Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences

  • Post category:Education
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Multiple Intelligences

Creativity, Art, and Education are the overlapped fields. Unfortunately, our Education System does not nurture or very less nurture Creativity. In our schools, the students are evaluated as individuals and graded on a curve. When they win, someone else loses. In real life, people usually work in a team with a shared goal. When they win everyone wins.

A typical classroom is with a teacher, who is filling information in the heads of the students. All the faces of the students are towards the teacher. Their benches are fixed. They are learning to solve a problem, which is having only one solution. Our Examinations are designed such that the question paper is having only one unique solution paper.

In real life, in most of the situations, there are multiple answers to every question. Many of which are correct with different perspectives. And even more important, it is acceptable to fail. Failure is an important part of life’s learning process. Nature’s evolution is also a series of trial and error experiments. The success means learning of the lessons out of these experiences and move on with a new knowledge.

The measure of intelligence is the Intelligent Quotient number (IQ number), which was originated by Alfred Binet (1857-1911). The IQ test was designed to measure, objectively, comprehension, reasoning, and judgment. Although the traditional concept of IQ was a breakthrough at the time of its formulation, contemporary research shows that it suffers from two significant flaws.

The first flaw is the idea that intelligence is fixed at birth and immutable. In a statistical review of more than two hundred studies of IQ published in the journal Nature, Bernard Devlin concluded that genes account for no more than 48 percent of IQ. Fifty-two percent is a function of prenatal care, environment, and education.

The second flaw is the meaning of intelligence is limited to verbal and mathematical skills. This narrow view of intelligence has been thoroughly debunked by contemporary psychological research. The famous Psychologist Howard Gardner in his speech ‘Beyond the IQ: Education and Human Development’ said.

“I believe that we should get away altogether from tests and correlations among tests and look instead at more naturalistic sources of information about how peoples around the world develop skills important to their ways of life.

Think, for example, of sailors in the South Seas, who find their way around hundreds, or even thousands, of islands by looking at the constellations of stars in the sky, feeling the way a boat passes over the water and noticing a few scattered landmarks. A word for intelligence in a society of these sailors would probably refer to that kind of navigational ability. Think of surgeons and engineers, hunters and fishermen, dancers and choreographers, athletes and athletic coaches, tribal chiefs, and sorcerers. All of these different roles need to be taken into account if we accept the way I define intelligence – that is, as the ability to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings.”

(Ref: informal talk was given on the 350th anniversary of Harvard University on September 5, 1986. Harvard Education

Review, Harvard Education Publishing Group, 1987, 57, 187–93.)

Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner

In his book ‘Frames of Mind’, he introduced the theory of multiple intelligences, which posits that each of us possesses at least seven measurable intelligences, which are :

  1. Verbal-linguistic intelligence (well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings, and rhythms of words) William Shakespeare, Fyodor Dostoevsky, William Wordsworth
  2. Logical-mathematical intelligence (ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical and numerical patterns) Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie
  3. Spatial-visual intelligence (capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly) Michelangelo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Buckminster Fuller
  4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (ability to control one’s body movements and to handle objects skillfully) Muhammad Ali, Usain Bolt, Sergey Bubka
  5. Musical intelligences (ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch, and timber) Mozart, George Gershwin, Ella Fitzgerald
  6. Interpersonal intelligence (capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations, and desires of others) Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi,
  7. Intrapersonal (capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes) Thich Nhat Hanh, Mother Teresa
  8. Naturalist intelligence (ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature) Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel
  9. Existential intelligence (sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence such as, What is the meaning of life? Why do we die? How did we get here? Jesus, Buddha, Socrates

The theory of multiple intelligences is now accepted widely and when combined with the realization that intelligence can be developed throughout life, offers a powerful inspiration for aspiring men and women.



  1. Thirteen ed online (2004). Tapping into multiple intelligences.
  2. Tina Seelig, ‘What I wish I knew when I was 20’
  3. Howard Gardner, ‘The Development and Education of Mind.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Rajiv Atal

    Good explanation sir…!!
    You put the things in simple ways and in the way it is….

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