Professor of Harvard – Dr. Howard Gardner – developed a theory. According to him, humans can have more than 8 types of intelligence. Dr. Howard Gardner’s theory explains that you cannot say whether a person is intelligent or not by simply focusing on one type of intelligence.He further adds that a human has the capability of possessing 8 types of intelligence.
Dr. Howard Gardner defines intelligence as not a single entity. It is capable of development. However, the human brain is made of phases of development, where one type of intelligence develops at a fast speed, while other types do not.
The official Multiple Intelligences website describes them in the following ways:
1. Spatial: The ability to conceptualize and manipulate large-scale spatial arrays (for example, an airplane pilot or sailor), or more local forms of space (for example, an architect or chess player).
2. Bodily-kinesthetic: The ability to use one’s whole body, or parts of the body (like the hands or the mouth), to solve problems or create products (for example, a dancer).
3. Musical: Sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody and timbre. May entail the ability to sing, play musical instruments, and/or compose music (for example, a musical conductor).
4. Linguistic: Sensitivity to the meaning of words, the order among words, and the sound, rhythms, inflections, and meter of words (for example, a poet).
5. Logical-mathematical: The capacity to conceptualize the logical relations among actions or symbols (for example, a mathematician or scientist). Famed psychologist Jean Piaget believed he was studying the range of intelligences, but he was actually studying logical-mathematical intelligence.
6. Interpersonal: The ability to interact effectively with others. Sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations (for example, a negotiator).
7. Intrapersonal: Sensitivity to one’s own feelings, goals, and anxieties, and the capacity to plan and act in light of one’s own traits. Intrapersonal intelligence is not particular to specific careers; rather, it’s a goal for every individual in a complex modern society, where one has to make consequential decisions for oneself.
8. Naturalistic: The ability to make consequential distinctions in the world of nature as, for example, between one plant and another, or one cloud formation and another (for example, a taxonomist).
9. Spiritual Intelligence – A person with spiritual intelligence is interested in the understanding of life and deep human beings. S/he is sensitive and accepts people having all types of intelligence.
If we were to celebrate these other abilities as components of intelligence, not only could education become more welcoming and inclusive, but the world would become a smarter and more accepting place. In the meantime, try thinking about people you know — and yourself — in light of the eight types of intelligence. Chances are, the insight will be enlightening.