Previously, it was thought that an individual's intelligence is a fixed quality and it could be measured through his/ her logical and language skills. It was also considered to be unchangeable throughout a person's lifetime. But the theory of Multiple intelligence challenged the old concept and gave a new perspective on human intellect. The Multiple intelligence theory was first introduced in 1983 by Howard Gardner in 1983 his book," Frames of Mind". Howard Gardner had done a lot of research in the fields of psychology, anthropology, and sociology to explain our intellect. Based on his studies on stroke victims, prodigies, and autistic individuals, he came up with the theory of Multiple intelligence which states : An intelligence encompasses the ability to create and solve problems, create products, or provide services that are valued within a culture or society. According to Gardner's Intelligence Reframed, which was published in 1999, there are nine kinds of intelligences.
The nine kinds of intelligence, their strengths and their needs are :
o Verbal/ linguistic: The people who possess this kind of intelligence are good with vocabulary, reading, writing, storytelling, poetry recitation, writing song lyrics. The most suited ways of learning are debates, discussions, reading comprehensions, journal writing, discussions and speaking activities. Poets like Shakespeare and William Wordsworth possessed this kind of intelligence.
• Musical intelligence: This kind of intelligence is related to people who are good at picking up sounds, remembering melodies and rhythms. They learn better with musical instruments. World renowned musicians like Beethoven and Mozart exhibited this intelligence.
• Naturalistic: These people understand nature, like to classify and make distinctions; they like to work with flora and fauna. These people learn well by categorizing everything, relating everything to science. Scientists like Mendeleev and Charles Darwin are individuals with this strength.
• Interpersonal intelligence: The people who like organizing, understanding people, resolving conflicts and communicating with people possess this kind of intelligence. They work well at social gatherings, organizing events, and planning community events. Some examples of people with this kind of intelligence are politicians and world leaders like Churchill, Gandhi and Ronald Regan.
• Intrapersonal intelligence: People with this kind of intelligence are really good at self analysis, learning their inner selves and recognizing their strengths and weaknesses. Confucius and Gautama Buddha certainly excelled in this kind of intelligence.
• Mathematical and logical intelligence is found in people who work well with numbers, logic. They like to reason and find patterns. Einstein and Venn belong to the group of people who had this ability.
• Bodily and kinesthetic intelligence is prominent in people who are good at sports, dancing, and crafts and acting. They have a need to use their touch and movement to learn. Art makers like Hamish Moore and Pualani Kanahele mastered this intelligence.
• Visual or Spatial intelligence is outstanding in people who can read maps, charts, work out puzzles, imagine things and follow directions well. These people learn well through visuals like video, art, puzzles, and games. Macmillan and Christopher columbus
had this intelligence.
• The ninth and the last kind of intelligence is Existential intelligence, which relates to pondering questions
on our existence. It is obvious in philosophical and religious people like scientologist.
All human possess all the nine intelligences in varying degrees. These intelligences are controlled by different areas of our brain. We can assess
our intelligence profile and improve our education by choosing activities according to our intelligence profile. If we know what kind of intelligence we or our students have, we can create a great society of smart people with a variety of skills.
Dr. Howard Gardner's “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence. ”. ( 1983)
Multiple Intelligence in esl
Classroom by Kenneth Beare, About.com guide