The theory of Multiple Intelligences was proposed by Dr. Howard Gardener in his book Frames of Mind:-1983. The Theory of Multiple Intelligences differentiates intelligence into specific (primarily sensory) "modalities", rather than seeing it as dominated by a single general ability.

Dr. Gardner argues that there is a wide range of cognitive abilities, and there are only very weak co-relations among them. MI theory insists that the traditional definition of intelligence is too narrow, and thus a broader definition more accurately reflects the differing ways in which humans think and learn. Defenders of MI theory would state that the traditional interpretation of intelligence collapses under the weight of its own logic and definition, noting that intelligence is usually defined as the cognitive or mental capacity of an individual, which by logical necessity would include all forms of mental qualities, not just the ones most transparent to I.Q. tests. This theory claims that everyone is intelligent in at least eight different ways and can develop each aspect of intelligence to an average level of competency.


Dr. Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also holds positions as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero. Among numerous honors, Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981. He has received honorary degrees from twenty-nine colleges and universities, including institutions in Bulgaria, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, South Korea and Spain. In 2005 and again in 2008, he was selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. Most recently, Gardner received the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences. The author of twenty-eight books translated into thirty-two languages, and several hundred articles, Gardner is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences, a critique of the notion that there exists but a single human intelligence that can be adequately assessed by standard psychometric instruments.

During the past two decades, Gardner and colleagues at Project Zero have been involved in the design of performance-based assessments; education for understanding; the use of multiple intelligences to achieve more personalized curriculum, instruction, and pedagogy; and the quality of interdisciplinary efforts in education. Since the middle 1990s, in collaboration with psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon, Gardner has directed the Good Work Project—a study of work that is excellent, engaging, and ethical. More recently, with long time Project Zero colleagues Lynn Barendsen and Wendy Fischman, he has conducted reflection sessions designed to enhance the understanding and incidence of good work among young people. With Carrie James and other colleagues at Project Zero, he is also investigating the nature of trust in contemporary society and ethical dimensions entailed in the use of the new digital media. Among new research undertakings are a study of effective collaboration among non-profit institutions in education and a study of conceptions of quality, nationally and internationally, in the contemporary era.