Almost every teacher today has heard the terms Multiple Intelligences (MIs) and Learning Styles. However, how many teachers know about the number of distinct intelligences? Moreover, how many teachers could define what learning styles are? And how many teachers can identify the distinct elements of them? The aim of this piece of paper is to focus on the nine multiple intelligences identified by Howard Gardner and the 21 elements of learning styles identified by Kenneth and Rita Dunn and then integrating both multiple intelligences and multiple learning styles which is a relatively new approach in SLA field.
To that end, the aim is to examine these two concepts to conceptualize how they can work together to contribute to learning.Multiple intelligence Although the concept of general intelligence had been largely accepted by scholars in the field of psychology, it was replaced by Multiple Intelligences (MIs) theory suggested by Howard Gardner (1983). Gardner (1999, p.33-34) describes intelligence as as biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture.
Consequently, traditional Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a single, unchanged, and inborn capacity was challenged. Both Gardner and Sternberg advocate that intelligence should not be reduced to a single overarching construct. Sternberg also notes that traditional IQ measured only logic and language, yet the brain has other types of intelligences. In his view, all humans have these intelligences, but they are different in strengths and combinations of intelligence. Gardner (1983) first identified seven distinct intelligences. Today, he (Gardner, 1999) identifies a ninth Intelligence. What follows is the distinction between the intelligences in details.Gardner’s classification of intelligence Gardner (1983) proposed that all individuals have personal intelligence profiles that consist of seven different intelligence types. In 1999, Gardner added the eighth intelligence€’ natural intelligence€’ to his list. In 2001, the ninth intelligence was added; that is, existential intelligence. Linguistic IntelligenceIn Gardner view, Linguistic intelligence has been described as sensitivity to spoken and written language and the ability to use language to achieve goals, as well as the ability to learn a new language. According to Gardner (1993), lawyers, public speakers, writers, and poets all possess high levels of linguistic intelligence.As described by Gardner, the Linguistic intelligence seems to encompass a wide variety of specific abilities. Thurstone (1938), for example, made difference between verbal comprehension and word fluency which represented two of seven primary intelligences, while Gardner included both intelligences under the same domain; that is, Linguistic intelligence. Logical/Mathematical IntelligenceGardner has described logical/mathematical intelligence as the ability to think rationally and to carry out mathematical operations analytically. In his view, mathematicians, logicians, and scientists are identified as persons who possess high levels of this intelligence.Reasoning, in the definition of Gardner’s logical/mathematical intelligence is one of the primary mental abilities recovered by Thurstone (1938). Reasoning subsumes six first stratum factors: general reasoning, verbal reasoning, induction, quantitative reasoning, syllogistic reasoning, and classification ability. Quantitative reasoning which combines numerical content with logical thinking, would seem to be a prototypical exemplar of the Gardner’s logical/mathematical intelligence domain.” (Carroll, 1993) The logical/mathematical intelligence in Gardner’s framework subsumes numerical facility, which is measured with tasks that requires participants to respond quickly simple arithmetic computation such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication. This numerical skill was considered as one of primary mental abilities in Thurstone (1938) research, defining a different factor from that which subsumed reasoning tasks, although quantitative reasoning also represents some association with this factor. Spatial/Visual IntelligenceGardner has described spatial intelligence as the ability to recognize large and small visual patterns. He believes that navigators, pilots, sculptors, surgeons, and architects possess high levels of spatial/visual intelligence. Previous research in the domain of spatial abilities suggests that spatial visualization and spatial scanning are two important and distinct aspects of that domain (e.g., Ekstrom, French, Harman & Derman, 1976). Spatial visualization refers to the ability to imagine the movement of an object and is typically measured by mental rotation tasks. Spatial scanning is the ability to scan a field quickly, to follow paths visually, and to reject false leads (Ekstrome et al., 1976). Tasks assessing spatial visualization and spatial scanning tend to load on a second-stratum factor of broad visualization ability, which corresponds also to Thrustone (1938) spatial ability factor. Musical IntelligenceAccording to the Gardner (1999) musical intelligence is a paralleled in structure to linguistic intelligence and that is reflected in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. With regard to the underlying abilities involved in musical intelligence, Gardner has claimed that the two most central constituent of music are rhythm and pitch (or melody), followed in importance by timbre (which Gardner, 1983, p.105, describes