Theory of Multiple Intelligence

Theory of multiple intelligence was proposed by Howard Gardner in the year 1983. He defines that intelligence isn’t a general ability. It can be classified as 7 specific modalities : Musical-Rhythmic, Visual-Spatial, Verbal-Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal. Naturalistic intelligence was also added later to the list. Gardner also postulated that people may possess one type of intelligence in high amounts but lack others. The theory of multiple intelligence is based on the hypothesis that there is a wide range of cognitive abilities with very weak correlations among them. For example, a child who learns to multiply easily is not necessarily more intelligent than a child who has more difficulty on this task. The child who takes more time to master multiplication may best learn to multiply through a different approach, may excel in a field outside mathematics, or may be looking at and understanding the multiplication process at a fundamentally deeper level. The theory though has been questioned by many experts. There are many myths that surround this theory and how it popularly understood by parents and practitioners. Parents may conclude that a child might end up be good in just one field. They may infer that there are different types of intelligences with no correlation among them at all. Also, some assume that a this theory popular cannot be wrong. But experts point out that there is no strong scientific evidence that conclusive proves the theory of multiple intelligences. Critics have pointed out that the theory has little or no predictive value. Still, Gardner’s theory gives us an interesting perspective in classifying the intellectual development of a child.

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