Dr. Howard Gardner is an American psychologist born on 11 July 1943 in the United States. Gardner proposed the theory of Multiple Intelligences which is a widely used theory even today in the study of human intelligence. This theory claims that intelligence is based on many factors rather than just academic intelligence. Gardner suggested his theory of multiple intelligences in 1983 in his book “Frames of Mind”.

Theory of Multiple Intelligences

According to Howard Gardner, there are eight types of intelligence a person possesses: Linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Spatial, Musical Intelligence, Bodily-kinesthetic, Naturalistic, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal Intelligence.

Advantages of the Theory

Following are the advantages of Gardner’s Theory of Intelligence:

  1. Gardner’s theory gave a new insight into the study of human intelligence.
  1. It focused on the fact that human intelligence is based on other factors as well, other than academic intelligence.
  1. It shows the students that each of them is intelligent in their ways. Each student is seen as intelligent in the field they are good at. It builds confidence in the students and increases their self-esteem.
  1. Multiple theory of Intelligence has proved to be very helpful in the educational system.
  1. This theory helps the students and teachers figure out their abilities. They can understand what are their strengths and weaknesses and work towards improving in the areas they are lacking.

Disadvantages of the Theory

Gardner’s Theory of Intelligence does come with disadvantages too which are as follows:

  1. This theory seems to be missing the support of empirical research.
  1. Many critics feel the definition of intelligence given by Gardner is too broad.
  1. The eight different types of “intelligence” Gardner has suggested are simply talents and personality traits.

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences has its advantages as well as disadvantages. However, its advantages overcome the disadvantages as even today Gardner’s theory is considered as one of the most important theories of intelligence and referred to by many in studying the intelligence of humans.