Multiple Intelligences, Resources

Introduction to Multiple Intelligences


At its most basic, the Theory of Multiple Intelligences tells us there is more than one type of ‘smart.’ No, we aren’t talking ‘street smarts’ vs. ‘book smarts,’ it goes so much broader than that.

This way of thinking about education was put forward by a pedagogical specialist named Howard Gardner in 1983. There has been some revision and debate over the years, and the number of different intelligences can range from seven to nine, depending on who you read. Between now and the end of this USAT season, we will use the time to explore the different sorts of intelligences, how we address them in our program, and ways to engage these different types of learners.

Gardner’s original theory identified eight different intelligences:

  • Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
  • Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
  • Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
  • Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
  • Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)
  • Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

The public school system in the United states tends to concentrate on the first two types, so we will tackle those first before moving on to some novel ways of thinking about engaging students and the different ways that people can be gifted. So, check back next week for discussion of #1, Linguistic Intelligence.



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