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What is the theory of multiple intelligences (M.I.)?
How does this theory differ from the traditional definition of intelligence?
What do multiple intelligences have to do with my classroom?
How has M.I. theory developed since it was introduced in 1983?
Who are the critics of this theory and what do they say?
What are some benefits of using the multiple intelligences approach
in my school?

How can applying M.I. theory help students learn better?
How can I find out more about M.I. theory?

How can applying M.I. theory help students learn better?

Students begin to understand how they are intelligent. In Gardner's view, learning is both a social and psychological process. When students understand the balance of their own multiple intelligences they begin

  • To manage their own learning
  • To value their individual strengths

Teachers understand how students are intelligent as well as how intelligent they are. Knowing which students have the potential for strong interpersonal intelligence, for example, will help you create opportunities where the strength can be fostered in others. However, multiple intelligence theory is not intended to provide teachers with new IQ-like labels for their students.

Students approach understanding from different angles. The problem, "What is sand?" has scientific, poetic, artistic, musical, and geographic points of entry.

Students that exhibit comprehension through rubrics5, portfolios6, or demonstrations come to have an authentic understanding of achievement. The accomplishment of the lawyer is in winning her case through research and persuasive argument, more than in having passed the bar exam.

5.  6.

Students become balanced individuals who can function as members of their culture. Classroom activities that teach to the intelligences foster deep understanding about the essential questions of life, such as: Where do we come from? What's the world made of? What have humans achieved? What can we achieve? How does one lead a good life?

Howard Gardner asks students at the Ross School to ponder a question.

Workshop: Tapping Into Multiple Intelligences
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation | Get Credit

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