Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences was first put forward in 1983.

Gardner, a psychologist, researcher, educator and scholar at The School of Education in the University of Harvard began to explore his interest in human cognition in the context of Poject Zero. In his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, he challenges the standard view of education in the fact that it opposes the notion of intelligence as a unitary capacity made up of linguistic and logical-mathematical abilities exclusively; besides, according to this theory, intelligence is not a fixed capacity -something we are born with and we cannot do much about-, but rather a continually evolving process throughout a person's lifetime.

Investigations carried out by Gardner and his collaborators in the areas of cognitive science, of developmental psychology, and of neuroscience - he carried out studies with patients who had suffered brain damage, with talented people, with normal children and with people from different cultures - led them to some conclusions regarding the nature and characteristics of human intelligence that are becoming more and more popular nowadays although not completely accepted by everyone.
Among these conclusions we would like to emphasize the following ones that offer a global summary of his theory :

-Intelligence is made of distinct units of intellectual development that may function in isolation or in conjunction with each other.

-It is an amalgam of abilities that allow the individual to solve problems and situations

-It can be defined as "the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings" (Gardner & Hatch, 1989)

-Each person has a particular strength in each area and a singular, unique blend of dynamic intelligences

-All (eight) intelligences are needed to function productively in society

-It is an interaction between biological proclivities and opportunities for learning in a particular context; we are all born possessing the eight intelligences, but we differ in the particular intelligence profile we are born with; besides, Gardner is convinced that we all can achieve a reasonably high level of performance in all areas of intelligences with the appropriate stimulation, encouragement and instruction.

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