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Howard Gardner

Page history last edited by Toni Bellon 9 years ago

Howard Gardner

Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Melissa Knowland


Historical Context of Work

Howard Gardner was born 1943 in Pennsylvania.   He was the son of refugees from Nazi Germany. 

Education and Influences

Gardner attended Harvard University.  He was greatly influenced by his family upbringing, including his German roots.  His brother died in a sleighing accident very young.  This affected Gardner greatly.

Work Life

Howard Gardner is a psychologist and professor at Harvard University. He is best known in education for his theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner believes that each person has nine intelligences in varying amounts. Each person has a unique combination of intelligences. This theory of multiple intelligences includes Verbal-Linguistic, Mathematical-Logical, Musical, Visual-Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalist and Existential. The first seven intelligences were stated by Gardner in 1983. The last two intelligences were added to the list in 1999.



Impact on Best Practices

Gardner believes that teachers should teach and assess students differently based on individual intelligence strengths and weaknesses. Through organized classroom activities based on Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, teachers can increase student understanding.


Other Interesting Facts

Gardner has published 18 books including Frame of Mind in 1983 which states his theory of multiple intelligences.

Impact on Others

Since the 1980s, Gardner has been active in school reform movements. He has influenced teachers and school districts to properly assess students' intelligence and adapt instruction to meet their needs to achieve student success.  Teachers now view the visual arts and music as a valuable entity to student learning as academic content.






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