Multiple Intelligences Theory Domains In Learning Education Essay

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Intelligence can be defined in several unique ways. It is considered to be the potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge the ability to create products and to provide valuable services and a biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems that are of value in a culture. Most people maintain that there is but a single intelligence; typically people think of intelligence using the Stanford Binet IQ test which measured the chronological age and maturation age of a person to determine IQ. The MI theory holds that each person possesses eight intelligences, and uses them to carry several kinds of tasks (Great performances, 2002; Shearer, 2004; Gardner, 2006).

The Multiple Intelligence Theory (MI) was developed by Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate Professor in the School of Education, in 1983. Gardner's theory maintains that each person possesses several intelligences which are used to carry out specific tasks. This theory is important to education because teachers see more frequently that students learn in different ways.

Gardner originally proposed seven intelligences, but later adapted his findings and added two more multiple intelligences. Gardener knew the importance of adapting to an ever-changing society (McCoog, 2007). The world of education has adapted learning from the original lecture-based class, to web-based instruction. The parallels are outstanding, but what is even more astonishing is that the theory of Multiple Intelligences still applies and directs the expectations of instructional practice, whether classroom or web-based.


Multiple Intelligences Domains

Multiple intelligences consist of three domains: the analytical, introspective and interactive domains. These three domains serve as an organizer for understanding the fluid relationship of the intelligences and how the intelligences work with one another. Teachers can plan lessons and units which effectively address all of the intelligences in the classroom (McKenzie, 2002).

1. The Analytical Domain

According to McKenzie (2002), the analytic domain consists of the logical, musical and naturalist intelligences. These are the intelligences that promote analysis of knowledge that is presented to the learner. These three intelligences are considered analytic because they promote the processes of analyzing and incorporating data into existing schema, even though they may have other components. The analytical intelligences are by their nature heuristic processes.

2. The Interactive Domain

McKenzie (2002) indicates that the interactive domain consists of the linguistic, interpersonal and kinesthetic intelligences. These are the intelligences that learners typically employ to express themselves and explore their environment. These three intelligences are regarded as interactive because they typically invite and encourage interaction to achieve understanding. Even if a student completes a task individually, s/he must consider others through the way s/he writes, creates, constructs and makes conclusion. The interactive intelligences are by their nature social processes (McKenzie, 2002).

3. The Introspective Domain

The introspective domain consists of existential, intrapersonal, and visual intelligences.


These are the intelligences that have a distinctly affective component to them. These intelligences are characterized as introspective because they require a looking inward by the learner, an emotive connection to their own experiences and beliefs in order to make sense of new learning. The introspective intelligences are by their nature affective processes (McKenzie, 2002).

Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory

Gardner suggested that all individuals have personal intelligence profiles that consist of combinations of seven different intelligence types. In 1999, Gardner added an eighth intelligence type to the list; that is, natural intelligence. Moreover, two years later a ninth type, namely existential intelligence, was added to the list (Gardner, 1999, pp. 41-43). In the following sections, the nine "intelligences" as conceptualized by Gardner (1993& 1999) are described in detail, with the aim of identifying the range of abilities subsumed by each domain and of examining the cognitive demands of tasks assessing these abilities.

1. Linguistic Intelligence

Gardner has described Linguistic intelligence as sensitivity to spoken and written language and the ability to use language to accomplish goals, as well as the ability to learn new languages. According to Gardner (1993), lawyers, public speakers, writers, and poets all possess high levels of linguistic intelligence. The linguistic intelligence domain, as described by Gardner, seems to encompass a wide variety of more specific abilities. Thurstone (1938), for example, differentiated between verbal comprehension and word fluency, which represented two of his seven primary mental abilities, whereas Gardner would include both under the domain of linguistic intelligence.


Verbal comprehension involves the ability to understand the meanings both of individual words and of passages of written or spoken texts. Word fluency, in contrast, involves the ability to generate rapidly many examples of words that meet some specification (e.g., words beginning with a given letter, words rhyming with a target word, words naming objects that have some property, etc.).

2. Logical/Mathematical Intelligence

The Logical/Mathematical intelligence and Linguistic intelligence have traditionally been emphasized in our schools. Logical/Mathematical intelligence is calculating, creating hypotheses, and completing mathematical operations. It can be defined as manipulation of objects and problem solving, and is dominant in the fields of science and mathematics. Any physicist, chemist, and mathematician are assumed to have a prominent Logical/Mathematical intelligence, but it can also be found in detectives. Albert Einstein and Marie Curie are well known for their high level of Logical/Mathematical intelligence. Students with this intelligence are often working on patterns, math problems, strategy games or brain teasers and experiments. These students are often very organized, appreciate schedules and structure, and are quick to ask for assistance when they do not understand a task. It is said that individuals with high Logical/Mathematical intelligence often shows an interest in music (Shepard, 2004; Gardner, 2006).

3. Spatial/Visual Intelligence

Spatial intelligence is defined as the capacity to perceive the visual world accurately through transforming, modifying and recreating the aspects of one's individual real world.


To some this is known simply as Visual intelligence. Blind people also have the ability to develop spatial intelligence. Mental imagery, spatial reasoning, graphic skills, and imagination are all part of spatial intelligence. Spatial intelligence deals mainly with the concrete world, and is considered the ability to think in three dimensions. Spatial problem solving is used in navigation and in using maps, and requires a great deal of spatial intelligence (Nolen, 2003; Gardner, 2006; Scherer, 2006).

