Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Do you think you’re smart? If you do, then you must certainly have a high IQ, be amazing at math, and have logical and linguistic skills. So what does that mean for artists, musicians, and professional athletes? Are they “dumb” because they’re not doctors or engineers? It is the thought of most of the world that only one kind of intelligence exists and that it is this mathematical and logical intelligence. However, in 1983 Howard Gardner put forth the theory of Multiple Intelligences which challenged the thought that only one kind of intelligent person exists. I believe this theory is correct because people have different skills, not everyone learns in the same way, and people have different interests to pursue.

Gardner states that the types of intelligence a person possesses are: linguistic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, spatial, naturalist, musical, bodily/kinesthetic and logical-mathematical. Basically, everyone has at least a small percentage of each intelligence but each person is talented or skilled at one specifically or at a specific few. For example, if someone has a natural ability to do good in math but someone else has the ability to paint beautifully, it doesn’t mean that one is smarter than the other. Based on the Multiple Intelligences Theory, each person is equally as smart in their own intelligence category. Neither person should be treated smarter than the other. If you think about it, the number of people that can do math compared to the number of people that can paint beautifully are not too far off from each other. Each skill is hard to learn so why should one be considered higher than the other? Why is one appreciated more than the other? One can even argue that it’s easier to learn how to do math than it is to learn how to skillfully paint.

In addition, it is also important to note that every person is different and that not everyone learns in the same way. According to an article published by MI OASIS, “…there are two chief educational implications of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences 1) Individuation and 2)Pluralization” (MI OASIS 2015). To further elaborate, Individuation states that we should “teach individuals in ways that they can learn” (MI OASIS 2015). For example, people who have the spatial intelligence are visual learners but it doesn’t mean that they’re dumb. It simply means that they learn things in different ways. Pluralization is the thought that “…ideas, concepts, theories, skills, should be taught in different ways” (MI OASIS 2015). This means that while teaching, teachers should present information to students in different ways because a lecture or a powerpoint doesn’t appeal to every student. In addition, this is also evidence that multiple intelligences do exist because if a student who is spatial was “dumb” but then is presented information visually and gets it, are they really dumb? No, they just needed the information to be presented in a different manner because their intelligence is spatial. It is important for educators to broaden their scope and appreciate the different intelligences for the success of their students.

How would you feel if you were stuck doing a job you weren’t passionate about for the rest of your life? Chances are that you wouldn’t really enjoy it or want that for yourself. However, because people don’t understand multiple intelligence more and more young adults are being pressured to do jobs they aren’t passionate about because being an artist or a musician isn’t the “right” thing to do. This concept goes hand in hand with the flawed school system. Personally, I have never witnessed a teacher so much as talk about multiple intelligence until this year. Students should be allowed to embrace their natural talent because it’s what they’re good at. Each person needs to be allowed to pursue what their heart desires. Not every person on this planet has the dream to become a doctor. Personally, I do but I have a few friends who want to be professional athletes and I strongly believe that they should be given all the resources that I am given to be able to chase their dream. Ignorance is a big problem in America and in the whole world as a matter of fact, so accepting that people are different and that people have different ways of showing their intelligence is a big step towards improvement.

To conclude, I believe that the Theory of Multiple Intelligences is one of the most important concepts because it applies worldwide. It has a strong basis and is correct because every person has different talents, not everyone learns in the same manner, and people have different dreams/interests to chase. This theory gives a voice to those who don’t excel in the areas “smart” people usually do. This theory is something you should consider believing in because everyone has different dreams to achieve that require different intelligences. Can you imagine a world where people didn’t embrace their own intelligence? Half of the people on the planet would be considered “dumb”. Not to mention, it would be a very boring place to live. Can you imagine never seeing Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or never listening to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”? Fur Elise?