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In this episode Joel and Antonia walk through Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory showing how we can use this framework for compassion, understanding and better learning.

In this podcast on Multiple Intelligence Theory you’ll find:

  • Everyone has some genius inside of them and it’s manifested in different ways.
  • Howard Gardner is an American developmental psychologist who developed the concept of multiple intelligence.
  • We’re facing the need to bridge very different levels of development in the planet in order to find ways in which we’re similar to each other.
  • The more we understand our differences, the more we can give each other space.
  • When it comes to intelligence, IQ is the standard to most people. That the only form of intelligence is its analytical form.
  • As people, we have different types of intelligence.
  • When we ignore the many different ways genius can show up, we end up downplaying someone else’s abilities.
  • The goal is to understand and accept each other’s geniuses so we know where and what place in society each of us best fit.
  • Gardner’s Intelligences (random order)
    • Verbal/Linguistic. Being able to speak and write well. Learn other languages apart from the first language. These are people who are in good in writing, story-telling and writing books.
    • Mathematical/Logical. People who are great in problem-solving and analysis. Also associated with “fluid intelligence”, the ability to solve problems that are independent of acquired knowledge.
    • Musical. People who are musically genius. Music is like math. It is a way to connect and communicate abstract language.
    • Visual-Spatial. People with this intelligence generally think in pictures, rather than in words. They can problem solve when things are concrete.
    • Body-Kinesthetic. Being in full command of your body, being very aware in your physicality.
    • Interpersonal. People with this intelligence know how to organize and motivate people in harmony. This is where persuasion comes from.
    • Intrapersonal/Introspection. The ability to be self-reflective and spend time meditating, going inside your heart and mind.
    • Naturalist. Has great understanding and compassion with the natural world. This is the seed of ecology, understanding the interplay of the natural world and humanity.
    • Existential. Understanding the higher spiritual elements of life. People with this type of intelligence are able to help humanity go along well with each other.
  • Have a look at your family and friends and start being aware at what their intelligence is individually.
  • A few people can emanate multiple forms of intelligence. There are those who are inclined to a single intelligence type, but that does not mean that you totally neglect the rest. For example, if you are not Body-Kinesthetically inclined, that doesn’t mean that you don’t exercise anymore or go to the gym.
  • Being able to see some weaknesses doesn’t mean that you can completely ignore it.
  • Myer’s Briggs & Multiple intelligence association:
    • Sensor-Perceivers – Body-Kinesthetic
    • Feeler-Perceivers – Intrapersonal
    • Extraverted-Feelers – Interpersonal
    • Thinker-Perceivers – Mathematical/Logical, Verbal
    • Intuitive-Judgers – Existential
    • Feeler-Perceivers/Judgers – Naturalistic
    • Sensor-Judgers – Spatial

Things we reference in this podcast:

Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Theory

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We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…


  • YongKitMun
    • YongKitMun
    • March 18, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Hi Joel & Antonia. Thank you for giving lots of examples which helped me understand MI. I got a question: Joel mentioned teachers might apply the knowledge of the intelligence of the students to teach in a certain way. I wonder if Joel was thinking about the learners’ learning style – rather than how they are intelligent.

  • Andrea
    • Andrea
    • January 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I’m an ISFP with high Naturalistic, Musical and Intrapersonal. Animals have always been my first love ever since childhood. Guessing that Naturalistic learners will do great if they do their learning outside? In school, I would always do my homework/studying by a creek or in the yard. Loved when my teachers would do a lesson outside. One of my favorite projects in high school was collecting leaves and making an album. All my best thinking is done when I’m taking a walk. Working with animals is always fun for me…so that may help too! Just an idea. Will have to read the books!

  • Charis Branson
    • Charis Branson
    • July 28, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks for your question, Tammy! It’s Existential intelligence. Yes, it is one of the latest additions Gardner made to his Multiple Intelligence Theory. Anyone who uses perspectives (INFJ – INTJ) will have some ability with existential intelligence.

  • Tammy
    • Tammy
    • July 26, 2015 at 12:08 am

    INTJ here. What was the last type of intelligence? Exta-essential? Is that included in the Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory? Also, are INTJs typically this type of intelligence?

  • Mike Mendelson
    • Mike Mendelson
    • July 23, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Loved this and am way into the work that the two of you do. I want to let you know that there’s an entire movement into the type of teaching and learning that Joel is dreaming of. Personalized learning is based on the idea that we should learn the way we live in the modern era. Advertisers market to a type of consumer, and use data to be engaging…. We can do that with learning! Entertainment is on demand where we consume the content that we’re ready for when we’re ready for it. Education is beginning to mirror that! I’m working, through work in the classroom and in development of a few educational technology tools to translate learning from a factory model of information dissemination to a space focused on making failure safe and thus growth easy, for each intelligence, personality type, stage of life, etc. I’d love to talk with you both more about it, so reach out if you’re interested. My work is through a teaching model called “Expeditionary Learning” and again that tech work…but other adventures like AltSchools (just teamed with Mark Zuckerberg to go big), and Elon Musk’s no grade level, learn the problem before the tools, educational endevor are working to the same end. If nothing else, Joel, know that we’re working on it. And to you both, thanks for the work you do. (It’s directly informing my craft). Reach out!

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