Theory of multiple intelligences  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The theory of multiple intelligences was proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983 as a model of intelligence that differentiates intelligence into various specific (primarily sensory) modalities, rather than seeing it as dominated by a single general ability.

Gardner argues that there are a wide variety of cognitive abilities which are only very weakly correlated with one another, despite the close correlations between aspects of intelligence generally measured by traditional intelligence (IQ) tests or psychometrics. For example, the theory predicts that a child who learns to multiply easily is not necessarily generally more intelligent than a child who has more difficulty on this task. The child who takes more time to master simple multiplication 1) may best learn to multiply through a different approach, 2) may excel in a field outside of mathematics, or 3) may even be looking at and understand the multiplication process at a fundamentally deeper level. Such a fundamentally deeper understanding can result in what looks like slowness and can hide a mathematical intelligence potentially higher than that of a child who quickly memorizes the multiplication table despite a less detailed understanding of the process of multiplication.

The theory has been met with mixed responses. Empirical evidence reveals high correlations between different tasks (rather than the low correlations which Gardner's theory predicts). Nevertheless many educationalistsTemplate:Who support the practical value of the approaches suggested by the theory.

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