Over the last few decades, much research has been done leading to the discovery of the “Theory of Multiple Intelligences”.
The theory is related to the unique ways of learning and the different types of intelligences people use in their daily lives.
When we talk about learning processes, different people have different ways of learning.
Some learn efficiently by reading, which is known as a linguistic-based environment, while others prefer logic based mathematical learning and others prefer writing or kinaesthetic language.
Each person has each type of intelligence up to a primary level.
When it comes to dominance, everybody dominates via a different type of intelligence.
Every person possesses each type of intelligence to an extent, but there is always a primary, or more dominant, intelligence.
In the 1980s, Howard Gardner created the field of multiple intelligences and the never ending research began.
Multiple intelligence and learning:
It never seems to be an easy job for the teacher to educate according to all learning styles, and he might even find it an impossible task to do.
But when a teacher uses multimedia, it can become much easier to disseminate the material and it can even be easier on learners who learn off of a different learning style when this media is used.
It may be easier for some students to learn more quickly through the visual properties or interactive components that comes with multimedia.
Multimedia used in learning processes includes some remarkable components:
- Visuals: Students can get the grasp of the topic quickly and efficiently by going through visuals. Plus, it seems to be a pleasant and eye-catching source.
- Printed Words: Some of the students argue that they retain information more efficiently through written word.
- Sound: It primarily helps those students who can’t narrate or read text efficiently, and aids them in associating different sound memories or tools with topics, visuals, or words.
- Motion: Motion delineates human effort so that they can copy the relative movement. Muscle memory can aid in this instance.
- Colour: Colour choices are of keen importance when you are teaching students of all ages. Colors can help associate ideas to different topics and in a sense organize the mind.
- Reality: This technique is applicable to both individual and group demonstrations. It can be important to present information realistically.
- Reading ability: Pictures are very helpful for the poor readers who are good at understanding spoken words but not as strong when reading printed material.
- Performance: Performance can be important for students to some learning processes. Some people learn best when acting through a scenario in real time, thus etching the act more strongly in their mind.
Multiple Intelligences in the classroom
Gardner’s theory has a great influence for professionals working in the education sector.
A huge number of educational theorists globally have praised his theory, and many policymakers and teachers have adapted his method in the classroom to help prevent any learning challenges among the students.
Many schools in the United States have followed Gardner’s theory in their classroom designs.
To live a life well, all of the multiple intelligences should be taken into consideration.
It is vital to expose students to all of the intelligence, unlike in the past, where society oftentimes only focussed on linguistic and mathematical intelligences.
Multiple Intelligence Activities:
The multiple intelligence theory has provided 8 different methods of learning.
If students can’t grasp topics through traditional ways of instruction, then the theory of multiple intelligence can be used to facilitate effective learning.
1. Words (covers the linguistic intelligence)
2. Numbers or logic (covers the logical or mathematical intelligence)
3. Pictures (covers the spatial intelligence)
4. Music (covers the music intelligence)
5. An experience in the natural world (covers the naturalist intelligence)
6. Self-reflection (covers the intrapersonal intelligence)
7. A social experience (covers the interpersonal intelligence)
8. A physical experience (covers the kinaesthetic intelligence)
It is not necessary to aim to teach a topic through all eight modes.
Start with the simplest modes then cover the topic through a few different intelligences rather than sticking to just one.
Benefits of Multiple Intelligences:
Traditional methods of learning are not so fruitful, so it’s important to adapt virtual-based methods of teaching and learning in order to accommodate more students.
Students will become more productive and receptive and are more likely to enjoy being a part of such a great learning process.
We must become a part of the latest teaching and learning processes to ensure a better future for students and their bettered interaction with the world outside.
Governments and policy makers have to decide whether they have to rely on the old traditional education system or to make advancements and protect the future of their nations.
It may require an adjustment period, but it’s vital for schools and teachers to adapt.
By proper use of multiple intelligences, we can be a role model globally by producing a generation that will be able to dominate over most of the multiple intelligences and thus would be able to compete with the world in the field of science, art and technology.
What is “multiple intelligences”?
This is a theory that differentiates intelligence into different modalities, rather than associating intelligences as one single general ability
Can you have more than one multiple intelligence?
Yes -the theory of multiple intelligence suggests you can have eight different intelligences.
Interested in reading more about this topic? Check out:
- Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice by Howard E. Gardner
- Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century By Howard E. Gardner
- Person. (2016, July 20). Multiple Intelligences: What Does the Research Say? Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-research
- Theory of multiple intelligences. (2020, April 17). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences