Howard Gardner (born 1943) studied cognitive and social psychology at Harvard (BA, 1965, PhD, 1971) and became codirector of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, studying the ways children and adults learn.
In his best-known book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence (1983), he postulates that there are seven distinct cognitive realms in the human brain and that each governs a particular kind of intelligence.
Those intelligence most commonly considered, and tested, are linguistic, the ability to communicate through language, and logical-mathematical, the ability to come up with and use abstract concepts.
To these Gardner adds five other intelligences: spatial, the ability to perceive and reimage the physical world; the bodily-kinesthetic, the ability to use the body in skilled or creative ways; musical, the ability to distinguish, remember, and manipulate tone, melody, and rhythm; interpersonal, the ability to understand other people; and intrapersonal, the ability to understand one's self and have a conscious awareness of one's emotions.
A decade later Gardner added an eighth intelligence: naturalist, the ability to have an intuitive understanding about plants and animals.
"Who owns Intelligence?" first published in the Atlantic Monthly in February 1999, addresses the criticism from people who say Gardner's multiple intelligences are really talents (something we can get along without, as opposed to traditionally defined intelligence, which is indispensable).
Garner's essay is full of argument: for his definition of intelligence, against competing definitions; for various practical ways of measuring intelligence, against particular sorts of testing.
Gardner "reframes" our understanding of human intelligence and its basic premise is that "intelligence is too important to be left to the intelligence testers."
All humans possess these intelligences, but each person owns their unique style of learning.
Teachers should be drawn to use Multiple intelligence Theory in their classrooms. This theory will help teachers create more personalized and diversified instructional experiences. Teachers should assist students to become empowered learners by extending and promoting cognitive bridging techniques based on the seven intelligences.
The Multiple Intelligence Theory helps teachers explain and promote understanding at intrapersonal, interpersonal and cultural levels.
Each student has an individual profile of multiple intelligences, which has the potential to be fully developed.
In his recent research, Gardner has thought about adding a ninth intelligence, the Existentialist or Spiritual, which deals with the big questions of life and harmonising.