Multiple Intelligence theory emerged from the research by Howard Gardner (am American developmental psychologist). He concluded from his work at Harvard that strength in one area of performance did not reliably predict comparable strength in another area. With this intuitive conclusion in mind, Gardner set about studying intelligence in a systematic, multi-disciplinary, and scientific manner, drawing from psychology, biology, neurology, sociology, anthropology, and the arts and humanities. This resulted the theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI Theory) as presented in Frames of Mind (1983).
According to this theory we are able to understand the world through spatial representation, logical mathematical analysis, language, musical thinking, using our body etc..to solve problems or to make things, to understand others or oneself. These are different kinds of intelligences that individuals have and each individual has different profile of strengths of these intelligences. These intelligences are invoked based on the need to solve a problem or respond to a variety of diverse situations.
Visual-Spatial -these think in terms of physical space like sailors, architects, engineers etc. They are able to comprehend 2D, 3D objects, maps, jigsaw puzzles etc. They are very good at such visualizations. They can be taught through pictorial representations, drawings, flowcharts, physical imagery etc. Tools and techniques for such individuals could be models, 3D modeling, videos etc.
Logical – Mathematical – they are good at reasoning, understanding calculations, numbers etc. They tend to think and explore patterns and relationships. They like to solve puzzles etc. They can be taught through logical games, puzzles, investigations etc…
When we understand the kind of intelligence one has and then utilize the tools based on them, learning becomes easier and much more effective. Individuals tend to grasp facts faster and with lesser efforts.
Bodily-Kinesthetic – they are keenly aware of their body. They like movement like dance, like to touch, make things etc. They are able to communicate better through bodily movement. It would be helpful if such individuals are taught by hands-on activities, role playing, doing etc. Tools could be various equipment, real objects etc.
Musical -they are very aware and sensitive to sound and rhythm. They like music and are aware of sounds in their environment. They can learn better if there is music of their liking in the background. They can be taught in rhythmic style of speaking etc. Tools can have musical instruments, CDs, radio etc.
Interpersonal -they understand by interacting with others, surrounding environment etc. They can learn through interacting with friends, group activities, seminars etc.
Intrapersonal -they are in tune with their inner thoughts and feelings. They tend to be with themselves. They have wisdom, intuition and strong will, opinions etc. They can learn through independent study and introspection. Tools can include books, diaries, creative materials etc.
Linguistic -they have flair of using words effectively. They have very good auditory skills. They tend to think in terms of words. They like reading, playing word games etc. Tools include auditory materials, tapes, lectures etc.