4. Musical Intelligence

Musical intelligence involves the ability to understand pitch, rhythm, and tone as well as thinking in sound. Being able to manipulate music and combine its elements is a portion of musical intelligence. Many people with Musical intelligences can often hear and remember sounds that others might miss. Musicians, vocalists, composers and conductors all have a high musical intelligence. Students with an advanced Musical intelligence often create a rhyme to memorize information, can easily find patterns in things, and are often distracted when a radio or television is on while they are trying to work. Singers such as Whitney Houston and The Beatles are thought to have high musical intelligence (Shepard, 2004; Gardner, 2006; York, 2008).

5. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

Gardner described this intelligence as the potential of using the whole body or parts of the body in problem-solving or the creation of products. Gardner identified not only dancers, actors, and athletes as those who excel in bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, but also craftspeople, surgeons, mechanics, and other technicians. Thus, Gardner does not appear to differentiate between gross motor skills (i.e., involving the whole body or the larger muscle groups) and fine motor skills (i.e., involving smaller muscle groups, especially those controlling the hands and fingers) in describing bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.


Gardner has not explained why these abilities would be expected to be strongly associated with each other. Given that the bodily-kinesthetic domain subsumes both gross and fine motor skills, the assessment of this domain would require measurements of both of these intuitively rather distinct areas of ability.

6. Interpersonal Intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence allows one to understand and work with others. It is usually found in people who have effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, and have the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Students often identify with this intelligence when they are ones who favor working in a group, are involved in several extracurricular activities, and enjoy thinking about major issues such as poverty and war. Highly Interpersonal people are leaders among their peers, skillful at communicating, and seem to understand other's feelings and motives. Anyone who deals with people usually possesses a high interpersonal intelligence: teachers, therapists, salespersons, and politicians (Shepard, 2004; Gardner, 2006).

7. Intrapersonal Intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence is defined as, "knowledge of the internal aspects of a person: access to one's own feeling life, one's range of emotions, the capacity to make discriminations among these emotions and eventually to label them and to draw on them as a means of understanding and guiding one's own behavior." (Gardner, 2006, p.17) People with a high Intrapersonal intelligence would rather work alone then be forced to work in a group, and are often labeled shy. They are very aware of their own feelings, and are self-motivated. Intrapersonal intelligence deals more with the individual self.


It is the ability to know oneself and to understand one's own inner workings. Psychologists, spiritual leaders, and philosophers have all been labeled as having high intrapersonal intelligence. These professionals use this intelligence to help people solve their personal problems. Oprah Winfrey and Mother Teresa are well known for their Intrapersonal intelligence because of their understanding and appreciation of people. Though these two historical figures are not considered to be loners, they are very aware of their own feelings and self-motivated which is why they represent the Intrapersonal intelligence (Nolen, 2003; Shepard, 2004; Shearer, 2004; York, 2008).

8. Naturalistic Intelligence

Naturalist intelligence is displayed in a person who is, "keenly aware of how to distinguish the diverse plans, animals, mountains, or cloud configurations in their ecological niche" (Gardner, 2006, p.19). Gardner suggests that one's entire consumer culture is based on the Naturalist intelligence because it includes the capacities we use when we are drawn to one item rather than another. People with advanced Naturalistic intelligence have an appreciation for the natural world. They are very concerned with the present, and the future of the world and preserving our planet for future generations. They often show an expertise in recognition and classification of plants and animals. Charles Darwin, the founder of evolution theory, is a prime example of the Naturalist theory. Careers such as a botanist or a chef would possess high levels of the Naturalist intelligence. Students who enjoy spending time outdoors, love to group items together, and always want to recycle are said to have high naturalist intelligence (Armstrong, 2000; Nolen, 2003; Shepard, 2004; Gardner, 2006).


9. Existential Intelligence

Gardner considered existential intelligence as the intelligence of understanding in a large context or big picture. It is the capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why we die, what my role is in the world. This intelligence seeks connections to real world and allows learners to see their place in the big picture and to observe their roles in the classroom, society and the world or the universe. Existential intelligence includes aesthetic, philosophy, and religion and emphasizes the classical values of beauty, truth and goodness. Those with a strong existential intelligence have the ability to summarize and synthesize ideas from across a broad unit of study.

Multiple Intelligences and learning

Initially Gardner did not plan for his theory to be applied to education because it did not come with a program for educators to model in their classroom (Viadero, 2003). At the time the theory emerged, educators were searching for ways to explain the dramatic differences they saw in students, and how they learned. "It [the MI Theory] seemed to answer many questions for experienced teachers who all had students who did not fit the mold, students were bright, but they did not excel on tests." (Guignon, 2004) The Multiple Intelligence Theory proposes that children all learn material in different ways and it assists in understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing children's learning strengths and weaknesses will help teachers encourage students to try new ways of learning. It will also aid teachers in planning according to the classroom's abilities. The Multiple Intelligences classroom helps students realize how smart they are by providing them with different outlets of learning. More time in planning and preparation might be necessary when using Gardner's theory.


The Multiple Intelligences classroom looks different than the typical Linguistic/Mathematical classroom. It requires a few important ingredients such as: "administrative support, student choice in planning, and patience and persistence in working through initial resistance to MI activities by both students and colleagues" (Shearer, 2004, p.10; Shepard, 2004, p. 210).


I think it's very important to use multiple intelligence through the learning process because it's necessary to discover the intelligences of students and how dealing with. Some teachers Believe that some students zombies are stupid, they don't know may some of them have one or more of multiple intelligences. So we have to apply multiple intelligences theory in our schools to bring up creative generations. And even make the students innovate in their fields we should use IM in the learning to improve and to raise the level of education in our curricula in our schools.