Title: How Gardener’s Multiple Intelligence Theories Can Aid Adolescents Learning in A Design and Technology Secondary School Workshop

Main Topic : Education

Education is a key stone to one’s future. One of the stages involved in education is the adolescent stage. The education in this period is vital. There are various theories put forward in education to aid the teachers to understand the young students and take them in the right way of educating them to build their future which ought to be bright. There are a whole host of theories about intelligence, none of which really agree with each other. Every approach to thinking or the mind comes up with it’s own different theory of what intelligence is, each from it’s own different perspective, with it’s own assumptions.

Views and thoughts should not be thrusted on the young minds without understanding the mental capacity of the students, as this may lead to improper training imparted to them, and not bringing out their essential talents in the field of education, and not making them achieve their goals.

Each adolescent intelligence should be identified and teachers should enable them in bringing out their talents and helping them to discover what they are good at and what can really make them use their potential in education. One such author who put across his theories for the welfare of the students and teachers, especially helping the teachers to aid the adolescents learning in the secondary school level using various designs and technologies in the secondary school workshop is Howard Gardner Ph.D who is a professor at Harvard University and the author of many books and articles. His theory of multiple intelligences has challenged long-held assumptions about intelligence — especially about a single measure of intelligence. His theory of multiple intelligences makes people think about “IQ,” about being “smart.” The theory is changing the way some teachers teach.

When Howard Gardner’s book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Basic Books, 1983) burst on the scene, it seemed to answer many questions for experienced teachers. There were students who didn’t fit the mold though they were bright, but they didn’t excel on tests. Gardner’s claim that there are several different kinds of intelligence gave us and others involved with teaching and learning a way of beginning to understand those students. We would look at what they could do well, instead of what they could not do.

Later Gardner books, such as The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach (Basic Books, 1991) and Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice (Basic Books, 1993) helped us understand how multiple intelligences could help us teach and evaluate our students in new and better ways.


Howard Gardner first identified and introduced to us seven different kinds of intelligence in Frames of Mind.

  • Linguistic intelligence: a sensitivity to the meaning and order of words. Some students are more sensitive to the meaning and order of words. Their intelligence is based on this. By telling the appropriate meaning of the objects and the order of the words make them understand better about the subject they are learning.
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence: ability in mathematics and other complex logical systems. Some students are clever in mathematics and the logic they implement in solving the mathematical problems effectively is based on this intelligence
  • Musical intelligence: the ability to understand and create music. Musicians, composers and dancers show a heightened musical intelligence.

Some students are very creative and more involved in music and they tend to be more intelligent in that manner. They might be less drawn towards theory part of their study, the subjects have to be selected in such a manner pertaining to their musical area. In different countries the education techniques and modes of education are not the same. In certain countries the adolescents are forced to study their theoretical subjects eventhougjh they may have other intelligences. So they are forced to develop their skills of intelligence outside the education arena.

  • Spatial intelligence: the ability to “think in pictures,” to perceive the visual world accurately, and recreate (or alter) it in the mind or on paper. Spatial intelligence is highly developed in artists, architects, designers and sculptors.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: the ability to use one’s body in a skilled way, for self-expression or toward a goal. Mimes, dancers, basketball players, and actors are among those who display bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
  • Interpersonal intelligence: an ability to perceive and understand other individuals — their moods, desires, and motivations. Political and religious leaders, skilled parents and teachers, and therapists use this intelligence.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence: an understanding of one’s own emotions. Some novelists and or counselors use their own experience to guide others.

Eighth intelligence – the naturalist intelligence :

Gardner identified an eighth intelligence, the naturalist intelligence. Gardner discussed the “eighth intelligence” with Kathy Checkley, in an interview for Educational Leadership, The First Seven… and the Eighth. Gardner said, “The naturalist intelligence refers to the ability to recognize and classify plants, minerals, and animals, including rocks and grass and all variety of flora and fauna. The ability to recognize cultural artifacts like cars or sneakers may also depend on the naturalist intelligence. …(S)ome people from an early age are extremely good at recognizing and classifying artifacts. Gardner identified Charles Darwin as a prime example of this type of intelligence.

