Multiple Intelligences of Howard Gardener
Conventional perception says that there’s a direct connection between our IQ and our ability to succeed in life. But there have been many studies that show IQ only accounts for about 20% of success. The major determinants of success are social and emotional intelligence. Yet there’s very little emphasis put on developing other intelligences. Sometimes people assess new situations and respond carefully and considerately, but frequently they run on autopilot, reacting unconsciously based on habit. In part it’s because the human brain is wired to form and follow neural pathways. Left unconscious, these patterns can inhibit optimal performance because they are a generalized response rather than one carefully tailored to the current situation.
Howard Gardener – a Professor at Harvard in 1991 has identified seven distinct intelligences. This theory has emerged from cognitive research and documents the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways.
The idea of multiple intelligences is important because it allows educators to identify differing strengths and weaknesses in students. It also allows the educators to concentrate on the of the student’s interests instead of correlating the child’s marks (academic performance) to his/her intelligence. Gardner’s multiple intelligence models provide a great alternative to the popular measurable IQ method.
This model has challenged the educational system which assumes that everyone can learn the same materials in the same way and that a standardized, universal measure is adequate to test student’s learning. Universally, educational system is heavily biased toward linguistic modes of instruction and assessment and, to a somewhat lesser degree, toward logical-quantitative modes as well. This study threw light on the fact that students learn in ways that are identifiably distinctive and are inborn characteristics. The broad gamut of students – and perhaps the society as a whole – would be better served if disciplines could be presented in a numbers of ways and learning could be accessed through a variety of means.
Howard Gardener’s learning styles are as follows:
Visual-Spatial: These people think in terms of physical space. They are aware of their environments. They like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles, read maps, and they daydream a lot. They are good at drawings and can be taught through drawings and designs; such as verbal and physical similes. Their educational tools include models, graphics, charts, photographs, drawings, 3-D modeling, video, videoconferencing, television, multimedia, texts with pictures/charts/graphs. They are sensitive to relationship between line, color, shape and form. They have an ability to mentally rotate objects. They make good graphic artists, chess players, draughtsman, architects and map-makers etc.
Kinesthetic: They use the body effectively, like a dancer or a surgeon. These people have keen sense of body awareness. They like movement, making things, they are sensitive to touch. They communicate well through body language and they learn well through physical activities, hands-on learning, and are good at acting out, role playing etc. They would rather touch than just look, they have great motor skills, they enjoy outdoors, they like to work with hands, and they can’t sit still for a long time. Sports and exhilarating experiences are their favorites. They are active people. They make a good athlete, dancer, mechanic, actor, physical education instructor, craftsman, Gardner, physio-therapist, carpenter, firefighter etc.
Musical: These people show sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music and are sensitive to sounds in their environments. They may study better with music in the background. They can be taught by spiraling lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, and tapping out at times. Their educational tools include musical instruments, music on radio, stereo, CD-ROM, multimedia. Due to their good understanding of rhythm, they can easily memorize songs. They often sing, whistle or tap a song or tune; they are talented with an instrument. They can easily tell when a note is off-key. They often have a song running through their head; have an unquenchable passion for music. They make good musicians, singer, conductor, composer, songwriter, music teacher, music director, choir director, and record producer.
Interpersonal:They are good atunderstanding and interacting with others. These students learn through interaction. They have many friends; they have empathy for others, they are often street smarts. They can be taught through group activities, seminars, and dialogues. Their educational tools include the telephone, audio conferencing, attention from the instructor, video conferencing, writing, computer conferencing, E-mail etc. They are empathetic, extroverted, they enjoy social events. They love groups and crowds. They make good diplomats, leaders, managers, politicians, clergy, social workers, receptionist, sales representative, counselor, child care coach etc.
Linguistic: They use words effectively. These learners have highly developed auditory skills and often think in words. They like reading, playing word games, making poetry or stories. They can be taught by encouraging saying and seeing words, read books etc. Their educational tools include computers, games, multimedia, books, tape recorders, and lecture. They easily notice grammatical mistakes; they often speak of what they have read. They like to use “fancy” words, they love scrabble game. They cherish their book collection, they easily remember quotes and famous sayings, and they are at ease with puns and rhymes. They are multi-linguistic- often good at multiple languages. They always enjoyed language class. They make good writer (any type), editor, public speaker, preacher, teacher, journalist, broadcaster, tutor, actor etc.
Logical/Mathematical: These students are good atreasoning, calculating, conceptualizing, abstracting patterns and relationship among them is a play for these people. They like to experiment, solve puzzles, and ask cosmic questions. They can be taught through logic games, investigations, and mysteries. They need to learn and form concepts before they can deal with details. Math is always in their mind. They are good at Good at strategy games; they have a mind “like a computer. They enjoy science experiments; well at organize things by category. They are abstract thinkers; looking out for rational explanations. They make good scientist, mathematician, lawyer/attorney, doctor, accountant, bookkeeper, computer programmer, researcher, financial Planner.
Intrapersonal: These understand their personal interests and goals. These learners tend to shy away from others. They’re in tune with their inner feelings; they have wisdom, intuition and motivation, as well as a strong will, confidence and opinions. They can be taught through independent study and introspection. Their educational tools include books, creative materials, diaries, privacy and time. They are the most independent among other learners. They are introverted, and prefer working alone. They are philosophical, self-aware, perfectionists, often thinks of self-employment. They enjoys journaling, they are also intuitive, independent, spends time thinking and reflecting. They make good psychologist, philosopher, writer, and theologian.
Multimedia tool of learning: It may seem impossible to teach to all learning styles. However, as we move into using a mix of media or multimedia, the task becomes easier. As we understand learning styles, it becomes apparent why multimedia appeals to learners and why a mix of media is more effective. It satisfies the many types of learning preferences that one person may embody or that a class embodies.
A review of the literature shows that a variety of decisions must be made when choosing media that is appropriate to learning style.
Visual media help students acquire concrete concepts, such as object identification, spatial relationship, or motor skills where words alone are inept. Verbal sound and non-verbal sound such as music are necessary to present a stimulus for recalling or sound recognition. Audio narration is recommended for poor readers. Motion is used to depict human performance so that learners can copy the movement. Several models assert that motion may be unnecessary and provides decision aid questions based upon objectives. Visual media which portrays motion is best to show psychomotor or cognitive domain expectations by showing the skill as a model against which students can measure their performance. Decisions on color display are required if an object’s color is relevant to what is being learned.
Last but not the least, Realia are tangible, real objects which are not models and are useful to teach motor and cognitive skills involving unfamiliar objects. Realia are appropriate for use with individuals or groups and may be situation based. Realia may be used to present information realistically but it may be equally important that the presentation corresponds with the way learners represent information internally.
As the saying goes – it takes all kind of people to make the world go around.