multiple intelligences visual image


I hope you are enjoying being back in the adult literacy centres and working with your learners. I also hope you had a refreshing mid-term break.

You are all very familiar with the writings of Dr Howard Gardner about ‘Multiple Intelligences’. In his 1983 book ‘Frames of Mind- the Theory of Multiple Intelligences’ he outlines 8 behaviours that can be considered as Intelligences. They are Linguistic, Logical/ Mathematical, Visual/ Spatial, Kinaesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal and Naturalist. In the introduction to his 2011 revised edition of the same book he refers to Existential/ Moral as perhaps being as additional Intelligence.  In this introduction he also states that ‘Human minds are highly differentiated entities’. We know this from our work with Adult Literacy learners. Where Gardner’s theory helps us greatly as educators is that by identifying multiples intelligences he helps us think about different ways we can delivery tuition that meet both the individual and group needs. A good lesson plan, and a well delivered session, will be prepared to teach a variety of ways so that the concepts, skills and knowledge being shared can reach all students and the unique blend of intelligences they possess.

When many of us think about Multiple Intelligences we also think of learning styles and I am sure many of you have used with your learners to help identify their learning styles or learning modalities. We can all get very caught up in the academic language but all of you already know that we all have different strengths and different ways of learning. This is captured very well in the attached cartoon from Marek Bennett. I shared his cartoon on Lesson Planning recently and many of you commented on how much you enjoyed it.

I hope you enjoy this cartoon as much. You can download it full size here.  I think it captures things very well …after all I am a visual learner … so it must be one of my Intelligences too!!!

Aoife McCormack

County Adult Literacy Organiser