Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Intelligences are both inherited and can be developed
  • Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences

    • Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences identified eight ways a person can be ‘smart’ (intelligence strength).
    • Everyone is born with their own unique profile of intelligence strengths.
    • Each intelligence can be developed to a person’s genetic potential and beyond, as intelligence can be grown.
    • Just as muscles get strengthened with regular exercise, so will your child’s intelligences develop with regular 'exercise'; i.e. regular and effective exposure, experience and learning in each of the intelligences will enable your child's dominant intelligences to become stronger and their weaker intelligences to be awakened.
  • Eight ways of being smart

    Music Intelligence: ‘Smart’ at singing, playing a musical instruments, composing music; and have sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, tone, melody and timbre.

    Visual/Spatial Intelligence: ‘Smart’ with spatial judgment, the ability to visualize things in one’s mind; and have active imaginations and can express themselves very well by creating/drawing.

    Language Intelligence: ‘Smart’ at reading, writing, speaking and listening.

    Maths/Logic Intelligence:‘Smart’ with calculations, reasoning and critical thinking.

    Physical Intelligence:‘Smart’ in physical activities and in making things.

    Naturalist Intelligence:‘Smart’ about the natural world.

    Interpersonal Intelligence:‘Smart’ in knowing how to interact and co-operate with others; and sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations.

    Intrapersonal Intelligence:‘Smart’ in recognising one’s feelings, special uniqueness, strengths and weakness; and in analyzing the effects of doing or not doing something.

  • Theory widely used but often misunderstood

    When Howard Gardner launched his theory of Multiple Intelligences, over 35 years ago, it was a revolutionary idea that challenged long-cherished beliefs.

    At the time, psychologists were interested in general intelligence—a person’s ability to solve problems and apply logical reasoning across a wide range of disciplines. Popularised in part by the IQ test, which was originally developed in the early 1900s to assess a child’s ability to “understand, reason, and make judgments,” the idea of general intelligence helped explain why some students seemed to excel at many subjects. Gardner found the concept too limiting.

  • Explore which career you are best suited to

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