Gardners Multiple Intelligences Musical Intelligence Education Essay

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5/12/16 Education Reference this

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This paper conducted By Donovan A. McFarlane in Spring 2011 to examine Gardeners Multiple Intelligence theory as the most practical and active platform for 21st century educational and instructional methods constructed on the appreciative differences in today’s classrooms and educational institutions. It deals with the exclusive potentials and characteristics of individual learners, the chances that arise from applying the ideas of multiple intelligences, the need for flexibility and adaptation in a worldwide humanity, and the growing demand for responsibility at all levels of education.

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Numerous definitions of intelligence are shown in his paper to examine the theories of Sternberg and Goleman as supportive studies of Gardener’s MI as being the most effective platform for 21st century in the educational and instructional fields.


Various theories of intelligence are widespread in educational and psychological field. Some of those theories deal with singular intelligence and some as Gardner’s multiple intelligences concerns with diversity. Each theory has its own perspective viewpoint which affected educational and instructional methodologies. Multiple intelligences (MI) consist of many subsections of individual skills and prospective approaches according to their learning styles. IN (MI) theory, Gardner (2011a) believes that there are nine distinguishing types of intelligences: spatial intelligence, naturalist intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, musical-rhythmic intelligence, bodily kinesthetic intelligence and existential intelligence. (McFarlane, 2011)

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences

Musical Intelligence

It deals with ability of an individual in recognizing the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It includes the capability to identify and constitute musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. Gardner believes that musical intelligence relates to structural equivalent to linguistic intelligence.

Linguistic Intelligence

Spoken and written language is the most effective concern of linguistic intelligence. The ability to learn languages, and the ability of using a language to achieve specific aims and to express one’s goals verbally or rhythmically. An individual uses the language as a means to remember data and information. poets, lawyers, writers and speakers are among those that an effective linguistic intelligence as Gardener mentions.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

It relates to using one’s whole body or parts of the body to solve problems potentially. It concerns with the skill to use mental abilities to harmonize them with bodily actions and activities effectively. Howard Gardner regards mental and physical activity as related.

Spatial Intelligence

It relates to the possibility of recognizing and using the various patterns of wide space and more limited areas in educational and instructional fields.

Interpersonal Intelligence

Concerned with the ability to understand the purposes, stimulation, requirements, wishes and desires of other people. It relates to working in groups successfully with other teams. Religious, educators, salespeople, and political leaders and counselors all need a well-developed.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

It deals with understanding oneself successfully, appreciation of one’s feelings, fears and motivations effectively. According to Howard Gardner’s opinion, it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be capable to use such data, facts and notions to control and standardized our lives.

Naturalist Intelligence

It describes the human capability to distinguish from other living creatures (plants, animals) as well as sympathy to other features of the natural world as trees, clouds, skies, rock configurations, water supplies and so on.

Existential Intelligence

Understanding and being able to challenge and track deep inquiries about human existence, such as what does life mean? why do we live? Why do we die? and how did we get here.

According to the discoverer of multiple intelligences theory, Howard Gardner, “intelligence can be defined in three ways as: (i) a property of all human beings; (ii) a dimension on which human beings differ; and (iii) the ways in which one carries out a task in virtue of one’s goals” (Gardner, 2011a, p. ix). Gardner believes that the dense base for (MI) theory lies in bio-psychological possibilities that range across cultural milieus.

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Some scholars supported Gardener’s and Hatch’s views of MI theory. Two of the most notable examples are Robert J. Sternberg and Daniel Goleman. McFarlane states “The very definitions of intelligence provided by both these theorists reflect the same detachment from traditionalist theories of intelligence that is espoused by Gardner. Sternberg (2004) defines intelligence as “skill in achieving whatever it is you want to attain in your life within your sociocultural context by capitalizing on your strengths and compensating for, or correcting, your weaknesses” (p.1). Goleman (1995) differs only slightly by having a more “singular” definition of intelligence”: emotion. He defines intelligence as “abilities such as being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and delay gratification; to regulate one’s moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think; to empathize, and to hope” (p.285). Goleman calls this “Emotional Intelligence (EI)” and believes that it accounts for 80% of success in individuals”.

Why Multiple Intelligences is the Most Effective Platform

The developed theory of MI by Dr. Howard Gardner is based on the consideration that people learn consuming of various kinds of intelligences as Griggs et al. states in 2009 . This shows that people differs in acquiring and learning knowledge according to their individual differences and bio-psychological and cultural factors which affect their skills and abilities. MI among different intelligence theories has its exceptional platform dealing with human diversity characterizing individuals, and hence leads to a more effective and utilitarian approach to address unique learners in the classroom.

Comparing MI theory to other theories of minds or human potential is certainly the most operative and active platform upon which to improve educational and instructional methodologies for the classroom of the 21st century. We live in a truthfully international society where variety of humans has become the most important and crucial feature of social life. This diversity is noticeable in the 21st century school and classroom where students from all marches of life (representing diverse languages, cultures, civilizations, nationalities, religions, and socialization-backgrounds—not to mention unique individual personalities) meet in a singular place where the instructor must be able to facilitate vast differences.

Only multiple intelligences (MI) hold the influence and essential prospective for instructors or educators to develop elastic and broad enough methodologies and learning styles to address this different learners with their various skill sets or abilities.

According to Donovan,” Further evidence of the formidability of multiple intelligences as the most suitable and effective platform for 21st century instructional and educational methodologies can be gleaned from the application of various technologies in the learning process.” As technology is the aspect of the new age, we should integrate it in our educational system mixed with MI in order to create a new realm of modern instruction. Also, Gardener’s emergence of Emotional Intelligence (EI) has also brought new understanding of intelligence that makes MI theory more challenging and effective because integrating “emotion” allows for even greater relatively and subjectivity in the definition of what truly constitutes intelligence. Moreover, developed social interaction and interpersonal skills and increased their importance of defining intelligence as a wider range of human capabilities which helps to express an understanding of individual inimitability as the moderating feature in intelligence.


As one of various factors that influence educational and instructional process, intelligence has its own affect in designing a new approach which helps educators and instructors to deal with the diversity and individual uniqueness of the learners in one learning environment by using different learning styles. MI theory draws back the progress and differences between the modern centuries and previous ones by assigning new approaches and integrates them into educational system as turning our perspectives of the instructional methodologies and addressing diversity, individual skills and integrates them with technology as a result of globalization. As Donovan states,” Education is now a global process and “Education should encompass a variety of methods in order to reflect children’s different learning styles” (Silverstein, 1999, p. 18).” So according to Donovan’s point of view on his research paper which titled as Multiple Intelligences: The Most Effective Platform for Global 21st Century Educational and Instructional Methodologies, “Gardner’s MI theory therefore represents the most effective platform for global 21st century educational and instructional methodologies and those educators who embrace this perspective will find themselves meeting and surpassing stakeholders’ demands for accountability in the classroom and education.” As educators and instructors of this new age, we have to embrace differences in a truly diverse society of the 21st century.

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