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Multiple Intelligences

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  • 0:48 Howard Gardner
  • 1:04 Theory of Multiple…
  • 1:43 8 Types of Intelligence
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Polly Peterson
Which types of intelligence do you identify with? As you watch this video on Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, you'll learn that intelligence can be a diverse concept not limited to one area.

Imagine you're going to give a presentation in class or at work. Would you include pictures to illustrate your points? Would you tell a story or act out a skit? The method you choose would draw on your talents and reflect the way that you solve problems and learn. So, if visual aids like maps and drawings help you understand concepts, you're likely to include them in your presentation. But if someone else watching your presentation learns by doing, they might not be able to follow along unless you use body language and actions to physically demonstrate what you're talking about.

American psychologist Howard Gardner first recognized that people have different ways of learning and problem solving. He worked with autistic patients who excelled at music or math although they lacked social awareness or the ability to communicate effectively with others. Gardner proposed the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which suggests that people have different strengths and different ways of solving problems.

Gardner's theory was groundbreaking because, before he proposed multiple intelligences, only logic and math were tested. Gardner's system created a more descriptive, multidimensional approach. Before, IQ was used as shorthand for learning potential and capability, but only people who were good at solving math problems were smart according to the test. Gardner's work helped to explain diverse learning styles and approaches, allowing for educational developments, which have changed how we teach.

From these studies, a list of eight types of intelligences was created. When you were in high school maybe people were looked down upon if they weren't good at football, but were good at math. Gardner showed that there are many types of 'smart.' The football players had one type of intelligence, and the math team had another kind of intelligence. Let's review Gardner's eight types of intelligence. Be sure to keep an eye out for the types that you relate to.

1. Visual Intelligence

You might have visual intelligence if you picture ideas or make mind maps.

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright provides a good example of someone who's 'picture smart,' because when he designed buildings, he could visualize spatial patterns, such as building design, before they were built.

2. Linguistic Intelligence

Are you a good storyteller? If so, you're 'word smart' and have the ability to speak and write well.

Shakespeare used his high linguistic intelligence to write plays that have been loved for hundreds of years.

3. Logical and Mathematical Intelligence

Can you think of someone who's 'number smart'?

Einstein had a skill for solving problems using deductive reasoning. Physicists and chess players employ logical and mathematical intelligence.

4. Musical Intelligence

If you only need to listen to a song once to be able to play it by ear, you're 'music smart.'

Mozart and others with advanced musical intelligence are sensitive to sound patterns.

I, personally, relate to:

5. Bodily and Kinesthetic Intelligence

I learn faster when I can do an experiment myself. Instead of reading an astronomy textbook, I'd rather learn by looking at the stars.

Athletes and surgeons also use 'body smarts' when they execute physical tasks. Michael Jordan excels in bodily and kinesthetic intelligence.

6. Do you have Interpersonal Intelligence or the ability to work well with others? Are you a social butterfly who always gets everyone together?

Mother Theresa of Calcutta had a gift for working well with others through her Missionaries of Charity, as do others who are 'people smart.'

The other side of the coin is:

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