By: Michelle Purse

Multiple Intelligences Theory

In 1983, Howard Gardner proposed a new theory of learning, multiple intelligences. Gardner believes that each individual is unique and each student learns based on their intelligence. Gardner believes that if teachers only teach based on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence, only few students will learn. But if teachers can help students identify their intelligence more students will learn. Students need to be taught in several ways based on the multiple intelligences research. Intelligences define by Gardner:
o Linguistic-enjoy word games, creative writing, reading for pleasure, good spellers, good memory for names, places, dates, trivia, enjoy listening to stories,
o Logical-Mathematical-compute math in head, enjoy games such as chess or checkers, enjoy science experiments, enjoy logic puzzle such as Rubik’s Cube, use reasoning to work through problems
o Spatial Intelligence-detail oriented to describe events, daydream a lot, enjoy to doodle on scrapes of paper, enjoy jigsaw puzzle, prefer to draw pictures
o Musical Intelligence-enjoy playing musical instrument, singing, or collecting CDs, enjoy playing rhythms on table, chest, or use kitchen utensils, sensitive to sound and respond strongly to different kinds of music
o Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence-competitive with sports, difficult time sitting still, need to touch things in order to learn more about them, good at mimicking people’s gestures, mannerisms or behaviors, enjoy messy activities such as clay or fingerprinting
o The Personal Intelligences
§ Interpersonal Intelligence-like to work and play with other kids, good sense of empathy and concern for others, good people skills, enjoy playing group games, problem solver, enjoy teaching others
§ Intrapersonal Intelligence-work well alone, realistic sense of their weakness and strengths, react strongly to controversial topic, learn from their mistakes, they are considered goal-directed
o Naturalist-enjoy catching bugs, flowers, or rocks, closely examine nature, keep detailed records of his or her observations in nature
o Existential- Ability to contemplate phenomena or questions beyond sensory data, such as infinite and infinitesimal.

Multiple intelligence type
Incorporated into subject matter
Ways of demonstrating understanding
Books, stories poetry, speeches, author visits
Writing stories, scripts, poems, storytelling, oral reports
Exercises, drills, problem solving,
Counting, calculating, theorizing, demonstrating, programming computers
Tapes, CD’s concert going
Performing, singing, playing composing
Posters, art work, slides, charts, graphs, video tapes, laser disks, CD-ROMs and DVDs, museum visits
Drawing, painting, illustrating, graphic design, collage making, poster making, photography
Movies, animations, exercises, physicalizing concept, rhythm exercises, different learning tools should be used
Dance recital, athletic performance or competition
Teams, group work, specialist roles
Plays, debates, panels, group work
Reflection time, meditation exercises
Journals, memories, diaries, changing behaviors, habits, personal growth
Terrariums, aquariums, class pets, farm, botanical garden and zoo visits, nature walks, museum visits
Collecting, classifying, caring for animals at nature centers
Working on causes, charity work, astrology charts
Community services

Model School
Key Learning Community
River Campus
777 S. White River Pkwy. W. Dr.Indianapolis, Indiana 46221
(fax) 317-226-3049

North Campus
2411 Indianapolis Ave.Indianapolis, Indiana46221

Website Resources

Barrington, E. (2004). Teaching to student diversity in higher education: How multiple
Intelligences theory can help. Teaching in Higher Education, 9, 421-434.
Kezar, A. (2001). Theory of multiple intelligences: Implications for higher education.
Innovation Higher Education, 26, 141-154.
Nolen, J. (2003). Multiple Intelligence in the classroom. Education, 124, 115-119.
Reese, S. (2002, January). Understanding our differences. Techniques, 20-23.
Schrand, T. (2008, spring). Tapping into active learning and multiple intelligences with
interactive multimedia. College Training, 78-84.
Shearer, B. (2004, January). Multiple intelligence theory after 20 years. Teachers College
Record, 106, 2-16.