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Learn more about Multiple Intelligences. Find out about the theory, how it fits with more traditional ideas about intelligence and how it can be used for teaching and learning.
Quick page links:


KEY IDEAS ABOUT MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES An Article introducing Multiple Intelligences.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Multiple Intelligences, Article, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: Multiple Intelligences

Intelligence: Who has it? Who hasn't? Is it fixed from birth? What’s it for? What is it? Where is it? Can it change?

Experts argue about the definition of intelligence and everyone takes a view on what it is:

  • The ability to make decisions and judgments that create positive effects - Graham
  • Knowing there's always more to learn - Jodie
  • Thinking, " I can..." - MJ, Westhoughton.
  • Being able to deal with the unexpected - Andy
  • Making connections - Janice Young

There are consequences of different definitions of intelligence:

IQ : Let’s say you believe that IQ is the best way to define and measure intelligence. Consequences:

  • You have to get over a certain score in an IQ test to be clever
  • You have to be good at verbal and non-verbal reasoning to get a high score
  • If your strengths are in other areas, you are not intelligent

Carol Dweck: (Mindsets and Self-Theory) Let’s say you think that intelligence is related to self-belief. Consequences:

  • Some people believe they can become cleverer and are therefore positive/active about learning and growth
  • Some people believe they’re stuck with their lot and are therefore negative/passive about learning and growth

MI Head DisplayEsteem Board - hidden faces and names

MI Teaching Board Display

Howard Gardner: (Multiple Intelligences) Let’s say that intelligence is the ability to solve problems and create products that are of value to your society. Consequences:

  • Everyone is clever because of what they do well
  • Verbal and non-verbal reasoning is valued
  • Running a meeting is valued
  • Fixing things is valued
  • Creating a piece of art is valued
  • Managing your emotions is valued
  • Running a family home is valued
  • People are valued for what they do best

Howard Gardner has identified at least 8 different ways to be clever; each meeting 8 criteria. The criteria are debated but the concept is sound, practical and used by educators across the world. The following areas offer multiple routes to learning, teaching, creativity and success:

Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence
Your mind comes alive to a rhythm and a melody. You may not be a concert pianist, but you engage easily with music. You may learn well to background music. You could use beats and tunes to pick up new skills and ideas.

Musical Intelligence Icon
Mathematical/Logical Intelligence
Logic and order are important to you. You can think like a machine. Your mind pulls you towards numbers and patterns. Learning can flow for you when ideas fit neatly together, with reasons.

Logical Intelligence Icon
Interpersonal Intelligence
You are an expert in the behaviour and emotions of other people. You understand the weather of human moods. Your mind loves to communicate with others. Learning can happen for you when your team is working well.

Interpersonal Intelligence Icon
Intrapersonal Intelligence
You are an expert on yourself. You know your strengths and targets. You know what makes you feel and think different things. You can communicate well with yourself. Learning alone may suit your independence.

Intrapersonal Intelligence Icon
Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence
Words, words, words - written, read, spoken, heard. Words are the food of your mind. You use words, you love words, you learn with words. Language is your life.

Linguistic Intelligence Icon
Naturalist Intelligence
You know your place in the environment, and you know the environment - city, country, mountain, motorway, animals, people - your mind knows how nature works. Learning can happen when nature and its organising principles are available to you.

Naturalistic Intelligence Icon
Bodily/Kinaesthetic Intelligence
Your mind controls your body with great skill. Your body does just what you want it to. You manipulate objects easily. You may learn best through moving and touching.

Kinaesthetic Intelligence Icon
Visual/Spatial Intelligence
Close your eyes and you can imagine whatever you want. You can go anywhere, create anything - in your mind. In your head, you can change what you've seen. Images may help you to learn.

Visual Intelligence Icon
Existential Intelligence
Life is your mystery - you have to solve it. You ask "Why?" and the bigger the question, the better. Learning may need to be deep and wide for you.
(This is acknowledged as 'half an intelligence' it doesn't yet meet all of the 8 criteria for an intelligence)

Existential Icon Intelligence
It's important to remember that we all possess all of the intelligences but to different degrees. It's also helpful to move beyond labelling ourselves as, say, "Musical with a bit of Linguistic" or "Kinaesthetic and Visual". Labels get us understanding the theory but we must be careful that we don't use them to limit ourselves or 'box in' those with whom we work and learn.

