The theory of multiple intelligences is a trending concept, which was found to be very valuable for educators. The primary idea covered by Gardner (1996) is that there are more types of intelligence than the commonly known linguistic and logical varieties. Gardner (1996) claims that there are at least eight different types of intelligence and there is a possibility that other types of intelligence will be uncovered. This intelligence developed as the need for performing certain tasks appeared. Intelligence is a bio-psychological matter, which can respond to the specific content of the world, such as sounds, syntax, music, or emotions. This implies that there are no such general notions as memory or thinking (Gardner, 1996). There are different types of memories, such as musical memory or memory for special environments. Moreover, people can be creative in one area but fail to be creative in another matter.
Analysis of the intellectual profiles of students is of great help for educators. It helps to understand what students are good at what tasks, and what knowledge can be difficult to digest for them. Having this information is crucial for adjusting the teaching style for different students to help them achieve better results. However, every teacher needs to remember that intelligence is not a physical matter that can be easily measured. All the teachers and curriculum leaders can do is to judge the strengths and weaknesses of a person by analyzing the completion of tasks. However, teachers need to be very careful about generalizing their conclusions about the types of intelligence a person has. This implies that while the application of the theory of multiple intelligences can be beneficial for students, every educator needs to work out their own understanding and practice its use to help the students.
I agree with the analysis provided by Gardner (1996). My experience demonstrates that while different students are good at different tasks, there are some categories they can be grouped in based on their type of intellect. These categories are close to the eight types of intelligence, including mathematical, linguistic, spatial, musical, body-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. However, before reading this article, I was rather skeptical of the theory, as my students seemed to have several types of intelligence at the same time. However, now I have come to realize that this might not have been the case.
Like all teachers, I do not have enough time to spend with every individual student. Thus, I tended to make generalizations about their type of intelligence based on a very narrow set of tasks. The results were not always homogeneous, which made me doubt the theory. I might have been one of those who have skimmed through the idea of multiple intelligences rather than dedicating enough time to learning it. As a result, I mixed up the notions of learning styles and intelligence, as they seemed closely correlated.
While my level of expertise in the theory of multiple intelligences is low, I have one observation I want to share. It appears that people may change their type of intelligence over time. In other words, while there are certain embedded differences between people from birth, they may change their type of intelligence as a reaction to the environment. The article by Gardner (1996) made me revisit the idea of multiple intelligences, and I will pay more attention in the future to confirm or reject the idea of changing types of intelligence.
Gardner, H. (1996). Probing more deeply into the theory of multiple intelligences. NASSP Bulletin, 80(583), 1-7. Web.