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Multiple Intelligences

Psychologist and Harvard University professor Dr. Howard Gardner developed the multiple intelligences theory. Dr. Gardner maintains that there is no single human intelligence that can be measured by standardized tests. According to multiple intelligences theory, there are eight kinds of human intelligences:

  • Linguistic: sensitivity to the meaning and order of words.
  • Logical-mathematical: ability in mathematics and other complex logical systems.
  • Musical: ability to understand and create music.
  • Spatial-visual: ability to "think in pictures," to perceive the visual world accurately, and to re-create (or alter) it in the mind or on paper.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic: ability to use one's body in a skilled way, for self-expression or to achieve a goal.
  • Interpersonal: ability to perceive and understand other individuals -- their moods, desires, and motivations.
  • Intrapersonal: understanding of one's own emotions. Some novelists and or counselors use their own experience to guide others.
  • Naturalist: ability to recognize and classify plants, rocks, and animals.

Teachers should take into account students' areas of strength, or intelligences, when planning their lessons to better meet the needs of all learners, Dr. Gardner said.



  • Project Zero
    A biography of Howard Gardner, who developed multiple intelligences theory, and links to his writings.
  • Dr. Thomas Armstrong
    Ways to employ multiple intelligences theory in classroom teaching and links to other resources.
  • Gigglepotz: Multiple Intelligences
    A description of multiple intelligences theory and how teachers can apply it.

Article by Ellen R. Delisio
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Copyright © 2005 Education World