“It’s not about how smart you are,
it’s about HOW you are smart!”

According to the eminent developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, “we can ignore our differences and pretend that we are all the same (…). Or we can fashion an education system that tries to exploit these differences, individualizing instruction and assessment as much as possible.”

Pursuant to the latest neurobiological, neuropsychological, and anthropological data, H. Gardner proposed a THEORY OF MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES.

This theory claims that all humans have 8 (later H. Gardner added 3 more) intelligences which are inherent to a lesser or greater extent in each one of us. One or several intelligences may be either nurtured and strengthened or ignored and weakened.

H. Gardner states that “it’s not talents that the mankind lacks now. It’s not only that it cannot afford creating an optimal environment for such talents to reveal at a rather early stage, but it also cannot invoke love to something that best suits the gifted.”

Thus, by challenging the traditional approach that intelligence is inborn and may be measured by IQ tests, and referring to neurobiological, neuropsychological and anthropological data, H. Gardner developed a theory of MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES and proposed 8 key human intelligences to which he later added 3 more:

  1. Naturalistic intelligence
  2. Verbal-linguistic intelligence
  3. Interpersonal intelligence
  4. Musical intelligence
  5. Logical-mathematical intelligence
  6. Intrapersonal intelligence
  7. Visual-spatial intelligence
  8. Existential intelligence
  9. Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence
  10. Spiritual intelligence
  11. Moral intelligence


Gardner also prepared recommendations on how to efficiently organize the learning process by taking into account the specifics of each of the intelligences. For instance, for a child with kinesthetic intelligence (distinctly expressed agility, physical activity, etc.), the best learning methods are learning “with hands” – touching the objects, repeating teaching material while moving (walking, snapping fingers, drawing, etc.), having frequent breaks and changing location, studying outside. For a child with logical intelligence (excellent computing and quantity evaluation skills, abstract thinking, logic reasoning, understanding relationship between cause and effect, etc.), the best learning methods are mathematical operations, use of visual material, experimentation and investigation, drawing and analysing charts, diagrams, layouts, and tables.

Gardner viewed intelligence as “the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products”. People characterize for all intelligences referred to by H. Gardner, to a lesser or greater extent. Thus, every person has a different combination of intelligences, which means that every person’s thinking is unique.

Intelligences lie in brain and “work” either separately or interacting with each other. The main thing is to understand that one or several intelligences can be either nurtured and strengthened or ignored and weakened.