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The theory of multiple intelligences was proposed by Howard Gardner to more accurately define the concept of intelligence and address whether methods which claim to measure intelligence (or aspects thereof) are truly scientific.
His theory argues that intelligence, as it is traditionally defined, does not adequately encompass the wide variety of abilities humans display.
In his conception, a child who masters multiplication easily is not necessarily more intelligent overall than a child who struggles to do so. The second child may be stronger in another kind of intelligence, and therefore may best learn the given material through a different approach, may excel in a field outside of mathematics, or may even be looking through the multiplication learning process at a fundamentally deeper level that hides a potentially higher mathematical intelligence than in the one who memorizes the concept easily.
Gardner originally identified seven core intelligences:
- Verbal (linguistic)
- Logical (mathematical)
In 1997 at the symposium “MIND 97” (Multiple Intelligences New Directions) he added an eighth, the “Naturalist” Intelligence, indicating that investigation continues on whether there are Existentialist (existential) and (spiritual) Intelligences.
To learn more about Gardner’s “Multiple Intelligences” approach to learning, visit www.howardgardner.com