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Multiple IntelligenceBabies are cute. I?ll agree to that. But let?s be honest ? not all of them. Sure, we always tell parents that their baby is cute, just as we tell all parents that their baby is smart. The reality is though that some babies aren?t so pretty; others not so smart. It?s a fact of life no one really wants to talk about, but I?m going to say it. Not all babies are cute. Not all babies are smart. Just ask my mom. If life were otherwise, we?d have a world full of beautiful smart people, which we don?t. What does it mean to be smart? Is it the same as being intelligent? I remember watching a sitcom where a child, when taunted by another for his lack of his intelligence quipped back, ?I might be dumb, but I can go to school?you?ll always be ugly.? While it?s unlikely that the Writers were commenting on the psychological connection between education and the development of intelligence, it is nonetheless an intriguing subject. What is intelligence? How is it defined? How do we measure it? How is it affected by our education? And, maybe the more important consideration for us as Educators is, how should it our understanding of what intelligence is affect the way we strive to teach? There are many definitions of intelligence; but, as it turns out, there also many different forms of intelligence. We?ve been trying to measure intelligence by various means since the 1800s, but it was in 1904 that Alfred Binet, a French psychologist, laid the groundwork with Intelligence Quotient, or IQ, testing. It?s noteworthy that he never intended for IQ testing to be used as an absolute measure of one?s intellectual capacities. According to Binet himself, intelligence could not be describes as a single score. Finally, in 1983, a Professors of Education at Harvard University restructured the antiquated view with his Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI). Through MI, Dr Gardner proposed that our conventional understanding of intelligence is not expansive enough, and as such, our measurement and approach for increasing it through education is also limited. We esteem the highly articulate and logical people in our culture and label them as ?Intelligent?. As a society we ought to place equal attention on people who show aptitude and ability in the fields of art, music, design, architecture, social and mental health care, as well as innovators and entrepreneurs. Through the traditional school testing system we recognize and reward linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. students who excel in Language, Science or Maths score well; students who are more artistic, creative or athletic do not. Gardner?s Theory seeks to correct this by recognizing that intelligence is developed and expressed in many forms. Gardner feels (and I agree) that effective teaching practice needs to include recognition and development of these intelligences. His Theory provides the framework for identifying and nurturing the various autonomous faculties. Although initially seven, Gardner currently recognizes eight Intelligences. Other professionals in the field contend there are more. The eight are as follows: 1. Musical 2. Linguistic 3. Logical-Mathematical 4. Spatial 5. Interpersonal 6. Intrapersonal 7. Naturalist 8. Bodily-Kinaesthetic Gardner used the term Multiple not only because there are numerous faculties, which he labelled ?intelligences?, but also because he introduced a pluralized way of understanding the intellect. Our mind?s faculties can work individually or in concert with others in producing our intellect and way of thinking. For example, there are child prodigies for whom music comes ?naturally?, or autistic children who although gifted performers are unable to talk or interact with others. In these instances, the Musical Intelligence appears to work independently from other forms of intelligence. By contrast, a singer/songwriter uses the Musical and Linguistic Intelligences in concert (pun intended) to create a lyrical piece of music. Teachers should be students too. The aforementioned is just a scratch on the surface of a complex yet enlightening subject. Many have found that an appreciation of the Multiple Intelligences leads to investigating the various Approaches to Learning and ultimately to developing teaching strategies and lesson plans that more effective and enjoyable for everyone.