Part II Education in a World of Multiple Intelligence
The World of Multiple Intelligence
Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligence
defines these eight kinds of human
1. Mathematical-logical (problem solving,
fix or repair, program)
2. Spatial (dance, sports, driving a bus)
3. Bodily-kinesthetic (acting, mime, sports)
4. Musical-rhythmic (composing, playing
5. Verbal-linguistic (reading, using words,
public speaking, storytelling)
6. Interpersonal (social skills, reading
other people, working in a group)
7. Interpersonal (introspection,
self-assessment, goal making, vision, planning)
8. Naturalist (able to distinguish among,
classify, and use environmental features)
Mathematical-logical and Verbal intelligence represent core intelligence.
Skills related to core intelligence are emphasized by traditional schools.
People with above average ability in any of the eight areas of intelligence,
have special intelligence. The world of work rewards people who develop
skills associated with their special intelligence, provided they
minimum core intelligence skills required of
Determining Appropriate Education for a World of Multiple Intelligence
Determining educational requirements begins by matching a person's special intelligence
with careers that reward this intelligence. Careers have many levels of competition.
Choosing one's appropriate level requires honest analysis of intelligence, motivation,
and personal needs. For example, the health industry requires doctors and nurses,
hospital directors and floor supervisors, x-ray technicians, and physical therapists.
Career success will be enhanced by choosing an appropriate level of competition,
one in which core and special intelligence requirements are reasonably satisfied.
Once the competitive level is set, the appropriate education, considering minimum
core intelligence and special intelligence requirements, can be determined.
Success at any level will be enhanced by improving skills
related to non-core and non-
special intelligence. A person might not
like going to the office picnic or talking
customers, but developing these interpersonal skills is important to economic
The dynamic nature of business may cause skill requirements for a particular career
level to change. In addition, people often want to compete at a higher level. As a result,
an individual may frequently have to compare their core and special intelligence with new
skill requirements. Once this analysis is completed, choosing an education appropriate
for the enhancement of these skills may begin.
Developing Special Skills is Important
Once minimum core intelligence skill requirements have been satisfied for a given career level,
economic and academic returns from education will be maximized by developing special
intelligence skills. People who ignore the process of determining appropriate education for a
world of multiple intelligence may receive little return from their education.
Bureau of the Census 1992 data indicates that approximately 25% of the bachelor degree holders
earn less than the median high school graduate and approximately 20% of the high school graduates
earn more than the median college graduate. Percentages vary depending upon age, gender, and
other demographic characteristics.
National Survey of Adult Literacy tests measuring Prose, Document (understanding forms), and
Quantitative skills conducted by the Department of Education in 1992 reported that 15 to 20%
of four-year college graduates have skill levels below median high school graduates.
Here are some ideas related to Education in a World of Multiple Intelligence.
Sources for Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence theory are:
Multiple Intelligence: The Theory and Practice,
Howard E. Gardner, 1993, ISBN 046501822X, and
2) "How Many Smarts Do You Have?," Business Week, September 16, 1996,
Ideas concerning directing education toward a person's special intelligence
can be found on pages 236 and 237
of The New Realities, Peter F. Drucker, Harper & Row Publishers,
1989, ISBN 0060916990.
For more information on adult literacy, see Adult Literacy in America
by the National Center For Education Statistics.
September of 1993 ISBN 0-16-041929-8.
Ideas concerning the economic return of education can be found on:
1) pages 282-289
The Future of Capitalism, Lester C. Thurow, William Morrow and
Company, Inc., 1996, and at the
National Center for Educational Statistics.
Please contact us with your thoughts and suggestions.
Rainbows of Intelligence: Raising Student Performance Through Multiple Intelligences
In his 1995 book Emotional Intelligence, Dr. Daniel Graham
introduced the idea that some people were very good at managing their own
emotions and perceiving those of others. Now an important concept of
workplace psychology, it is distinct from educational achievement. It is
more important than IQ in predicting success and is possessed in large
amounts by top-flight leaders. I am sure Howard would call this
Books on Emotional Intelligence.