Based on his theories workshops are designed for the adolescents in order to achieve the goals in education and make them come out in flying coloiurs so that they might be successful in the future career. Each student mind varies. Some of them are very active, yet they do not fair well in studies. Some of them are good in creative subjects, this happens due to the frames of mind and intelligence as Howard correctly states in his theories of multiple intelligence. So a teacher cannot expect all students to be alike and be of the same calibre. It is the teacher’s duty and responsibility to identify the kind of intelligence of the students. So Gardner’s theories have helped the current curriculum to design different workshops which train and aid students and implementing various techniques for the adolescents to bring out their intelligence skills based on their IQ.

When the educator comes to know that a particular youth is having more of spatial intelligence, then things must be explained to him on the basis of picturesque techniques in the workshop at their secondary school level.

The behaviourists contradict the concept of high level intelligence. The entire mind is built from the ground up from simple “Stimulus-Response” pairings, building higher and higher level functioning out of this simple technology. The surprising thing is that it seems to work as a model for some types of tasks

Every adolescent basically has General intelligence where the intelligence was composed of a single component that was easily measured on inteliigence tests. While they proved to be partially right (about 70% of your IQ is this factor usually referred to as “g”), the improvement of the testing methods, combined with the direct measurement of “g” by a technique called Evoked Potential proved that they could not be totally right.

This lead Howard Gardener, by 1980 to extend the theory of general intelligence to include a set of Specific Intelligences which make up the other 30% of your IQ score. There has been some sucess in finding evidense to support some of gardener’s seven catagories, and the general technique of spotting extra components that go to make up your IQ is extendable to a lot more than 7 categories.

Design and Technology (in the UK) as a mainstream subject since curriculum began. When the term the 3R’s was coined in Parliament in 1840, Hansard recorded that it stood for Reading, Wroughting and Arithmetic.

Designing and making is an intelligent activity. It can stand comfortably at the centre of any curriculum. It is entirely compatible with high levels of numeracy and literacy – the design process itself draws on areas such as maths, science, technology, communication and art. Designing is a truly creative and intellectually challenging activity; developing divergent and creative abilities is a basic function of education. One of the main aims of the department is to inspire and empower our future designers and engineers and excite passion in our teaching so that they can develop products they love with sensitivity to an ever-changing world market.

The youth are offered through well Designed workshops a series of simple ‘design and make’ tasks. These introduce the students to the design process, basic graphics skills and introductory workshop practice. they will then gain a sound insight of the breadth and depth of subject content including a range of manufacturing skills in woods, metals and plastics control systems and design history. The course builds on these skills and knowledge, and the students are required to design and manufacture a product supported by a portfolio of design work.

The Education then becomes challenging and satisfying and builds significantly allowing students to specialise in key areas of study including CAD and CAM, graphics and product design philosophy/history. Students at this level need to liase with industry on product briefs so that the prototypes they produce are developed fully and satisfy the demands of the consumer in the market place.


When asked how educators should implement the theory of multiple intelligences, Gardner says, “(I)t’s very important that a teacher take individual differences among the youth very seriously . The bottom line being a deep interest in them and find how their minds are different from one another, and in helping them use their minds well.”

An awareness of multiple-intelligence theory has stimulated teachers to find more ways of helping all students in their classes. Some schools do this by adapting curriculum. In “Variations on a Theme: How Teachers Interpret MI (Multiple Intelligence ) Theory,” (Educational Leadership, September 1997), Linda Campbell describes five approaches to curriculum change:

Lesson design plays a major role for the adolescents in education

  • Lesson design. Some schools focus on lesson design. This might involve team teaching (“teachers focusing on their own intelligence strengths”), using all or several of the intelligences in their lessons, or asking student opinions about the best way to teach and learn certain topics.

Several workshops using different design techniques aids the students by identifying their area of expertise and to which type intelligence category they fall into based on Howard Gardner’s theories of multiple intelligence.

