The theory of multiple intelligences was started back in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University.
He felt that the older beliefs about intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, were not really fair and far too limited.
Instead, Dr. Gardner proposed eight different types of intelligences to represent a wider range of interests in children and adults. These intelligences are:
Our schools typically focus most of their attention on linguistic (reading and writing) and mathematical intelligence. For students who happen to be naturally talented in these areas, school is fun because they are successful. For those of us who are more talented in other areas, school can be frustrating, difficult and/or boring.
It would be nice if we could place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, tradespeople, musicians, naturalists (nature, animals and or plants), designers, dancers, therapists, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and many others who enrich the world in which we live…, but that just is not the case.
Unfortunately, many students who have these gifts don’t receive much reinforcement or encouragement in school. Many of these students, in fact, end up being labeled “learning disabled,” having “ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,” or simple as underachievers, when their unique ways of thinking and learning aren’t addressed by a heavily tilted reading/writing and mathematical curriculum and classroom.
Every teacher out there has been made aware of the theory of multiple intelligences. But the theory of multiple intelligences and how we address multiple intelligences does not translate well when we bump up against everyday reality, which has limited money, limited time, limited teacher resources, and large class sizes.
The challenge is to change our educational way of doing things so that each child has the opportunity to learn in ways that go along with their unique minds, ways of thinking, talents and interests.
The I.Q. test was developed in 1900 by a French psychologist, Alfred Binet. The “I.Q” test does have some value, but it does not take into account many things regarding intelligence and talents that are not easily quantifiable.
As far as our schools are concerned, “Just because everyone is ‘treated the same’ does not mean ‘everyone is being treated fairly.’”
(“Ctrl” and click on the following websites to access them.)
You can learn more about multiple intelligences and Howard Gardner at his website: http://www.howardgardner.com/
Here is a website where you can take your own multiple intelligences assessment: www.mypersonality.info
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