Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner (1983, 1993, 2002, 2016) suggests that there are eight types of intelligence, or frames of mind. These are described here, with examples of the types of occupations in which they function as strengths (Campbell, Campbell, & Dickinson, 2004):

Verbal: the ability to think in words and use language to express meaning (occupations: authors, journalists, speakers)

Mathematical: the ability to carry out mathematical operations (occupations: scientists, engineers, accountants)

Spatial: the ability to think three-dimensionally (occupations: architects, artists, sailors)

Bodily-kinesthetic: the ability to manipulate objects and be physically adept (occupations: surgeons, craftspeople, dancers, athletes)

Musical: a sensitivity to pitch, melody, rhythm, and tone (occupations: composers, musicians, sensitive listeners)

Interpersonal: the ability to understand and interact effectively with others (occupations: successful teachers, mental health professionals)

Intrapersonal: the ability to understand oneself (occupations: theologians, psychologists)

Naturalist: the ability to observe patterns in nature and understand natural and human-made systems (occupations: farmers, botanists, ecologists, landscapers)

According to Gardner, everyone has all of these intelligences to varying degrees. As a result, we prefer to learn and process information in different ways. People learn best when they can do so in a way that uses their stronger intelligences.

Create assignments for four of the eight intelligences of your choice relative to a topic you have chosen that would be appropriate for middle to late childhood (ages 7-11). Examples of topics could be memorizing state capitals, learning about the systems of the human body, learning the water cycle, etc.

Include one paragraph discussing whether you agree or disagree with Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.

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