28 February 2024 What Do You Have to Know About Multiple Intelligence?

Intelligence? What exactly is intelligence?

When you hear the word intelligence, you might immediately thought of your intelligence level. Everyone is born with measurable natural intelligence, and changing it requires difficult capability. Intelligence is dynamic, which means it can be improved based on your exposure to society, environment and education in terms of the ability to learn.

However, new perspectives on intelligence have emerged in the recent years. Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist, developed the Multiple Intelligences theory. The theory proposes that people learn and acquire information in various ways, and according to Howard Gardner's hypothesis, individuals do not have all their potential intelligence at birth, but rather will benefit from a variety of opportunities by interacting with the content and exposure to the world.

Gardner identified eight types of intelligence to broaden the concept of intelligence which is linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist intelligence. Every individual has a different learning style. Knowing which types of intelligence one possesses can be extremely beneficial, especially in studies. When parents give their children a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, they will perform better in school. Have you heard of the saying "if a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn"? The multiple intelligence theory is best described by this phrase. Teachers can adjust the learning style to the child's preferences if they are aware of the type of intelligence they possesses. Indirectly, knowing the child's learning style allows the teacher to provide the appropriate approach to cater to their learning style. This will help them in their future careers too. 

Adults may see failure as an opportunity to try again, but for children, failure can be a disappointment, which can lead to them failing to pay attention or disrupting class. The multiple intelligence theory has the potential to re-engage students in learning. Using multiple intelligences to teach a concept gives each of your diverse learners a chance to succeed. 

Learners who excel at visual-spatial intelligence will excel at drawing and puzzles. Students with high linguistic intelligence would have better abilities to comprehend a written report to a reading assignment, whereas those with high interpersonal intelligence excel at classroom discussions. Teaching with the awareness of a student's strengths improves learning and decreases classroom behaviour problem as they experience success in their learning.

Characteristics of the 8 types of Multiple Intelligences

Spatial intelligence

Meanings: People who are strong in visual-spatial intelligence are good at visualizing things. These individuals are often good with directions as well as maps, charts, videos, and pictures.


  • Read and write for enjoyment

  • Are good at putting puzzles together

  • Interpret pictures, graphs, and charts well

  • Enjoy drawing, painting, and the visual arts

  • Recognize patterns easily

Linguistic Intelligence

Meaning: People who are strong in linguistic-verbal intelligence are able to use words well, both when writing and speaking. These individuals are typically very good at writing stories, memorizing information, and reading.


  • Remember written and spoken information

  • Enjoy reading and writing

  • Debate or give persuasive speeches

  • Are able to explain things well

  • Use humour when telling stories

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Meanings: People who are strong in logical-mathematical intelligence are good at reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically analysing problems. These individuals tend to think conceptually about numbers, relationships, and patterns.


  • Have excellent problem-solving skills

  • Enjoy thinking about abstract ideas

  • Like conducting scientific experiments

  • Can solve complex computations

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

Meanings: Those who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are said to be good at body movement, performing actions, and physical control. People who are strong in this area tend to have excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterity


  • Are skilled at dancing and sports

  • Enjoy creating things with his or her hands

  • Have excellent physical coordination

  • Remember by doing, rather than hearing or seeing

Musical Intelligence

Meanings: People who have strong musical intelligence are good at thinking in patterns, rhythms, and sounds. They have a strong appreciation for music and are often good at musical composition and performance


  • Enjoy singing and playing musical instruments

  • Recognize musical patterns and tones easily

  • Remember songs and melodies

  • Have a rich understanding of musical structure, rhythm, and notes

Interpersonal Intelligence

Meanings: Those who have strong interpersonal intelligence are good at understanding and interacting with other people. These individuals are skilled at assessing the emotions, motivations, desires, and intentions of those around them


  • Communicate well verbally

  • Are skilled at nonverbal communication

  • See situations from different perspectives

  • Create positive relationships with others

  • Resolve conflicts in group settings

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Meanings: Individuals who are strong in intrapersonal intelligence are good at being aware of their own emotional states, feelings, and motivations. They tend to enjoy self-reflection and analysis, including daydreaming, exploring relationships with others, and assessing their personal strengths


  • Analyze their strengths and weaknesses well

  • Enjoy analyzing theories and ideas

  • Have excellent self-awareness

  • Understand the basis for his or her own motivations and feelings

Naturalist Intelligence

Meanings: Individuals who are strong in this type of intelligence are more in tune with nature and are often interested in nurturing, exploring the environment, and learning about other species. These individuals are said to be highly aware of even subtle changes to their environments


  • Are interested in subjects such as botany, biology, and zoology

  • Categorize and catalogue information easily

  • Enjoy camping, gardening, hiking, and exploring the outdoors

  • Dislikes learning unfamiliar topics that have no connection to nature

The theory does not claim that a person possesses only one of the eight intelligences, but rather that some are stronger than others. It is a good approach to be learning about these various types of intelligences because the MI theory helps parents, teachers, and children understand their children's strengths and how these can be used to help them learn and solve problems. 


Cherry, K. (2021, July 28). Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Verywell Mind. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/gardners-theory-of-multiple-intelligences-2795161 

Hatoum, L. (2021, November 5). Multiple intelligences definition and meaning. Top Hat. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://tophat.com/glossary/m/multiple-intelligences/ 

Jackson, J. E. (2017, November 21). How does the multiple intelligence theory help students? Education Seattlepi. Retrieved July 15, 2022, from https://education.seattlepi.com/multiple-intelligence-theory-students-2149.html