E4: Phil & History

Adrianna Blanchette

October 6, 2014

E4: Phil & History


For this assignment I decided to choose the topic multiple intelligences for my conceptual analysis.

  1. What is the dictionary definition of the concept? What were the origins of the concept?

Howard Gardner himself states, “Multiple intelligences is a psychological theory about the mind. It’s a critique of the notion that there’s a single intelligence which we’re born with, which can’t be changed, and which psychologists can measure. It’s based on a lot of scientific research in fields ranging from psychology to anthropology to biology. It’s not based upon based on test correlations, which most other intelligence theories are based on. The claim is that there are at least eight different human intelligences. Most intelligence tests look at language or logic or both – those are just two of the intelligences. The other six are musical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. I make two claims. The first claim is that all human beings have all of these intelligences. It’s part of our species definition. The second claim is that, both because of our genetics and our environment, no two people have exactly the same profile of intelligences, not even identical twins, because their experiences are different.” Harvard professor Howard Gardner has identified eight different types of intelligences that each individual has the capacity to possess. The idea of multiple intelligences is important because it allows for educators to identify differing strengths and weaknesses in students and also contradicts the idea that intelligence can be measured through IQ. In researching about genius, we found that Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences provides a great alternative to the popular measurable IQ method. (www.cse.emory.edu) Howard Gardner developed MI theory in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In doing so, he drew on evidence from a wide variety of sources, disciplines, and research tradition. He presented the theory for the first time in 1983, in the book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (New edition, 2011). (http://multipleintelligencesoasis.org/about/)

  1. What are the limits of the concept? What does the concept not mean?

Multiple intelligences is limited to the main intelligences that originated from Gardner. These intelligences are visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic and logical-mathematical. Gardner uses these intelligences to help guide teachers and parents on how students learn. These intelligences can be used in planning lesson plans, coordinating homework and providing the best education possible for all students.  “According to Gardner, an intelligence is the ability to solve problems or to create products that are valued within one or more cultural settings. Intelligences arise from the combination of a person’s genetic heritage and life conditions in a given culture and era.” (Wares, A. (2013).) The concept of multiple intelligences does not mean that all students land in just one category or even a category at all. All students are difference with different situations. Some of these situations could be that a student would fall into multiple categories, a student solely falls in one category, or a student may feel that they do not belong in any category fully. Students may be fully in one category, but they also just a second or third category to assist their learning. This allows the student to receive the education to their fullest. One limit of the concept is that students are not officially put into categories. These categories are simply to assist the student’s learning. Giving students the option of how they want to learn is so important. We as adults may not always learn how students learn best. If we provide students with learning materials in many different ways, then the students have a better chance of receiving the information that works the best for the individual student.

  1. What are related terms for the concept?

After Gardner’s initial theory of multiple intelligences, Daniel Goleman also added to multiple intelligences. Goleman added two more intelligences. “Daniel Goleman (1995), who began with the emotional intelligence (El) theory, expanded this theory into a consideration of social and emotional intelligence (SEI; Goleman, 2006). Goleman theorized that a person’s feelings and passions are the guiding force of his or her behavior. El is the enhanced capacity to recognize and control one’s own emotions. SEI expands this concept as one shows a capacity to recognize and work well with the emotions of others. Unfortunately, the world of education has had little experience with SEI theory because Goleman spent more time in business and industry in the application of his theory. (Adcock, P. K. (2014)) The two newest intelligences help assist the other initial intelligences. These intelligences focus on emotions. Other terms that are related with multiple intelligences are lesson planning, how students’ brains function and interacting with one another. Multiple intelligences is key when lesson planning. Teachers need to provide lessons that will target all of the students’ learning ways. These learning ways correlate with multiple intelligences. The multiple intelligences are how students’ brains work in receiving and recalling information. These intelligences assist to provide students with the best possible way of providing education. Interacting with others is in many of the intelligences. Having the students interact with one another, it may be possible that students may learn the material through different intelligences. If a student shows another student how they received the information, it may be that the other student may understand and start using these practice. It is always a good idea for students to work together. This builds teamwork, partnership and students may learn better when taught or watching another student.

  1. After one’s study, how might the concept be reconceptualized?

After doing research on multiple intelligences, the concept deals with how students receive information and how they learn best. This concept could be reconceptualized by teachers categorizing students into these categories. This may not be the best for students but it could be changed this way. Teachers could put students into groups that have similar and different intelligences. Students can bounce off ideas from each other in these groups. Teachers can make lesson plans that aim to these individual intelligences and also add other intelligences that are similar that the students could also use.

