Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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4. Different Kinds of Smart -
Multiple Intelligences
“Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, gives us a different framework for teaching and thinking in the classroom, as well as how we think about what people do in life. We rely on lots different abilities to succeed in life. Different people have those abilities differently developed, and using the strengths that we have as a pathway into material actually lets us learn that material more deeply.”
Linda Darling-Hammond
students holding posters

Key Questions:
  • How are students “smart” in different ways?
  • How can teachers use multiple intelligences in the classroom?
two students building

Learning Objectives:

  1. Defining intelligence – Teachers will understand that intelligence is multidimensional and can be developed. Teachers will consider how definitions of intelligence inform thinking.
  2. Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences – Teachers will consider and understand eight different intelligences, how they might be accessed, and how they might be instrumental in helping students learn.
  3. Applying the theory of multiple intelligences – Teachers will become familiar with how the theory of multiple intelligences can be used in their classrooms by helping to identify students' strengths, providing entry points into subject matter, and encouraging students to represent their understanding in different ways.

Video Program

This episode delves into Harvard University professor Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, describing how people have learning skills that differ across eight different cognitive pathways. Teachers Rebecca Young and Georganne Urso-Flores, who share a class of 5 through 8-year olds that includes several mainstreamed special needs students at Ann Visger Elementary School, River Rouge, Michigan, and Tom Romito, a ninth and tenth grade Social Studies teacher at Lake Orion High School, Lake Orion, Michigan, are featured to illustrate how this theory is practiced in classrooms. Harvard professor Howard Gardner provides expert commentary.

Key Terms - New in this Session

bodily-kinesthetic intelligence

interpersonal intelligence

intrapersonal intelligence

linguistic intelligence

logical-mathematical intelligence

musical intelligence

naturalistic intelligence


point of entry

spatial intelligence

Go to related support materials.

Next Session: 5. Feelings Count - Emotions and Learning

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