Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences

October 28, 2016

In his 1983 book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner explores the theory that intelligence differentiates into seven different ‘modalities,’ or types. 


  • Visual (spatial): Your student learns through pictures and images, and has good spatial understanding. 

  • Aural (auditory-musical): Your student learns best through sound and music.

  • Verbal (linguistic): Your student prefers to hear or read words, and does best reading or writing.

  • Physical: Your student prefers to use hands and sense of touch.

  • Logical (mathematical): Your student prefers to use logic, reasoning, and systems.

  • Social (interpersonal): Your student prefers to learn in groups or with other people.

  • Solitary (intrapersonal): Your student prefers to work alone and study alone.


His theory was based on the idea that students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways. Identifying how students learn allows them to “play to their strengths” and learn better and faster. 


Knowing how students learn allows parents, teachers, and tutors to help students in a way that complements their learning strengths. Be aware that your student may learn in more than one modality.  In addition, it may be helpful to point out Gardner’s other ways to learn.  A good tutor will help to identify a student’s learning style.


How does your student learn? 

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