Albert Einstein once explained that if a fish’s intelligence was determined by its ability to climb a tree, then it would feel stupid. This is the premise behind Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. There is more than one way to be a genius and a child care gardner can help your child find which one is his or her strength.
The goal of education is to prepare the youth of today for adulthood of tomorrow. While in the US, we pride ourselves on creativity and giving children a place to figure out what they want to do in the future, our curricula and school systems aren’t truly fostering all types of intelligence. In reality, many students are expected to meet certain markers in the areas of Reading, Writing, and Math with a splash of Social Studies, Science, and “electives.”
This does not always give students the freedom to pursue their passions and hone their strengths. There are so many cases of students dropping out or successful people saying that college just wasn’t for them.
When Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is utilized in schools and classes, students are much happier because they get to explore what they love and teachers are happier since they have the pleasure of watching each student grow.
Howard Gardner came up with his theory in the 1980s and rocked the psychology world, and in turn the education world, by saying that the three areas of intelligence simply weren’t enough. They were only testing spatial, linguistic and mathematics. These areas correlate with the subjects that are considered of extreme importance in schools today.
Gardner added musical, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and naturalistic. These sound a lot like the “electives” that students rarely interact with. There have been much more updated versions of Gardner’s theory over time, but at its core it shows educators that success and growth come in a variety of different forms and in many categories.