The theory of Multiple Intelligences was originally proposed by Howard Gardner some 30 years ago and is gaining increasing recognition and impact. In particular, the theory has deep implications on how to structure teaching, education and assessment, independently on whether we are talking about traditional schools, MOOC or corporate eLearning. In recent times, Howard Gardner himself has turned much of his attention to the impact of the multiple intelligence theory on education and individual development, helping to accelerate this development.
It is important to stress that the Multiple Intelligence theory here discussed should not be confused with theories on different types of personality or different learning styles. The eight intelligences defined by Gardner exists simultaneously in each individual and they cooperate to create an individual profile, with strengths and weaknesses, which evolves over time. This way of looking at the skills of individuals calls for an educational approach involving differentiation and multiplicity in the teaching strategy, but without falling into the kind of rigidity and stereotypes that may be associated with some theories on types of personalities and learning styles.
The video below explains the basic concept of the theory of Multiple Intelligences, its impact on educational strategies, and provide some concepts that would allow education to reach more learners and develop the learner’s skill in a more comprehensive manner.
The video consists of three sections. It starts introducing Gardner and the main problem of education versus different individual skills. Then it turns to present the eight intelligences as proposed by Howard Gardner, including a suggested learning strategy for each of these intelligences. Then in the third and final part it presents the concepts of personalization and pluralization, defined in respect of the multiple intelligences theory, as the guiding principle for a more including and developing educational strategy.
Regardless of what type of student, their age, level, or subject you’re teaching, awareness and understanding of the theory of multiple intelligences will help reach more and deeper in the teaching effort. Even for people not directly involved in education, this theory will help in getting a more nuanced and deeper picture of human skills and personalities.