What is the theory of multiple intelligences (M.I.)?

An Intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings.

Howard Gardner


Howard Gardner, the Harvard professor who originally proposed the theory, says that there are multiple types of human intelligence, each representing diverse ways of processing information. All human beings possess all nine intelligences in varying amounts. Each person has a different intellectual composition.

Many educators have had the experience of not being able to reach some students with the TRADITIONAL mode of teaching until present the information is presented in completely diverse ways or providing new options for student expression. Because of these kinds of experiences, the theory of multiple intelligences resonates with many educators. It supports what we all know to be true: A one-size-fits-all approach to education will invariably leave some students behind in the 21st century.

However, the theory is also often misunderstood, which can lead to it being used interchangeably with learning styles or applying it in ways that can limit student potential which can be nurtured and strengthened or ignored and weakened. While the theory of multiple intelligences is a powerful way to think about learning, it’s also important to understand the research that supports it.
According to Gardner, we can improve education by addressing the nine multiple intelligences of our students located in different areas of the brain and can either work independently or together.



Provide opportunities for authentic learning based on your students’ needs, interests and talents.


Studies show that many students who perform poorly on traditional tests are turned on to learning when classroom experiences incorporate artistic, athletic, and musical activities.


Students demonstrate increased self-worth and share their strengths.


When you “teach for understanding,” your students accumulate positive educational experiences and the capability for creating solutions to problems in life.


As a teacher and learner, you realize that there are many ways to be “smart.”


Students may develop strong problem-solving skills that they can use real life situations.


Parents, school, and other members of the communitywill notice results.



Teachers, instructors, and faculty at all levels.

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