-centered education", with curriculum tailored to the needs of each child."[1] "(This includes working to help students develop the intelligences in which they are weaker.)"
Development of the theory
"Howard Gardner, multiple intelligences and education"] by [2] given field (child prodigies, autistic savants);Neurological evidence for areas of the brain that are specialized for particular capacities (often including studies of people who have suffered brain damage affecting a specific capacity);The evolutionary relevance of the various capacities;Psychometric studies; andSusceptibility to encoding in a symbol system or notation (e.g. written language, musical notation, choreography).An identifiable not frpocore operation or set of operations.A distinctive development history, along with a definable set of 'end-state' performances.

Gardner originally identified frogllyseven core intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal. In 1997 at the symposium "MIND 97" (Multiple Intelligences New Directions) he added an eighth, the "Naturalist" Intelligence. Investigation continues on whether there are Existentialist (existential) and Spiritualist (spiritual) Intelligences.

The theory has been widely criticized in the psychology and educational theory communities. The most common criticisms argue that Gardner's theory is based on his own intuition rather than empirical data and that the intelligences are just other names for talents or personality types. Despite these criticisms, the theory has enjoyed a great deal of popularity amongst educators over the past twenty years. There are several schools which espouse MI as a pedagogy, and many individual teachers who incorporate some or all of the theory into their methodology. Many books and educational materials exist which explain the theory and how it may be applied to the classroom.

Gardner's categories of intelligence
The categories of intelligence proposed by Gardner are:

