Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner's : "Theory Behind it!"

"I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place. Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are and what we can do... Ultimately, we must synthesize our understandings for ourselves. The performance of understanding that try matters are the ones we carry out as human beings in an imperfect world which we can affect for good or for ill." (Howard Gardner 1999: 180-181)

Howard Gardner's Biography

"Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A.
Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the
Harvard Graduate School of Education.  He also
holds positions as Adjunct Professor of Psychology
at Harvard University and Senior Director of
Harvard Project Zero. Among numerous honors, 
Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981.
 He has received honorary degrees from 26
colleges and universities, including institutions in
Bulgaria, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, and
South Korea. In 2005 and again in 2008, he was
selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines
as one of the 100 most influential public
intellectuals in the world. The author of 25 books
translated into 28 languages, and several hundred
articles, Gardner is best known in educational
circles for his theory of multiple intelligences, a
critique of the notion that there exists but a single.
© 2008 R. Sepulveda-EL TIEMPO .                      human intelligence that can be adequately assessed
                                                                                          by standard psychometric instruments.

During the past two decades, Gardner and colleagues at Project Zero have been
involved in the design of performance-based assessments; education for
understanding; the use of multiple intelligences to achieve more personalized 
curriculum, instruction, and pedagogy; and the quality of interdisciplinary efforts
in education. Since the middle 1990s, in collaboration with psychologist Mihaly
Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon, Gardner has directed the GoodWork Project--
a study of work that is excellent, engaging, and ethical. More recently, with long
time Project Zero colleagues Lynn Barendsen and Wendy Fischman, he has
conducted reflection sessions designed to enhance the understanding and
incidence of good work among young people. With Carrie James and other 
colleagues at Project Zero, he is also investigating the nature of trust in
contemporary society and ethical dimensions entailed in the use of the new
digital media. Among new research undertakings are a study of effective
collaboration among non-profit institutions in education and a study of conceptions
of quality, nationally and internationally, in the contemporary era. In 2008 he
delivered a set of three lectures at New York's Museum of Modern Art on the topic
"The True, The Beautiful, and The Good: Reconsiderations in a post-modern, digital

This Information Was Taken From:

Howard Gardner
Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Jaap Blom's :  "The further along we move in our world, the easier it is to find a category to match each person in the world with."

The further along we move in our world, the easier it is to find a category to match each person in the world with. Right now Gardner has provided us with eight set categories, or intelligences, of which one fits to almost every person in the world. Each of these categories are considered to be forms of intelligences, and these intelligences can tell us a lot about each individual person, and about the style of life they lead. A classroom was the perfect place for me to ponder upon the infinite forms of intelligences that crossed my mind while thinking of each of my classmates’ strong points educationally. This is where I realized, that it is not the intelligence that describes each person, but it is the person that creates up the form of intelligence. For taking into consideration the eight basic intelligences that are set as standard intelligences by Howard Gardner, there are still many categories that each person could fall in. Howard Gardner is thinking of adding another form of intelligence to his list of different types of intelligences, which shows how he is open to changes and additions to his “Theory of Multiple Intelligences”.

I believe that the further along we move in the world, the more we as a world learn, and the further along technologically and intellectually we get the more forms of intelligence will be formed to categorize each person. Each individual person is such a beautiful masterpiece, and the amount of things each person knows, or does is incredible. Since the amount of people in the world is so large, the amount of categories that could be used should have a great variety as well. The more time we have on the earth(as a population) the more technological advances there will be, which will mean there will be more options available for work and study fields, which will create new curiosities, and therefore request the consideration of new forms of intelligence in that particular human being. So as time passes, new Intelligences will be needed to fulfill the requests of curious people.

Human instinct is what sparks curiosity, and it is thanks to curiosity that the human race has gotten to where it has today. The levels of intelligence needed to operate some positions in the world today is just amazing, to see how we went from living in caves to these overpowering skyscrapers. These huge changes all were made because of the mixture of different intelligences, and the curiosities of people to try or study something new. As the Brain develops, so does it's precision in focusing on certain tasks.

Today’s school systems only teaches children in particular ways, and these particular ways only satisfy the intellectual needs of certain intelligence groups, and leave the others as underdogs to the learning style. Not all people are as naturally fluent while practicing certain skills or activities, while some others progress more while doing certain things. This is thanks to the intelligences, which facilitates the learning of some in some topics. This does not justify the failing of some students in the schools, because even if the Mathematical Intelligence is not your strong, it does not mean that there is no way to learn it, but it just means it might not be natural to you, these intelligences found by Howard Gardner might help you decide a path for a college or university though. These standard intelligences give people a chance to understand things better, for the person will most probably identify with one of the intelligences and be able to learn more about themselves. For example, someone who is Musically Intelligent will most probably struggle more learning in classes such as English and Math, then in Music. This is why the school systems should be adapted to satisfy the needs of all students, but to do this would be a large reform in the whole educational system.

- Jaap Blom -

Why This Topic?

    Since i was young, i have never been the extraordinary student in school, i have never really seen school as the most important aspect of my life, i fell that living life to it's maximum, is what i should do. But in order to do this, i had to learn more about myself, to be able to know what my strong and week points are. After participating in inumerous Model United Nations, and Sports Tournaments, i realized that it is not only grades that make us who we are at our schools, but it is all of the actions you take during your school life. I have brought home various MUN awards, but have never brought home an Honor Role award. This made me think, why is it that i never study before participating in MUNs nor for most tests and projects, but in MUN i always do very well, and in class i don't? This is what sparked my interest in The Multiple Intelligence Theory founded by Howard Gardner, for it is the only information, that serves as an explanation for my question. Howard Gardner is considering making, the Existential intelligence a new group in his research, and this might be the explanation for why i question everything that is told to me.