as the characteristic qualities of a tone). The eight music-relevant factors include: discrimination of tones and sequences of tones with respect to basic attributes such as pitch, intensity, duration, and rhythm; auditory cognitive relations (judgments of complex relations among tonal patterns); tonal imagery; discrimination and judgment of tonal patterns in musicality; temporal tracking; ability to recognize and maintain mentally an equal-time beat; ability to retain, on a short-term basis, images of tones, tonal patterns, and voices; and absolute pitch ability. Thus given that rhythm and tone would appear to be core aspects these narrow factors of musical ability, measures of the abilities to discriminate between rhythms and tones would be important elements in the assessment of Gardner’s musical intelligence. §§ § ±±і § Bodily/Kinesthetic IntelligenceGardner (1999) has defined this intelligence as the potential of using the whole body or parts of body in problem-solving or the creation of products. In his view, not only dancers, actors, and athletes are excellent in bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, but also craftspeople, surgeons, mechanics, and other technicians. It is assumed that Gardner does not make different between gross motor skills (i.e., involving smaller muscle groups, especially those controlling the hands and fingers) in describing bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. He has not explained that why these abilities would be expected to be strongly associated with each other. The bodily-kinesthetic domain subsumes both gross and fine motor skills, so, the assessment of this domain would require measurement of both abilities. Interpersonal IntelligenceGardner (1983) proposes that those who are high in interpersonal intelligence understand intentions, motivations, needs, and desires of others and are capable of working effectively with them. Gardner identified teachers, salespeople, politicians, and clinicians as those who would possess high levels of interpersonal intelligence.Gardner’s interpersonal intelligence is assumed to be related to the construct of emotional intelligence which is associated with intelligence or with personality depending on how it is measured. O’Conner and Little (2003) suggested that ability-based measure of emotional intelligence was highly correlated to cognitive ability than to personality. On the other hand, a self-report emotional intelligence was correlated more to personality than cognitive ability.The domain appears to be both an understanding of verbal and nonverbal social cues. Those with high levels of interpersonal abilities would likely possess an awareness of social consequence of events and an understanding of intentions underlying people’s behavior. Thus, this domain can be assessed by asking individuals to anticipate the development of social situations. Intrapersonal Intelligence Gardner (1999) defined intrapersonal intelligence as the ability to understand and to have an effective working model of oneself. Conceptualized by Gardner, intrapersonal intelligence is defined as the awareness of one’s own abilities, fears, desires, and using them to make decisions. In his view, having a clear concept of oneself is a key component of his intrapersonal domain.According to Gardner, intrapersonal intelligence in some extent is related to metacognition in general and to the ability of self-monitor in particular. In other words, individuals with high intrapersonal ability should be aware of what they know and what they do not know. He believes that intrapersonal ability is an independent area of intelligence. Thus measuring the extent to which individuals can accurately judge their strengths and weaknesses may be an index of intrapersonal ability. Naturalistic IntelligenceGardner (1999) defined natural intelligence as one who is able to recognize and classify objects. According to Gardner, hunters, farmers, gardeners, artists, poets, and social scientists would possess high levels of natural intelligence.As described above, a key element of Gardner’s naturalistic intelligence is the ability to recognize and classify them based on the similarities and differences among them. Thus, categorization task of this kind seems to be ideal to measure the naturalistic domain. These tasks seems to demand a high level of reasoning, which suggest that cognitive demands for this domain might be similar to those for Gardner’s logical/mathematical intelligence, despite being applied to the realm of semantically meaningful stimuli rather than to the domain of symbolic, quantitative concepts. Existential IntelligenceGardner (1999) described existential intelligence as the ability of understanding in a large context or big picture.It is the ability to deal with deep questions about human existences such as why we exist, why we die. This intelligence seeks connections to real world and allows learners to see their place in a big picture and observe their roles in the classroom, society, and the world. The intelligence deals with concepts such as the value of beauty, religion, goodness and philosophy. Those who have the abilities to summarize ideas from a larger picture possess high levels of existential intelligence. Learning styles Learning-style theory can be traced back to Carl Jung 1927 who noted major differences in the way people perceived (sensation versus intuition), the way they made decisions (logical thinking versus imaginative feelings), and how active or reflective they were while interacting (extroversion versus introversion).