Multiple Intelligence Frames According to Gardner

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Table of Contents

  • Learner Differences
  • Intelligence
  • Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Method

Learner Differences

Arnold (2004) indicates that many learning contexts have been traditionally organized and many teachers have practiced these contexts as if all learners had the same characteristics. However, a considerable amount of studies done in the area of learner differences in the last decades show that the students in English language teaching classrooms possess significantly different learning patterns coming from their diversified traits. According to Kubat (2018), these traits which are individual differences of the learners can be listed as physical characteristics, perception, intelligence, gender, ability, and learning styles. He states that these features should be taken into consideration by the teachers of English because the learners’ motivation, interests, and speed of learning change accordingly.

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The term intelligence is defined as “the ability to use memory, knowledge, experience, understanding, reasoning, imagination and judgment to solve problems and adapt to new situations.” (AllWords Dictionary, 2006). Over the years, there have been many discussions about the concept of intelligence. Some scholars believed that each person possesses general intelligence. For example, according to Spearman (1904, as cited in Hewstone, Fincham, and Foster, 2005), general intelligence can be considered as a “unitary, biological, and inherited determinant of measurable intellectual differences” (p.223). In this respect, people who have qualified general intelligence in a certain area are believed to be competent in many related areas. On the other hand, some scholars support the idea that each person has several intelligence areas. According to Gardner (1983), intelligence can be described as having the competency to overcome problems.

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Method

Gardner (2006) discussed that human intelligence is not a single unit by claiming there are multiple intelligence frames. According to Gardner, all people possess 8 intelligence frames affecting and complementing each other while solving a problem. In this respect, he listed intelligence frames as linguistic/verbal, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, musical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and naturalistic intelligence.

Linguistic-verbal intelligence: Gardner (1983) describes linguistic-verbal intelligence as the competence to utilize the language both in spoken and written language to accomplish tasks. He believes that syntax, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics are fundamentals for effective personal development in the world. Firstly, he states that syntax contains the rules of word order while phonology contains sounds of words and their interactive relationship. According to Gardner, syntax and phonology are two essential principles of linguistic intelligence. Then, he explains that the term semantics means comprehending the literal meaning of language while pragmatic is the study of how language is used. In this stage, Gardner indicates that semantics and pragmatics have related cores about personal and mathematical intelligence.

Musical Intelligence: According to Gardner (1983), musical intelligence can be defined as the ability of individuals to compose, performing, capturing, and distinguishing musical patterns. He also indicates that there is not a relationship between composition and language because the composition is natural performance and it does not result from self-control. Additionally, he states that the components of musical intelligence include melody, rhythm, and timber which is the quality of intonation and musical intelligence enables humans to identify these components.

Logical-mathematical intelligence: Gardner (1983) describes logical-mathematical intelligence as possessing the ability to analyze problems logically, competency in mathematical transactions, and performing scientific studies. He draws attention to Piaget’s stages of development and suggests that children gain the ability to perform sensorimotor functions, concrete operations, and formal operations as they grow up. During their development children utilize operations of categorization, implication, exploring connections and consequences, and calculation which are instruments of their logical-mathematical intelligence. In this respect, according to Gardner (1983) people are believed to gain sensitivity for logical functions and patterns.

Spatial intelligence: Gardner (1983) defines spatial intelligence as the ability to detect visual environment correctly, achieving alterations and adjustments from one’s primary sensitivity, and being competent to reproduce one’s optical experiment without related concrete stimulants. He believes that even a blind individual who cannot reach a visual environment can develop his/her spatial intelligence. In other words, he insists that there is not a relationship between spatial intelligence and the visual world. Piaget (as cited in Gardner, 1983) presents two types of knowledge that are associated with spatial intelligence. In this respect, he indicates that figurative knowledge is a skill to retain the form of the item and operational knowledge is a skill to transform these formations.

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