Multiple Intelligences

Back in 1983, Dr. Howard Gardner challenged traditional thinking that suggested people were either more intelligent or less intelligent.  Instead he suggested that there were different types of intelligences.  His theory is that each person contained eight different types of intelligences in varying degrees.  The eight intelligences are:
  1. Linguistic
  2. Logical-Mathematical
  3. Visual-Spatial
  4. Musical
  5. Interpersonal
  6. Intrapersonal
  7. Naturalist
  8. Bodily-Kinesthetic
Similarly to how you determine your learning style, you can consider your own experiences, tasks and activities and consider which areas you are most comfortable in.  It's important to note that this is not a type theory and again we each contain all eight intelligences in various degrees.  Traditional teaching may have focused in Linguistic or Logical-Mathematical.  Each of us has these intelligences, however if a person was primarily Intrapersonal and Musical, they may not excel in this particular example of education.

Here is an interview with Dr. Howard Gardner explaining Multiple Intelligences far better than I could:

One could incorporate this into their lesson design by having the students select from a list of activities that they can perform to complete that particular lesson.

Example: If the topic was the use of propaganda during World War II, students could select one of the following tasks:
  • Read an article on propaganda and explain it to the class
  • Create their own propaganda poster
  • Write a song that attempts to convince others of an idea
  • As a group shoot a video skit on propaganda
One thing you need to consider when using multiple intelligences in developing your lessons is in evaluation of the students.  Obviously something as simple as a multiple choice question is easy to evaluate, but in the example above evaluating the results could be very subjective and time consuming.  It's also very difficult to apply the same evaluation scale when each project is entirely different from one another.