Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory

Are we really just one type of learner? Can we be many? And can we change from one type of learner to another?

Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences expanded the traditional notion of what is ‘intelligence’ to include this range of possibilities:

  • Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
  • Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
  • Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
  • Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
  • Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)
  • Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

At the time of it’s publication (1983), the theory gave other types of learners a chance to ‘shine.’ For example, those who excelled in visual arts might have been  considered ‘talented’ but not necessarily ‘intelligent’. Gardner’s theory made room for this distinction.

However, are these categories useful? Or do they simply box people into one type of learner or another?

For me, the individual and the context in which the learner receives and shares information and ideas –is what matters most. Each of us unique. But it takes time and effort and intelligence to get to know what works for each of us.

Are YOU intelligent? … Take the test. 😉

To learn more about Gardner’s theory on MI, and how he relates it to the use of multimedia and technology, visit his site:



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