Books Multiple Intelligences Training

I’ve been using the concept of Multiple Intelligences both in the classroom and in training for over a decade.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet with Howard Gardner several times, together with professionals from around the world who use MI in their work.

All my training is inspired by the inclusive approach of Multiple Intelligences that can raise academic and life success for all.

For more information about Multiple Intelligences INSET for your school please Make an Enquiry or visit the Training Page.

Thinking Classroom featured Multiple Intelligences Resources

Multiple Intelligences in Practice
by Mike Fleetham

Multiple Intelligences in Practice<br>by Mike Fleetham Book giving a clear introduction to multiple intelligences for all age groups. Addresses differentiation, inclusion, engagement and personalised learning through a single coherent philosophy. Gives you concrete examples and case studies of MI in school and shows how MI principles can help you improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Multiple Intelligences, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Multiple Intelligences CPD

Talent for Learning

Talent for Learning An Article describing a refreshingly new and inspiring definition of 'talent'. Includes 6 steps for developing a talent-based ethos in school.

Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence win championships.
Michael Jordan

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.
Albert Einstein

Talent: gift or hard graft? Talent: revealed, discovered, nurtured or earned? 
Talent management: a school’s fundamental purpose?

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Gifted, Able & Talented, Multiple Intelligences, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Gifted Able & Talented

Fleetham MI Esteem Board

Fleetham MI Esteem Board Classroom Display Instructions and template for creating a classroom display that celebrates each child's unique intelligences strengths.

Categories: Other Resources, Poster, Multiple Intelligences, Any Subject, PSHE, All Ages

Tags: Multiple Intelligences Esteem Personalised Learning
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Multiple Intelligences Questionnaire

Multiple Intelligences Questionnaire A MI Resource providing a single page questionnaire to help establish a working Multiple Intelligences profile. Results can be used to plan learning, raise esteem, solve problems, set targets, develop thinking and enrich creativity.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Other Resources, Multiple Intelligences, Other Subject, Junior, Secondary, Tertiary, Educators

Tags: Multiple Intelligences

MI Teaching

MI Teaching A Teachers' Guide for making small changes in practice that'll address different intelligences in pupils. Match your teaching more closely to learning expectations. 

Categories: Other Resources, Multiple Intelligences, Teaching & Learning, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Multiple Intelligences CPD
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Activities for Adjectives

Activities for Adjectives Activities inspired by the multiple intelligences but specifically addressing adjectives. Also serves as a template for creating rich activities for other specific learning objectives.

Categories: Other Resources, Multiple Intelligences, English, Junior

Tags: Adjectives Multiple Intelligences Archive
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MI Thinking Prompts

MI Thinking Prompts A Thinking Activity using Multiple Intelligences to suggest different ways to learn and recall.

Categories: Other Resources, Multiple Intelligences, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Memory Multiple Intelligences Archive
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All Multiple Intelligences Resources
Books featured Multiple Intelligences Books

Multiple Intelligences Around The World
by JQ Chen, S Moran & H Gardner

Multiple Intelligences Around The World <br>by JQ Chen, S Moran & H Gardner A review of the diverse ways in which the Multiple Intelligences meme has spread and been applied to education in different countries.

Available from Amazon

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Categories: Suggested Books, Multiple Intelligences

Tags: Research

Intelligence Reframed
by Howard Gardner

Intelligence Reframed <br>by Howard Gardner A concise summary of the theory, applications, issues and practices of Multiple Intelligences.

Available from Amazon

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Categories: Suggested Books, Multiple Intelligences

Tags: Research Psychology

Thinking Classroom featured Multiple Intelligences Web Links

Free Online MI Assessment

Free Online MI Assessment Starting points for thinking about Multiple Intelligences profiles.

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Categories: Websites, Multiple Intelligences, Psychology, Assessment

Tags: Learning Style

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner Prof. Howard Gardner’s official website. This page includes .pdf downloads of book extracts and articles.

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Categories: Websites, Multiple Intelligences, Psychology

Tags: Thought Leader

The MIDAS Assessment

The MIDAS Assessment The detailed Multiple Intelligences assessment created by Dr Branton Shearer.

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Categories: Websites, Multiple Intelligences, Assessment

Tags: Learning Style