I personally agree with multiple intelligences. I believe that it is a great theory and that all teachers should be considering all intelligences while making lesson plans. I personally found that when I was student teaching I was constantly thinking of the multiple intelligences. It amazed me of how the students learning styles varied so much. I thought about these while making lesson plans to make sure that all the students were receiving the education to their best ability.

I don’t believe that multiple intelligences needs to be reconceptualized. This theory works very well for students. It is shown in multiple students how well students react. I am afraid that once students understand what category they fall under that they will not think they belong to any other. In many cases this is wrong. Students fall into different multiple intelligences categories. Students should embrace all of the categories that they fall into. They can all assist the student in their education.

  1. What might be the implications of this reconceptualized concept on my own world view and social and professional development?

If the concept was reconceptualized it would definitely change how schools are run. Students would be tested to see what intelligences they have and placed in certain studying groups sue to their intelligences. In certain cases this would work well for the students, but I have a feeling that the intelligences would take over how students are taught. Students are supposed to be in groups that have different learning abilities. Students can learn from other students that have similar and different learning skills. I as an educator would be against separating students due to their intelligences. I agree that certain situations lead to students being taken out of their regular classrooms for additional help, but not placed into different classroom entirely. Another worry I would have would be that once a student finds out what intelligence category they fall into they would feel that they wouldn’t fit into any other one. Many students fall into multiple categories. I would be afraid that students would focus solely on this one intelligence and not use all of the intelligences to their fullest. I believe that teachers need to be aware of these intelligences due to the fact that it is so important to understand how students learn in their many ways. We can take these learning skills and adapt them to fit the best in the classrooms. I feel that students now a days are being tested and put into so many different categories that this should not become another category we put our students in. It is great information for not only teachers but parents as well. Parents can observe and talk to the teachers about what intelligences they believe the student exhibits. They can take this knowledge and use it at home. They can find ways to make homework easier for the student. Having both the parents and teacher on the same page will lead to a successful student in the end.




The website states what multiple intelligences according to Howard Gardner himself.

The website has accurate and reliable information because there are quotes directly from Gardner and has authors that are stated on the website.



The website provides information about when and how Gardner developed the concept of multiple intelligences.

The website has accurate information because it is Gardner’s website and has cited authors that have documented pieces on it.


Adcock, P. K. (2014). The Longevity of Multiple Intelligence Theory in Education. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 80(4), 50-57


Wares, A. (2013). An application of the theory of multiple intelligences in mathematics classrooms in the context of origami. International Journal Of Mathematical Education In Science & Technology, 44(1), 122-131. doi:10.1080/0020739X.2012.662297


Furnham, A., & Shagabutdinova, K. (2012). Sex differences in estimating multiple intelligences in self and others: A replication in Russia. International Journal Of Psychology, 47(6), 448-459. doi:10.1080/00207594.2012.658054


Clarke, A., & Cripps, P. (2012). Fostering Creativity: A Multiple Intelligences Approach to Designing Learning in Undergraduate Fine Art. International Journal Of Art & Design Education, 31(2), 113-126. doi:10.1111/j.1476-8070.2012.01736.x


Furnham, A. (2009). The Validity of a New, Self-report Measure of Multiple Intelligence. Current Psychology, 28(4), 225-239. doi:10.1007/s12144-009-9064-z


Ghazi, S., Shahzada, G., Gilani, U., Shabbir, M., & Rashid, M. (2011). RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENTS’ SELF PERCEIVED MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES AND THEIR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT. International Journal Of Academic Research, 3(2), 619-623.


Tutwiler, S., Ming-Chao, L., & Chun-Yen, C. (2013). The use of a gesture-based system for teaching multiple intelligences: A pilot study. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 44(5), E133-E1. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01368.x




Gardner, H. (2011). Promoting Learner Engagement Using Multiple Intelligences and Choice-Based Instruction. Adult Basic Education & Literacy Journal, 5(2), 97-101.


McKethan, R., Rabinowitz, E., & Kernodle, M. W. (2010). Multiple Intelligences in Virtual and Traditional Skill Instructional Learning Environments. Physical Educator, 67(3), 156-168.




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