§І Є ±Є… §±і і§Є °©± ґ€ As mentioned previously, Gardner (1999) describes an intelligence as biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture. According to Dunns (1993), learning style defines “as the way in which each person begins to concentrate on, process, internalize and remember new and difficult academic content.” Denig (2004) propose that model of learning styles encompasses 21elements. “They are classified into environmental, emotional, sociological, and psychological variables. Environmental: This variable is composed of four elements: sound, light, temperature, and design.‚§ Sound: Some learners require absolute quiet to learn, while others do best with music or other sound in the background.‚§ Light: Some learners require bright learning to concentrate, whereas others require a so after and perhaps more focused light.‚§ Temperature: Some learners require warmth, whereas others require a cooler environment, while concentrating on new and difficult academic knowledge or skills.‚§ Design: Some prefer more formal seating (e.g., hard chairs), whereas others prefer casual, informal seating (e.g., sofa). Emotional: This variable is also composed of four elements: ‚§ Motivation: Some learners are eager to begin learning something new or difficult, whereas others need to be challenged by someone else to begin.‚§ Persistent: Some learners remain focused on an academic task until it has been completed, whereas others need to be reminded to complete the task at hand.‚§ Responsibility: Some do what is required, whereas others do the opposite of what they are supposed to do (conformists vs. nonconformists).‚§ Structure: Some rely on the directives of teachers or peers to provide structure to a task, whereas others determine their own structure for completing a task. Sociological: This variable is composed of six elements:‚§ Self: 13 percent of students (often our gifted) perform best when studying alone (Dunn & Griggs, 2003).‚§ Pair: Some prefer to study in pairs with a peer.‚§ Peers: Some (less than one third) prefer to study with a group of peers (Dunn & Griggs, 2003).‚§ Team: Some prefer to study with a large group of peers.‚§ Adult: Some (about 28%) prefer to work with an adult (Dunn & Griggs, 2003).‚§ Varied: Some function in varied ways, whereas others learn best in a single pattern. Physiological: This variable is composed of four elements:‚§ Perceptual: Some students learn best by hearing (auditory) complex material, others by reading or seeing it (visual), others when able to able to manipulate items with their hands (tactual, as when doodling or taking notes), and still others learn most effectively when moving while they are concentrating (kinesthetically, such as tapping their feet or walking).‚§ Intake: Some learners require a drink or something to eat; others ignore drink and food when concentrating on new and difficult material.‚§ Time: Some prefer to concentrate in the morning, others in the early or late afternoon, and some prefer the evening.‚§ Mobility: Some sit and concentrate for long periods of time without much movement; others require the ability to move about. Psychological: This variable is composed of three elements:‚§ Global-analytic processors: Global processors learn best through an initial overview of the content or concept to develop an understanding of how the content relates to them before they can focus on the facts related to it. They then focus on the related facts. Analytics learn facts in a step-by-step sequence, gradually building to increased understandings by first examining the facts and t hen building toward an understanding of the concept (Dunn & Griggs, 2003).‚§ Hemisphericity: some learners tend to employ a right side of the brain style, whereas others use a left-side pattern when concentrating on new information.‚§ Impulsive-reflective: Some learners reach conclusions by going through a thorough process, whereas others reach conclusion quickly and have little fear of failure (being wrong)” (Denig, 2004).An Integration of MIs and Learning Styles According to Gardner “, each intelligence may require its own specific educational theory.” According to Denig (2004, p. 96-111), a synthesis of multiple intelligences with learning styles will be helpful in discerning the “specific educational theory” required by each intelligence. This proposal builds on the insight of Nelson (1998), who proposed that people who are smart in an intelligence learn best through methods associated with that intelligence: Verbal-linguistic learn best through reading, hearing, and seeing words and speaking, writing, discussing, and debating ideas. Math-logical learn best through working with patterns and relationships, classifying and categorizing, and working with the abstract. Spatial learn best in working with pictures and colors, visualizing and using the mind’s eye, and drawing. Bodily-kinesthetic learn best touching, moving, and processing knowledge through bodily sensation. Musical learn best with rhythm and melody, singing, and listening to music and melodies. Interpersonal learn best through sharing, comparing and relating with others, interviewing, and cooperating. Intrapersonal learn best through working alone, doing self-paced projects, and reflecting.Naturalists learn best when working in nature, exploring living things, and learning about plants and natural events.