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Multiple Intelligence (MI)

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Everyone is unique.” Nobody has exactly the same features and characteristics with someone else. Some may be born twins, triplets, quadruplets, or even quintuplets. They may be identical in appearance but the attitude or personality is surely different. Same goes with learning. People have different learning styles and preferences. Also, cognition and potentials differ.

Howard Gardner developed the so called ‘‘Multiple Intelligences Theory.’’ He is a psychologist and a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Gardner’s MI theory challenged traditional beliefs in the fields of education and cognitive science. According to him, intelligence is:

  • The ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture;

  • A set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life; and

  • The potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge.

In addition, Gardner claims that:

  • All human beings possess all intelligences in varying amounts;

  • Each person has a different intellectual composition;

  • We can improve education by addressing the multiple intelligences of our students;

  • These intelligences are located in different areas of the brain and can either work independently or together;

  • These intelligences may define the human species;

  • Multiple intelligences can be nurtured and strengthened, or ignored and weakened; and

  • Each individual has nine intelligences (and maybe more to be discovered).

This theory will help us in our everyday learning. Take a deep thought about it!

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences

1. Verbal-linguistic intelligence (Word smart)

Characteristics of linguistic-verbal intelligence include:

  • Good at remembering written and spoken information

  • Enjoys reading and writing

  • Good at debating or giving persuasive speeches

  • Able to explain things well

  • Often uses humor when telling stories

  • Well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words

Potential Career Choices

  • Writer/journalist

  • Lawyer

  • Teacher

  • Translator

  • Editor

2. Logical-mathematical intelligence (Number smart)

Characteristics of logical-mathematical intelligence include:

  • Excellent problem-solving skills

  • Enjoys thinking about abstract ideas

  • Likes conducting scientific experiments

  • Good at solving complex computations

  • Thinks conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical and numerical patterns

  • Analyzes problems

  • Detects patterns

  • Performs mathematical calculations and scientific reasoning and deduction

  • Understands relationship between cause and effect toward a tangible outcome

    Potential Career Choices

  • Scientist

  • Mathematician

  • Computer programmer

  • Engineer

  • Accountant

3. Spatial-visual intelligence (Picture smart)

Characteristics of spatial-visual intelligence include:

  • Enjoys reading and writing

  • Good at putting puzzles together

  • Good at interpreting pictures, graphs, and charts

  • Enjoys drawing, painting, and the visual arts

  • Recognizes patterns easily

  • Interprets and creates visual images, pictorial imagination and expression

  • Understands relationships between images and meanings and between space and effect

  • Has the capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly

Potential Career Choices

  • Architect

  • Artist

  • Engineer

  • Sculptor

  • Photographer

4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (Body smart)

Characteristics of bodily-kinesthetic intelligence include:

  • Good at dancing and sports

  • Enjoys creating things with his or her hands

  • Excellent physical coordination

  • Tends to remember by doing, rather than hearing or seeing

  • Has the ability to control one’s body movements and to handle objects skillfully

  • Good at eye and body coordination, manual dexterity and physical agility and balance

Potential Career Choices

  • Dancer

  • Builder

  • Sculptor

  • Actor

  • Athlete

 5. Musical intelligence (Music smart)

Characteristics of musical intelligence include:

  • Enjoys singing and playing musical instruments

  • Recognizes musical patterns and tones easily

  • Good at remembering songs and melodies

  • Rich understanding of musical structure, rhythm, and notes

  • Has awareness, appreciation and use of sound

  • Understands relationship between sound and feeling

  • Has the ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber

Potential Career Choices

  • Musician

  • Composer

  • Singer

  • Music teacher

  • Conductor

 6. Interpersonal intelligence (People smart)

Characteristics of interpersonal intelligence include:

  • Good at communicating verbally

  • Skilled at nonverbal communication

  • Sees situations from different perspectives

  • Creates positive relationships with others

  • Good at resolving conflict in groups

  • Has the ability to relate to others

  • Interprets behavior and communication

  • Understands the relationship between people and their situations, including other people

  • Has the capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivations and desires of others

Potential Career Choices

  • Psychologist

  • Philosopher

  • Counselor

  • Salesperson

  • Politician

 7. Intrapersonal intelligence (Self-smart)

Characteristics of intrapersonal intelligence include:

  • Good at analyzing his or her strengths and weaknesses

  • Enjoys analyzing theories and ideas

  • Excellent self-awareness

  • Clearly understands the basis for his or her own motivations and feelings

  • Has the capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes

  • Has one’s own needs and reaction to change and an ability to deal with change in the workplace

  • Has personal cognizance, personal objectivity and the capability to understand oneself

Potential Career Choices:

  • Philosopher

  • Writer

  • Theorist

  • Scientist

8. Naturalist intelligence (Nature Smart)

Characteristics of naturalistic intelligence include:

  • Interested in subjects such as botany, biology, and zoology

  • Good at categorizing and cataloging information easily

  • May enjoy camping, gardening, hiking, and exploring the outdoors

  • Doesn’t enjoy learning unfamiliar topics that have no connection to nature

  • Has the ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature

Potential Career Choices

  • Biologist

  • Conservationist

  • Gardener

  • Farmer

9. Existential intelligence (Thinking smart)

Characteristics of existential intelligence include:

  • Has the ability to pose (and ponder) questions about life, death, and ultimate realities like “Who are we?” and “What is the meaning of life?” This is a human response to being alive in all ways .

  • Has sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence such as, What is the meaning of life? Why do we die? How did we get here?

Potential Career Choices

  • Priest

  • Nun

  • Preacher

  • Pastor

Better understanding of the above-mentioned theory helps teachers to meet the needs of their students. Don’t rely too much on a single kind of activity. Explore and apply the things you discovered in your learning. We can not use 100% of our brain and we need to adapt to where is its preference. This way, we can maximize our potentials and our abilities. We do not need to be like others. We are who we are. Just know yourself well and focus on it.

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Christine is originally from Bohol. Her interests are on action movies, political issues, environmental issues, weird facts, history, as well as basketball (especially NBA). She's also into writing short poems. At some times, she's introvert but you can actually talk to her.

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