Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

Re-evaluating Teaching Learning Modus Operandi in the light of the theory of Multiple Intelligence

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November 1, 2018


Howard Gardner proposed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. His theory has revolutionized the education system since the theory assumes that every person has seven distinctive forms of intelligence within them and these forms are actively independent of each other.

The seven forms of intelligence according to the proportionate presence in an individual give him his distinctive diligence towards a specific way of action.

The seven types of intelligences as proposed by Gardner are:

1. Linguistic verbal intelligence
2. Logical mathematical intelligence
3. Visual spatial intelligence
4. Musical rhythmical intelligence
5. Bodily kinesthetic intelligence
6. Interpersonal intelligence
7. Intra Personal intelligence

Each individual has different ratio of these intelligences within them and each type of intelligence has its own specific way of making the individual react and use the method towards problem solving and learning as – +

The first form i.e. Linguistic Verbal intelligence gives the capacity to use language and verbal clues as the base for learning. It is through verbal communication a person responds to the environment and thus he is able to use words effectively and have a high diligence for reading and listening to lectures.

The logical mathematical intelligence gives the acuity to reasoning and calculating. This type of intelligence accounts for abstract thinking, experiments and solving mysteries. Persons having this type of intelligence in a higher ratio show a learning diligence towards problem solving methods.

The visual spatial intelligence gives the prudence to comprehend the drawing and visual clues and accounts for preparing an abstract of diagrams and pictures. Persons having more of this intelligence have a high acumen for pictures and visual clues.

The musical rhythmic intelligence gives the discernment to comprehend various types of sound and leads to a lure for different types of music. These persons respond to musical stimulus much more easily and use their musical skills for general working out problems. They just love music and learn easily when music is on or through rhythmic lessons.

The bodily kinesthetic intelligence gives the power to use the body effectively. This intelligence gives the person the wisdom to judge and manipulate the body parts perfectly. They respond to the physical gestures and movement of the body very effectively.

The interpersonal intelligence gives the capacity to understand others’ problems, feelings and motives very easily. They give them a sense of communicating and intermingling within a group with effectiveness. This type of intelligence accounts for confidence building, social relationship establishment and a feeling of empathy. Thus, these people are able to excel in group work.

The intrapersonal intelligence gives the ability to understand one’s own interests and feelings with perfection. Persons with this intelligence have the intuition and motivation to express themselves with confidence and tend to learn in isolation and introspection.

Having explained the intelligence types in an elaborate form Gardner pointed towards its implication in school and society where he advocated the issue of identifying the intelligence types of a person (students) and giving them an opportunity to learn and perform their activities in accordance with intelligence types.

But ironically in our Indian school system this concept has not been well absorbed and we are still stuck in the Linguistic Mode of teaching learning methods in our schools. Our classrooms are biased towards learning methods focused on verbal and linguistic methodologies emphasising a pattern in which all the students irrespective of their intelligence types are forced to learn through theoretical writing and reading method and to add to it to our system of evaluation is also based on theoretical examination.

However, we have incorporated a slight implication of Gardner’s theory where our curricular activities have expanded and we have started incorporating activities focused on different intelligence types like addition of music, dance, projects, group work, drawing, painting, games,etc in our curriculum where these activities are included.

But an actual paradigm shift is needed in the concept of actually identifying the individual intelligence types and designing a curriculum plan in which all the literary activities including classroom teaching are carried out in accordance with the format of the devices needed for a particular intelligence type.

This would require a ground level plan to actually design the curriculum in different formats of intelligence type where we identify the seven different types of intelligences and design the curriculum on the basis of these seven types incorporating activities in compliance with the intelligence type. For example, for musical intelligence type the curriculum is designed where the content is transacted via musical ways and lyrical forms and the students identified in this intelligence type are given tasks related to musical formats of learning and evaluating. Thus, they would respond more easily to these activities and learn more effectively through this way.

This task seems like a gigantic shift but truly speaking if at the ground level a teacher by his own efforts incorporates the intelligence type of the students and gives learning exposure in compliance with it, the results would surely be astonishing and we would be able to develop the coming generation in a much more productive and successful form.

Indeed the practical implication of Gardner’s theory has a potential towards developing each student to his maximum level.


1. Chouhan S S (2008) ‘Advanced Educational Psychology’, Noida Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi

2. Hilgard E R, Atkinson R C, Atkinson R L (6th Edition) ‘Introduction to Psychology’, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. NY, USA

3. Sharma H S, Talesara S, Gera K, Banu Z Bawastha avum Vikas Prakriya’, Arihant Shiksha Prakashan, Jaipur

Dr Zehra Banu

Dr Zehra Banu

Dr Zehra Banu is presently working as Associate Professor at Vidya Bhawan Govindram Seksaria Teacher’s College, Udaipur, Rajasthan. She holds degrees in M Sc, M Ed and PhD (Education), besides successfully clearing NET (Education). She is a Gold Medalist in the M Ed Course from Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Udaipur in the session 2001. She has more than fifteen years experience in Teacher Education and has been teaching B Ed and M Ed classes; she has guided ten dissertations of M A Education and fifteen dissertations of M Ed course.

She has written twenty-two articles on varied issues of education, its prospects, problems and evaluative measures which have been published in reputed journals of the country including University News & BRICKS Journal.

She has authored three books and co-authored two books in education.

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