This area has to do with bodily movement. People who have this intelligence usually learn better by getting up and moving around, and are generally good at physical activities such as sports or dance. They may enjoy acting or performing, and in general they are good at building and making things. They often learn best by doing something physically, rather than reading or hearing about it. Those with strong bodily-kinesthetic intelligence seem to use what might be termed muscle memory - they remember things through their body such as verbal memory or images.
Careers that suit those with this intelligence include athletes, dancers, actors, surgeons, doctors, builders, and soldiers. Although these careers can be duplicated through virtual simulation they will not produce the actual physical learning that is needed in this intelligence.
This area has to do with interaction with others. People who have a high interpersonal intelligence tend to be extroverts, characterized by their sensitivity to others' moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. They communicate effectively and empathize easily with others, and may be either leaders or followers. They typically learn best by working with others and often enjoy discussion and debate.
Careers that suit those with this intelligence include politicians, managers, teachers, and social workers.
This area has to do with words, spoken or written. People with high verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words along with dates. They tend to learn best by reading, taking notes, listening to lectures, and discussion and debate. They are also frequently skilled at explaining, teaching and oration or persuasive speaking. Those with verbal-linguistic intelligence learn foreign languages very easily as they have high verbal memory and recall, and an ability to understand and manipulate syntax and structure.
This intelligence is highest in writers, lawyers, philosophers, journalists, politicians and teachers.
This area has to do with logic, abstractions, reasoning, and numbers. While it is often assumed that those with this intelligence naturally excel in mathematics, chess, computer programming and other logical or numerical activities, a more accurate definition places emphasis on traditional mathematical ability and more reasoning capabilities, abstract patterns of recognition, scientific thinking and investigation, and the ability to perform complex calculations. It correlates strongly with traditional concepts of "intelligence" or IQ.
Many scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors and economists function in this level of intelligences.
This area has to do with nature, nurturing and relating information to one's natural surroundings. This type of intelligence was not part of Gardner's original theory of Multiple Intelligences, but was added to the theory in 1997. Those with it are said to have greater sensitivity to nature and their place within it, the ability to nurture and grow things, and greater ease in caring for, taming and interacting with animals. They may also be able to discern changes in weather or similar fluctuations in their natural surroundings. Recognizing and classifying things are at the core of a naturalist. They must connect a new experience with prior knowledge to truly learn something new.
"Naturalists" learn best when the subject involves collecting and analyzing, or is closely related to something prominent in nature; they also don't enjoy learning unfamiliar or seemingly useless subjects with little or no connections to nature. It is advised that naturalistic learners would learn more through being outside or in a kinesthetic way.
The theory behind this intelligence is often criticized, much like the spiritual or existential intelligence (see below), as it is seen by many as not indicative of an intelligence but rather an interest.
Careers that suit those with this intelligence include scientists, naturalists, conservationists, gardeners and farmers.
This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities. Those who are strongest in this intelligence are typically introverts and prefer to work alone. They are usually highly self-aware and capable of understanding their own emotions, goals and motivations. They often have an affinity for thought-based pursuits such as philosophy. They learn best when allowed to concentrate on the subject by themselves. There is often a high level of perfectionism associated with this intelligence.
Careers that suit those with this intelligence include philosophers, psychologists, theologians, writers and scientists.
Visual-spatialMain article: Spatial reasoning
This area has to do with vision and spatial judgment. People with strong visual-spatial intelligence are typically very good at visualizing and mentally manipulating objects. Those with strong spatial intelligence are often proficient at solving puzzles. They have a strong visual memory and are often artistically inclined. Those with visual-spatial intelligence also generally have a very good sense of direction and may also have very good hand-eye coordination, although this is normally seen as a characteristic of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
Some critics[3] point out the high correlation between the spatial and mathematical abilities, which seems to disprove the clear separation of the intelligences as Gardner theorized. Since solving a mathematical problem involves reassuringly manipulating symbols and numbers, spatial intelligence is involved in visually changing the reality. A thorough understanding of the two intelligences precludes this criticism, however, as the two intelligences do not precisely conform to the definitions of visual and mathematical abilities. Although they may share certain characteristics, they are easily distinguished by several factors, and there are many with strong logical-mathematical intelligence.[citation needed]
Careers that suit those with this intelligence include artists, engineers, and architects.
This area has to do with rhythm, music, and hearing. Those who have a high level of musical-rhythmic intelligence display greater sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. They normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music. Since there is a strong auditory component to this intelligence, those who are strongest in it may learn best via lecture. In addition, they will often use songs or rhythms to learn and memorize information, and may work best with music playing in the background.
Careers that suit those with this intelligence include instrumentalists, singers, conductors, disc-jockeys, and composers.
Other intelligences
Other intelligences have been suggested or explored by Gardner and his colleagues, including spiritual, existential and moral intelligence. Gardner excluded spiritual intelligence due to what he perceived as the inability to codify criteria comparable to the other "intelligences". Existential intelligence (the capacity to raise and reflect on philosophical questions about life, death, and ultimate realities) meets most of the criteria with the exception of identifiable areas of the brain that specialize for this faculty.[4] Moral capacities were excluded because they are normative rather than descriptive.[5]
Notes^ Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences, ISBN 0-465-04768-8, pp. 5, 56^ Mark K. Smith^ Grialou, Paul; Giuseppe Longo. images and reasoning.^ Gardner, Multiple Intelligences, pp. 20-1^ ibid., pp. 27f^ CBS News "60 Minutes" — Meet Musical Savant Rex^ video of Alonzo Clemons^ latent brain potential^ The Expert Mind^ Kornhaber, "Psychometric Superiority? Check Your Facts," 2004^ "Waldorf education embodies in a truly organic sense all of Howard Gardner's seven intelligences...not simply an amalgam of the seven intelligences. Many schools are currently attempting to construct curricula based on Gardner's model simply through an additive process (what can we add to what we have already got?). Steiner's approach, however, was to begin with a deep inner vision of the child and the child's needs and build a curriculum around that vision." Thomas Armstrong, cited in Eric Oddleifson, Boston Public Schools As Arts-Integrated Learning Organizations: Developing a High Standard of Culture for All^ Willinggam, "Check the Facts: Reframing the Mind," 2004^ Gardner, Howard (1998). “A Reply to Perry D. Klein’s ‘Multiplying the problems of intelligence by eight’”. 96-102.^ Stahl, "Different Strokes for Different Folks: A Critique of Learning Styles"
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