Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory approaches the concept of intelligence more broadly than any other interpretation of intelligence that has ever existed. Instead of emphasizing traditional types of intelligences, such as linguistic and logical-mathematical, the theory takes into account other dimensions of person’s cognitive abilities that do not fit in the conventional perception of intelligence.
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While some people think that newly identified types of intelligence (interpersonal, intrapersonal, bodily-kinesthetic and others) undermine the significance of mathematical and semantic reasoning, I believe that Gardner, in fact, promotes inclusivity and uniqueness of individuals.
The concept of inclusivity in terms of intelligence is specifically prominent in the academic and work setting. Students and employees are frequently being labeled “smart” or “stupid” based on their ability to solve mathematical equations and write compelling essays (Shearer, 2018). Yet, this standardized approach is far from perfect, failing to consider other significant attributes of person’s cognitive abilities. Spatial coordination and ability to control one’s body is more important for an Olympic athlete than written communication, as well as perception of rhythm and music is more beneficial for a songwriter than logical reasoning.
Rather than shifting attention from traditional types of intelligence, Gardner’s theory will encourage teachers, parents, and employers to recognize the unique personality of each individual. Intelligence is holistic and should not be limited by the frames of linguistic and logical skills (Shearer, 2018).
A further discussion needs to take place on the governmental level to ensure that children are being developed and educated in accordance with their strengths and areas for growth. Instead of undermining child’s cognitive capacity and future career prospects due to the limited Math knowledge or poor verbal expression, newly identified types of intelligence will stress the significance of individual approach in teaching.
Shearer B. (2018). Multiple intelligences in teaching and education: Lessons learned from neuroscience. Journal of Intelligence, 6(3), 1-8. Web.