Multiple intelligences is a theory first posited by Harvard developmental psychologist Howard Gardner in 1983 that suggests human intelligence can be differentiated into eight modalities: visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, musical-rhythmic, logical-mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and bodily-kinesthetic. In contrast to other notions of learning capabilities (for example, the concept of a single IQ), the idea behind the theory of multiple intelligences is that people learn in a variety of different ways.
Multiple intelligences refers to a theory describing the different ways students learn and acquire information. These multiple intelligences range from the use of words, numbers, pictures and music, to the importance of social interactions, introspection, physical movement and being in tune with nature. The theory posits that an understanding of which type(s) of intelligence a student may possess can help teachers adjust learning styles, and suggest certain career paths for learners. The theory has come under criticism from both psychologists and educators, where many believe that the eight “intelligences” represent innate talents and abilities. Cognitive psychologists have further stated that there is no empirical evidence to support the validity of this theory.
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