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Multiple Intelligences

In 1983, Howard Gardner introduced his Theory of Multiple Intelligences in a seminal book, Frames of Mind. Based on his work as professor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, his work as a psychologist researching brain injuries, and his long interest and involvement in the arts, he suggested that intelligence is not a single attribute that can be measured and given a number. He pointed out that I.Q. tests measure primarily verbal, logical-mathematical, and some spatial intelligence. Believing that there are many other kinds of intelligence that are important aspects of human capabilities, he proposed that they also include visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences. More recently he added naturalist intelligence to this list and suggested that there may be other possibilities including spiritual and existential.

In 1984, New Horizons for Learning invited Dr. Gardner to present his theory to the world of education at a conference we designed for the Tarreytown Conference Center in New York. Subsequently, all of NHFL's conferences were designed around the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and Dr. Gardner has continued to write numbers of books expanding on the topic. At the present time educators throughout the world are finding effective ways to implement this theory as they seek to help students identify and develop their strengths, and in the process discover new, more effective ways of learning.


Seven Steps to Intelligence
Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner gives an overview of the history of our understanding of "intelligence."

Learning Through Many Kinds of Intelligence
Dee Dickinson
The CEO of New Horizons for Learning explains what activities correspond to which of the multiple intellgences.

Multiplying Intelligence in the Classroom
Bruce Campbell
A third grade teacher and author explains how he creates learning centers in the classroom to nurture each of the multiple intelligences.

Applying MI in Schools
Thomas Hoerr
Director of the New City School in St. Louis, MO, discusses the difficulties and benefits of applying MI schoolwide.

Learning Celebrations are Authentic Assessments of Student Understanding
Maggie Meyer and Jenna Glock
Teachers of highly capable students offer a multiple intelligences-friendly approach to assessment.

My Experience Using the Multiple Intelligences
Nelly Ribot
An ELL teacher describes how she applies the theory of MI in her classroom.

Boston Public Schools as Arts-Integrated Learning Organizations Eric Oddleifson
Director of the Center for the Arts in Basic Curriculum (CABC) argues that the arts enhance learning through multiple intelligences.

The Research Results of a Multiple Intelligences Classroom
Bruce Campbell
Author of "Multiplying Intelligence in the Classroom" describes what he's learned since implementing MI in his classroom.

Curriculum for Success
Ellen Weber
Director of the MITA Brain Based Renewal Center shows how MI allows for a greater breadth of student success.

Two-Footed Questions for Higher Grades and Happier Teens
Ellen Weber
Author of numerous books on the application of Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences describes a method for developing higher order thinking processes among secondary and higher education students.

MI, IT and Standards: The Story of Jamie
Walter McKenzie
A teacher and author illustrates how multiple intelligences curriculum can lead to success in traditional standardized assessments, even for at risk students.

What's the Big Attraction? Why Teachers are Drawn to using Multiple Intelligence Theory in their Classrooms
Leslie Owen Wilson
Professor of education explains how MI helps teachers.

The Learners' Way: Time-Tested and True
Anne Forester and Margaret Reinhard

Five-Phases To PBL: MITA (Multiple Intelligence Teaching Approach) Model For Redesigned Higher Education Classes
Ellen Weber, Ph.D.

The Naturalist Intelligence
Bruce Campbell

Learning and Teaching Through the Naturalist Intelligence
Maggie Meyer

The Eighth Intelligence
Leslie Owen Wilson

Multiple Intelligences Reaches the Tibetan Children's Village
Bruce Campbell

Technology And MI
Thomas R. Hoerr, Ph.D.

Math's Checkered Past: Teach With It!
Mark Wahl

Multiple Intelligences Power Up Math Teaching
Mark Wahl

Humor and The Multiple Intelligences
Dee Dickinson

Recommended Reading


Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st CenturyHoward Gardner

Teaching and Learning Through Multiple IntelligencesLinda Campbell, Bruce Campbell, and Dee Dickinson

The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should UnderstandHoward Gardner

Multiple Intelligences and Instructional TechnologyWalter McKenzie

Becoming a Multiple Intelligences School Thomas R. Hoerr

So Each May Learn: Integrating Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences Harvey F. Silver, Richard W. Strong, and Matthew J. Perini

MI Strategies in the Classroom and Beyond Using Roundtable Learning Ellen Weber

Multiple Intelligences and Instructional Technology Walter McKenzie

Math for Humans: Teaching Math Through 8 Intelligences Mark Wahl

A Mathematical Mystery Tour (Updated) Mark Wahl

Related Links

Concept to Classroom: Multiple Intelligences

Thomas Armstrong's Multiple Intelligences Page

New City School

Critical Questions

What should be in an MI library?

The New City School, an elementary school in St. Louis, MO, is in the process of creating the world's first MI LIBRARY. The school had two gyms, one of which had been used as a cafeteria for years. They decided to build a new dining hall and convert the old gym/cafeteria into a library. It will feature risers with book shelves around the perimeter (to make the high windows more relevant to students), a mini-theater area for student performances, two semi-soundproof classrooms, water and sinks, a mezzanine, more book shelves, and a small art gallery on the outside of the library.

The new library will be, appropriately, a very linguistic place. The shelf space for books will triple, for example. But since it's going to be an MI library, that's just the beginning. Because planners at the The New City School know what a powerful tool MI can be in student learning, they want to find ways to incorporate MI in the library.

The library shouldn't be a gymnasium or an art room, but students should be able to use their bodily-kinesthetic and spatial intelligences to learn in the library. Likewise, their logical-mathematical, musical, naturalist, intrapersonal, and interpersonal intelligences should also be addressed in this very linguistic setting. Says New City School Director Thomas Hoerr, "we have worked a great deal on this and have many plans, but I'd like to gather your thoughts too: what ideas do you have about how we can incorporate all of the intelligences in our linguistic MI library? I welcome your ideas about how to address intelligences in the library (and/or your thoughts about libraries, in general. ) Also, please send this to anyone else who might be able to offer good suggestions. I'd like to hear from them too! Please zap me at"

? June 2005

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