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Theory of multiple intelligences Howard Gardner

I’ll tell you about Howard Gardner and his theory of multiple intelligences.

In 1983, Howard Gardner’s Howard Gardner (Frames of Mind) book was published in the United States. In which the author claimed that there is no single intelligence. The so-called general intelligence or “g”, measured by a known IQ test. Quite the opposite, there are multiple intelligences that are independent of each other and can not be measured by standard tests. In the book, he singled out 7 types of intelligence, to which he subsequently added two more: linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, naturalistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and existential intelligence. All kinds of intellects are equivalent, each represents a special way of interacting with the surrounding reality, and evaluating some of the intellects is higher than others – this is an exclusively cultural tradition.

Our Western society highly values linguistic, logical-mathematical and intrapersonal intelligence. A child who speaks and writes well and/or is very good at math. And/or is a leader in a classroom (school). Most likely will not have problems with studies and will be considered successful.

Theory of multiple intelligences Howard Gardner

But in other cultures, other types of intelligence are valued. For example, in Nigeria in the Anang tribes, the ability to sing well (musical intelligence). And also dance (bodily and kinesthetic) will lead you to the top of the social ladder faster than the ability to think logically or speak well. In northern peoples (Chukchi, Eskimos, Inuit), the visual-spatial appearance of intelligence has always been highly valued. People with such intelligence had the ability to notice the slightest changes in the color and structure of the snow, which helped not to be on a breakaway ice floe or to prepare ahead of time for a snowstorm.

The psychological community accepted the book without much enthusiasm, but it was very positively received by many professionals from education. Some schools in the US even began to revise their programs to adapt to different types of intelligence. Unfortunately, the reality is that if it is difficult to learn by focusing on one or two types of intelligence, how to learn by focusing on nine?

Parents who teach their children at home, of course, are easier. Knowing about the different types of intelligence, you can choose an approach to learning that is best for your child. In addition, when teaching a home. There is no need to teach everyone the same thing. And also you will be able to focus your attention on the strong intellects of your child, instead of being killed over his weak points.

About how parents can use their knowledge of multiple intelligences in the practice of teaching their children, I’ll talk later in a separate post.

And now the table is from here.


Kind of intellect



(word smart)

Ability to operate words verbally (for example, as the narrator, orator, the politician does), and in writing (poet, writer, dramatist, journalist, editor). The existing pedagogical practice today appeals to the development of this kind of intelligence most intensively. At school, we listen, write, read and speak.


(number smart)

Ability to operate with numbers (mathematician, accountant, statistician) and think rationally (scientist, computer programmer, logician). This type of intelligence is also actively involved in school programs.

Visually – spatial

(picture smart)

Talent perceives the world visually and analyze this information (hunter, scout, guide), and also transform space (architect, artist, inventor, interior designer). A person who has developed this type of intelligence is susceptible to color, shape, lines, and relationships between objects in space. He can graphically express his ideas.


(body smart)

Ability to use the body for self-expression, transmit emotions and feelings by movements (athlete, dancer, actor), use hands to transform various things (artisan, sculptor, mechanic, surgeon).


(music smart)

It is about the ability to perceive music, evaluate it (music critic), transform, create music (composer), perform (performer). A person possessing a developed musical intellect easily remembers melodies and is able to reproduce. He is receptive to a rhythm.


(nature smart)

The naturalist has the ability to navigate among many living organisms (botanist, veterinarian, forester), and also has sensitivity and attention, interest in certain characteristics of the surrounding world (meteorologist, geologist, archaeologist).


(people smart)

Ability to distinguish moods, motives, intentions, and feelings of other people. The ability to communicate, i.e. to exchange information with other people verbally and nonverbally, through sign language, music, speech.



The clear vision of yourself, understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, limiting beliefs, motivation, moods, desires. A high level of self-control, self-understanding, self-esteem (psychologist, psychiatrist, philosopher). This kind of intelligence manifests itself through other species identified by Gardner.


(problem-solving smart)

Ability and inclination to formulate questions about life, death, and other existential things.

Theory of multiple intelligences Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner. “The structure of the mind: the theory of multiple intelligences.” Williams, 2007.

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

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