  • Interdisciplinary units. Secondary schools often include interdisciplinary units. Discipline plays a major role in one’s all-round development of every adolescent to the words pertaining to the saying “Man is a social animal”.
  • Student projects. Students can learn to “initiate and manage complex projects” when they are creating student projects.
  • Assessments. Assessments are devised which allow students to show what they have learned. Sometimes this takes the form of allowing each student to devise the way he or she will be assessed, while meeting the teacher’s criteria for quality.
  • Apprenticeships. Apprenticeships can allow students to “gain mastery of a valued skill gradually, with effort and discipline over time.” Gardner feels that apprenticeships “…should take up about one-third of a student’s schooling experience.”

With an understanding of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, teachers, school administrators, and parents can better understand the learners in their midst. They can allow students to safely explore and learn in many ways, and they can help students direct their own learning. Adults can help students understand and appreciate their strengths, and identify real-world activities that will stimulate more learning.

Bridging the generation gap between the teachers and students in the workshops leads to successive results in educating the adolescents.

The profile of new teachers entering schools today varies much more widely than the profile of veterans hired in the 1970s did. Many more beginners are coming from alternative routes, and many are not necessarily committed to making teaching a lifetime career. The question for administrators becomes, How do we encourage promising new educators and help them become highly qualified?

This issue investigates which conditions—from mentoring and induction programs to the amount of time spent observing in other teachers’ classrooms—help improve new educators’ practice. According to certain suggestions of Educators “Working in a school with an integrated professional culture is strongly and positively related to job satisfaction.”.

Standards-Based Mathematics Workshops are designed on the basis of Multiple intelligences for the adolescents. For example publishers called Hopes Books designs workshops that integrates the best mathematics from the past with the mathematical needs of the new millennium.

Hope Martin has over 30 years of experience teaching mathematics at the primary, elementary, middle school, and college levels. Her books bring hands-on, active learning to the mathematics classroom. They encourage integrating mathematics across the curriculum and applying the cognitive theories of Howard Gardener’s, Multiple Intelligences, into mathematics pedagogy

The learning Workshops are tailored to meet the needs of teachers at three levels of instruction: inclusive of Middle School/High School Levels. Any of these workshops can be tied to the mathematics goals and objectives developed by one’s district’s maths committees.

Nowadays All workshops can be designed as one-day (5 hours) or two-day (10 hours) workshops.

The workshops are designed to meet the unique needs of the youth in their secondary schools.

Middle School/High School Level Workshops

Certain Learning design techniques at the workshops currently used are

  • Using Computers in the Mathematics Classroom
  • Integrating Mathematics across the Curriculum–Skills & Concepts
  • Manipulatives & Activities through the Standards
  • Multiple Intelligences and Mathematics–Ties to Technology
  • Art in the Mathematics Classroom: Using Both Sides of the Brain
  • Using Manipulatives & Activities to Teach Algebra

Using Manipulatives & Activities to Teach Geometry

  • Mathematics for the New Millennium
  • Rethinking Our Beliefs about Mathematics

Multiple Intelligence and Mathematics

  • Using Computers in the Mathematics Classroom
  • Integrating Mathematics across the Curriculum–Skills & Concepts
  • Manipulatives & Activities through the Standards
  • Multiple Intelligences and Mathematics–Ties to Technology
  • Art in the Mathematics Classroom: Using Both Sides of the Brain
  • Using Manipulatives & Activities to Teach Algebra .
  • Using Manipulatives & Activities to Teach Geometry

In addition to designing and manufacturing a product or system to satisfy exam board, any project brief should be targeted allowing pupils to design and manufacture something that exist in a viable market place.

In conclusion Howard Gardner’s theories have been highly encouraged the adolescents to develop their own personal identities within the design activity that they follow. They are encouraged to work in a range of materials and must be able to communicate well on paper in both written and sketched form. An understanding of industrial design, development and history (supported where appropriate by organised external trips to design companies and exhibits both nationally and internationally) is a prerequisite and they must also recognise when it is pertinent to liase with industry. So there goes the saying “Teaching is a Noble profession” in moulding and casting the future of education amongst the adolescents.

Leave a Comment