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Learning as a science and an art has to be understood before we get into imparting learning in a meaningful way. For all of us it’s the books, conventional classrooms and teachers the only learning system we have known of. These days be hear of smart classes and like, which seems to be a tech add on rather than a genuine value add to the nature of intelligence the child has. Research over the last few decades in the field of learning has led to the discovery of Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Simply stated, this theory professes that each one of us has a different way of learning and different Intelligences we use in our day to day life.

Each person posseses each intelligence to an extent, but there is always a primary or more dominant, intelligence. The work on Multiple Intelligences began in the early 1980s with Howard Gardner and the research continues. He was from Harvard University, stated that this theory emerged from cognitive research, “documents the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, perform, and understand in different ways.”

As per Gardner all human beings have multiple Intelligences, as per his count 9 in all. He says that these Intelligences can be nurtured and strengthened or ignored or weakened. The nine Intelligences are; Verbal-Linguistic, Mathematical-Logical, Musical, Visual-Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalist and Existential. Of the nine, the more dominant Intelligences decides the way we learn and interact with the world around us. Multimedia has a better chance of addressing these Intelligences. The instruction techniques include; visual, printed words, sound, motion, color, realia, events of instruction etc.

Educators across the world find immense meaning in it, but given the near stagnant education machine, nothing great has transpired in most parts of the world. We see some positive change on these lines in North America. “Many schools in North America have sought to structure curricula according to the Intelligences and to design classrooms – even whole schools – to reflect the understandings that Howard Gartner develops.” Are we missing out on the winds of educational change?


Sanjay Sahay

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