Overview of Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner developed his theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) as
a direct challenge to the "classical view of intelligence." He believes
that people are smart in more areas than math or English, and that these
types of intelligences should be recognized.
Originally intended for the psychological realm of intelligence theory,
MI has become widespread and very successful among educators on all levels.
New intelligences are certain to be defined later, but as it stands Gardner
defines eight intelligences: visual-spatial, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic,
musical-rhythmic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, and naturalist.
These types of intelligence, when recognized in school, boost children's
self-esteem by simply calling attention to their talents. Teachers can
use this theory in planning lessons by keeping all kinds of intelligence
in mind. Each intelligence is defined in this web site, along with additional
information on MI theory in general.
Linguistic Intelligence is defined by the following:
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is defined by the following:
a deep understanding of words and a sensitivity to the literal and figurative
meanings of words,
highly developed oral and written communication skills,
knowledge of grammar rules and when it is appropriate to disregard those
sensitivity to the musical qualities and rhythms of words,
knowledge of the many different uses for language, such as persuasion,
information, or pleasure.
Poets, writers, and public speakers are examples of linguistically intelligent
Maya Angelou, William Shakespeare, and Abraham Lincoln are famous examples
of linguistically intelligent people.
an ability to understand numbers and logical concepts well,
an ability to perceive numerical and logical patterns,
possession of highly developed reasoning skills,
an understanding of abstract analysis and functions.
Physicists, computer programmers, and business executives, such as accountants,
are examples of logical-mathematically intelligent people.
Albert Einstein and Bill Gates are famous examples of people with strengths
in this intelligence.
Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence is defined by the following criteria:
an ability to discern and express musical forms,
sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, or melody,
sensitivity to timbre, or a highly developed ability to distinguish the
sound of a violin from that of a flute, viola, human voice, or cello.
Composers, musicians, and conductors are examples of careers for musically
Beethoven, cellist Yo Yo Ma, and conductor Arturo Toscanini are famous
examples of musically intelligent people.
Spatial intelligence is defined by the following criteria:
sensitivity to the relationship between line, color, shape, space, and
ability to manipulate and mentally rotate real objects,
the capacity to create a graphic likeness of a real object,
the ability to understand the components of visual and spatial displays
within the graphic arts.
Graphic artists, architects, and map-makers are examples of spatially intelligent
People who excel at reading maps, playing chess, drawing diagrams and illustrations,
repairing machinery, understanding geometry, and completing jigsaw puzzles
are spatially intelligent.
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence is define by the following criteria:
highly developed coordination, balance, dexterity, strength, speed, and
expertise in using the entire body to relate thoughts and feelings,
an ability to manipulate objects skillfully, using both fine and gross
Dancers, football players, and gymnasts are examples of bodily-kinesthetic
Classmate Camille Dierterle, Joe Montana, and Kerrie Strug are examples
of people with this intelligence.
Interpersonal Intelligence is defined by the following criteria:
an ability to perceive and make distinctions in the moods, characteristics,
intentions, temperaments, motivations, and feelings of other people,
a sensitivity to those distinctions, acknowledged by treating each individual
with their personal distinctions in mind.
Those who have highly developed interpersonal intelligence are successful
leaders, bosses, public speakers, and military officers.
Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin Roosevelt, and Norman Schwartzkopf are
famous examples of successful people with interpersonal intelligence.
Intrapersonal Intelligence is defined by the following criteria:
highly developed self-knowledge, defined as having accurate knowledge of
oneís dreams, goals, strengths, limitations, moods, anxieties, desires,
the ability to act on the basis of self-knowledge, creating environments,
guiding behavior, and making decisions based on an accurate picture of
People that have intrapersonal intelligence know themselves well. They
arenít forced into molds, and they make descisions based on what is right
for themselves. They possess a strong sense of idenity and purpose.