Published December 2011,February 2011.
Later, Gardner added an eighth intelligence, the naturalistic. This refers to the way some people are informed both about and through the natural environment. They easily recognise and name plants, animals and birds and sort and classify objects.
Each of the intelligences is available to everybody but we are particularly strong in at least one, and often more than one, intelligence. Just as we have a dominant hand, foot and eye we have a dominant intelligence which reflects our preferred way of seeing and dealing with the complexities in our environment. We each gather information differently - some of us prefer auditory means, some of us are visual learners, while others acquire information and learning by tactile or kinesthetic means. Consequently, we prefer to show our understanding through different media, through drawing our solutions, through explaining what we mean, through constructing models or chanting or putting ideas in verse, or perhaps a combination of sorts. The list of ways to demonstrate is as diverse as the demonstrators. The various intelligences are present in virtually every realm of human activity and the significant achievements of mankind involve a blend of intelligences. Gardner writes, "... intelligences typically work in harmony, and so their autonomy may be invisible."
According to the culture and environment in which we live, different intelligences are more highly valued. Due to the impact of the I.Q. test, Western cultures and educational systems have a bias toward the linguistic and mathematical-logical intelligences and these are the subjects that are at the curriculum's core and in which high achievement is rewarded. It is believed that all children can develop and strengthen each of the intelligences given appropriate opportunities within a rich environment and the encouragement to do so by teachers who focus on the individual development of every child.
An understanding of multiple intelligence theory gives educators a new way of reaching out to students. Integrating learning styles into the classroom tasks and assignments can give those students the boost they need to achieve. We should nt be judging an individual's intelligence by the culturally valued view nor by our own preferred way of viewing the world. We need to be open to the idea that people are intelligent in different and surprising ways. Instead of asking, "How intelligent is this child?", the question for teachers becomes, "How is this child intelligent?"
Intelligence is seen in people who are able to recognise and create logical and numerical patterns. Such people usually enjoy solving mathematical problems in their daily work and lives, being able to order, classify and analyse information, to use reasoning and make predictions. The career paths they take are often in the sciences, in engineering, accountancy, medicine and as professional mathematicians.
Gardner portrays this intelligence at work when a mathematician works through the implications of a theorem and suggests that most successful application is in the scientific method, of making careful measurements, devising statements about the way in which the universe works, and then subjecting these statements to systematic confirmation. Unravelling the logic of a mystery story, piecing together the parts of a complex topic, prosecuting the case in an expose, solving a difficult and important personal problem, are all activities that might be categorised as mathematical-logical.
Albert Einstein, Sherlock Holmes and Bill Gates are examples of people who fall in the category. But we don't have to write equations that will shake the laws of science, create technologies that will shake society, or even think that solving complex problems is elementary to be using our mathematical-logical skills. When bushmen derive elaborate conclusions from a few animal tracks, a pool of people play the lottery and figure out their portion of the winnings, or chess players in a game are intent on the next move we see examples of mathematical-logical intelligence at work.
An awareness of mathematical-logical intelligence impacts classroom practice. Children with high mathematical-logical intelligence need opportunities to explore, experiment in order to exercise and strengthen this intelligence across the curriculum.