Theory of multiple intelligences

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The theory of multiple intelligences was proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983 to analyze and better describe the concept of intelligence.

Gardner argues that the concept of intelligence as traditionally defined in psychometrics (IQ tests) does not sufficiently describe the wide variety of cognitive abilities humans display. For example, the theory states that a child who learns to multiply easily is not necessarily more intelligent than a child who has stronger skills in another kind of intelligence. The child who takes more time to master simple multiplication 1) may best learn to multiply through a different approach, 2) may excel in a field outside of mathematics, or 3) may even be looking at and understand the multiplication process at a fundamentally deeper level. Such a fundamentally deeper understanding can result in what looks like slowness and can hide a mathematical intelligence potentially higher than that of a child who quickly memorizes the multiplication table despite a less detailed understanding of the process of multiplication.

The theory has been met with mixed responses. Many psychologists feel that a differentiation of the concept of intelligence is not supported by empirical evidence, but many educationalists support the practical value of the approaches suggested by the theory.


The multiple intelligences

Gardner has articulated eight basic types of intelligence to date, without claiming that this is a complete list.[1] Gardner's original list included seven of these; in 1999 he added a naturalist intelligence. He has also considered existential intelligence and moral intelligence, but does not find sufficient evidence for these based upon his articulated criteria,[2] which include:[3]

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