What would Multiple Intelligences guide me…?

What would Multiple Intelligences guide me as researcher to attend to in a study?

First of all, I’m going to summarize what I’ve read from Multiple Intelligences (MI).

Multiple Intelligences was proposed in nine forms

  1. Linguistic
  2. Musical
  3. Logical-mathematical
  4. Spatial
  5. Body-kinesthetic
  6. Intrapersonal
  7. Interpersonal
  8. Naturalistic
  9. Existential

by Howard Gardner in 1983 (Wikipedia). Traditionally, logical intelligence and linguistic intelligence were emphasized at schools. Students were evaluated by IQ tests and teachers judged their students by how high their scores were in those tests. However, MI suggested that teachers should see each student as an individual, whose had their own strengths and uniqueness in different areas. Therefore, Gardner generated a list of intelligences in order to let teachers see each student’s potential. For example, one student may be good at music and be able to work with nature but he/she may not be good at mathematics. That does not mean that the student is less intelligence  than those students who are logical and good at mathematics. Students learn in different ways. It just varies between students.

This theory provides a broad platform for teachers and students to stand on and helps teaching and learning become much more diverse. Teachers have to seek for different approaches to teach students so that students will have chances to explore and/or find their own intelligences.

The principles of MI:

  1. Individuals should be encouraged to use their preferred intelligences in learning.
  2. Instructional activities should appeal to different forms of intelligence.
  3. Assessment of learning should measure multiple forms of intelligence. (TIP:Theories)

Second, I’d like to try to look at my research concept through this theory (lens). My research concept question is “How to teach art in the context of culture?” Gardner’s theory on MI suggests me a framework to develop my research concept. As he states that “Each culture tends to emphasize particular intelligences” (TIP:Theories). This really inspires me to consider doing my research through various intelligences. Every culture has its unique characteristic. I’ll have to look in depth how one culture falls into different intelligences. For example, the people in the Miao’s nationality, which is one of the 56 ethnic groups in China, has Naturalistic and Musical Intelligences. The Miao people used a lot of images transformed from the nature to make their own traditional artwork. Also, they sang and danced in order to chronicle their history and passed them from generation to generation in stead of using words, which did not exist until 1957 when Romaization system was created (Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco). MI not only broadens my perception of teaching and learning but also sharpen my lens of seeing culture.


  1. “TIP:Theories” http://tip.psychology.org/gardner.html
  2. “Wikipedia, Theory of multiple intelligences” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences
  3. “Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, The Miao Nationality” http://www.c-c-c.org/chineseculture/minority/miao.html
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My Research Concept Map

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When I am traveling…

My attempt to pursue a doctorate is like traveling to explore the unknown.  One doesn’t know where they will end up, what feelings will result, who will be met, or what challenges will be encountered along the way.
As an explorer traveling in the vast world of art education, I would like to focus on the field of visualization through illustration linking nature and traditional culture, creativity in art and curriculum studies, as well as visual or textual literacy of early childhood. My interests have been nourished from the first day I stepped out of my home, new backpack on my shoulder, to travel solo 15 years ago. Combining art, nature, and culture in each trip, I have drawn and written in my sketchbooks. This illustrated collection documented my experiences, thoughts and ideas which also empowered me to become the present “me”.  I hope that I will have a chance to combine my own artwork to teaching children about this and other culturally diverse aesthetic fantastic art and traditions.
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What is research?

Research is about addressing an issue, and then questioning it, answering it, and maybe solving it if it is a problem via the process of discovering and rediscovering.

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