Multiple Intelligences

I heard from a friend this week that he’s observed some of the most successful people he knows are dyslexic. I’ve met a number of musicians over the years who can remember hundreds of songs – chords, lyrics, arrangements, etc. – but find it very difficult to recall much of what they learned in high school. This supports the learning theory of Multiple Intelligences -the idea that each of us have strengths and weaknesses across at least eight different types of intelligences.


According to American psychologist Howard Gardner, the eight intelligences are:

  • Linguistic – The word player
  • Logical / Mathematical – The questioner
  • Visual / Spatial – The visualiser
  • Musical – The music lover
  • Bodily / Kinaesthetic – The mover
  • Interpersonal – The socialiser
  • Intrapersonal – The loner
  • Naturalistic – The nature lover (added by Gardner at a later date)

Of course, each of us tend to be stronger or weaker in a variety of these. I suspect we can also develop intelligences in some of these areas with focused learning.

I plan to keep this list handy for upcoming classes – the more I can recognize and appeal to each student’s strength, the more likely I can help them learn the material.




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