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Multiple Intelligences Theory

General Intelligence (IQ) To Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
To Multiple Intelligences (MI)
Traditionally, Intelligence has been defined as "a single mental ability used in all problem solving" more commonly referred to as IQ -Charles Spearman, 1904

Until recently, it was believed that Intelligence is a single entity. People are born with certain amount of intelligence. It is difficult to alter the amount of intelligence. It was believed that Psychologists can determine IQ by administering IQ test or simpler kinds of instruments like Alfred Binet and Testing.

Then came the idea of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) put forth in the work of many scientists in 1900's. Daniel Goleman popularized the idea of emotional intelligence in his 1995 book on "Emotional Intelligence." According to Goleman, Emotional Intelligence is "the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others and of groups." The four major areas under emotional intelligences are- 1) Self-Awareness 2) Self Management 3) Social Awareness 4) Social Skills.

Multiple Intelligences

Dr. Howard Gardner, a Cognitive Scientist at Harvard University conducted research between 1970 to1980 and he put forth the theory of multiple intelligences. After the research, he came up with his publication called "Frames of Mind – The theory of multiple intelligences" in 1983, which started popularizing the idea of multiple intelligences.

His findings were based on various criteria such as-
•  Evolutionary Biology
•  Anthropology
•  Development and cognitive psychology
•  Neurophysiology
•  Psychometrics

According to Gardner- "An intelligence is a psycho-biological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture." This potential is capable of being realized to a greater or lesser extent as a consequence of the experiential, cultural and motivational factors that affect a person.

Howard Gardner has identified eight intelligences, which all of us possess in varying degrees. Emotional intelligence just caters to two of the intelligences put forth by Gardner- Interpersonal and Intrapersonal.
Intelligence Give a related image with name of each intelligence
People who exhibit this intelligence
Sensitivity to the meaning and order of words
Winston Churchill, J.K Rowling, Rabindranath Tagore, William Shakespeare, Ruskin Bond
Sensitivity to pitch, melody, rhythm and tone
Ray Charles, Mozart, Beethoven, Lata Mangeshkar, A.R.Rahman, Zakir Hussain
Logical- Mathematical
The ability to handle chains of reasoning and to recognize patterns and order
Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Aryabhatta, Vishwanathan Anand, Shakuntala Devi, Albert Einstein
The ability to perceive the world accurately and to recreate or transform aspects of that world
Michael Jordan, M.F. Hussain, Walt Disney, Galileo Galilei
Bodily- Kinesthetic
The ability to use the body skillfully and handle objects adroitly
Sachin Tendulkar, Tiger Woods, Abhinav Bindra, PC Sarkar (Magician)
The ability to understand people and relationships
Charles Darwin, Oprah Winfrey, Mahatma Gandhi, Barkha Dutt, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Access to one's emotional life as a means to understand oneself and others
Colin Powell, Martin Luther King Jr., Dalai Lama, Osho, Swami Vivekananda
The ability to recognize and classify the numerous species, the flora and fauna, of an environment
Anne Frank, Charles Darwin, Medha Patkar, R.K. Pachauri
All of us possess all of the eight intelligences in varying degrees. Some of us are naturally stronger in particular intelligences and weaker in other. However, with experience and training we can develop our weaker areas.

Any profession needs the use of more than one intelligence. Example- To become a good scientist, one requires a high level of Logical-Mathematical, Naturalistic, Intrapersonal and Linguistic intelligences. Even Interpersonal, Bodily-kinesthetic, Spatial and Musical intelligences are required at different times in a scientist's work.

Hence, we need to focus on helping children to discover their own intelligence profiles, and develop in each of the eight intelligences. Ultimately, they can also choose professions according to their area of strength and interest.

Multiple Intelligences and Education

Schools around the world have now started looking at children and the curriculum through the lens of Multiple Intelligences. They have found that it can benefit a wide range of students, from slow learners to gifted, by applying the eight areas of intelligence to the classroom. Thus, it has spread far and wide now.
It has been very useful in the following ways:-
Belief In Each Child's Potential-
MI fits with the existing philosophy of most educators that all children can learn & we need to focus on their wholesome development.
Multiple Teaching Methods-
MI validates what teachers already know – All students do not learn the same way and we need to evolve practices to fit different learning approaches of students.
Professional Development for Teachers-
MI provides vocabulary and common understanding for many terms to educators.
MI helps teachers to extend their practice with the help of colleagues by 'thinking' together.
According to Gardner, an MI school has the following characteristics:
Differences among children are taken seriously,
Knowledge about differences is shared with children and parents,
Children gradually assume responsibility for their own learning, and
Wide variety of teaching and assessment methods- materials that are worth knowing are presented in ways that afford each child the maximum opportunity to master those materials and to show others (and themselves) what they have learned and understood.
Books by Howard Gardner for further reading:
Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice
Five Minds for The Future
The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach
The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts and Standardized Tests, the K-12 Education That Every Child Deserves
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