2.1.1. The traditional view of intelligence
The notion of
intelligence has attracted scholars and educators. The traditional conception
of intelligence rests largely upon a monolithic, static view of intelligence.
Spearman (1904) made the first theoretical attempt to describe intelligence
proposing his g model (g for general) .This theoretical model was
the outcome of the measurement of psychological abilities. He believed in the presence of a “common underlying ability or force serving
as the basis for all our mental/intellectual functioning” (Akbari &
Hosseini, 2008, p. 143). Spearman argued that the presence of g as a
kind of brain power or mental energy made a person intelligent (Howe, 1997).
Binet and Simon (1905)
were asked by the French Ministry of Education to identify students who had
learning problems. With regard to the measurement, the government tried to help
students to enhance their learning .The result of this endeavor was the IQ test
which was the first test to measure intelligence. Intelligence testing became widely popular as
well as the notion of intelligence which was objectively measured and reduced
to a single number (IQ).
With respect to the traditional view
of intelligence, an individual has to pass an intelligence test successfully to
be described as an intelligent . Indeed, without
doing well on such test learner would be denied
access to higher education (Fellenz & Conti, 1989).The test measures
a narrow set of linguistic and logical abilities
(Gardner & Hatch, 1989) disregarding the other capacities. This monotholic view of intelligence
was largely welcomed by researchers and scholars for a long period of time. Yet, with
the emergence of multidimensional theories (Sternberg’s triarchic theory, 1985;
Caroll’sthree stratum theory, 1993) the traditional definition of intelligence
was increasely criticized for missing
what the intelligence really is. Sternberg (2005) argued that traditional view
of intelligence support individuals who exhibit a strong memory and logical/
mathematical abilities defining intelligence
in a narrowed and cultural way . He
challenged the traditional view of intelligence by proposing a new concept of
intelligence that made a distinction between three types of intelligence:
creative, analytical and practical. Individuals are considered intelligent not
only by making use of their creative, analytical as well as practical in a
proper way but also recognized and compensating for their weaknesses. In this
view, the traiarchic theory underscores the sociocutural context of individual
(Cianciolo & Sternberg, 2004).
(1993) claims that humans possess a different combinations of intelligence beyond verbal and logical
abilities which are measured on traditional instruments. These intelligence are
emphasized in diverse skills and abilities. All human beings possess these intelligences
to solve problems. With the publication of his substantial book Frames of Mind:
the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983) Gardner put forward a new
view of intelligence that celebrates individual differences and uniqueness.
2.1.2.Multiple intelligence theory
The notion of multiple
intelligence is proposed by Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory (Gardner,
1983). He brought about the social
context to intelligence and defined it
as “a bio-psychological potential to
process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve
problems or create products that are of value in a culture” (Gardner, 1983,
p.34). Multiple intelligence theory
(Gardner, 1983, 1993, 1999) challenged the traditional view of intelligence as a unitary capacity for conceptualization
and problem solving, that can be assessed throughIQ tests (Visser et al., 2006)
.His theory is framed in a pluralistic, multidimensional view of mind that
regards intelligence as an innate faculty of an individual. Human cognitive
competence is identified in terms of a composite of talents, or mental skills
which is alluded to as intelligence (Gradner,1993) .In this approach,
‘intelligence is not a singular phenomenon, but rather a plurality of capacities’
(Armstrong, 2003, p. 12).
Primarily, Gardner proposed seven
intelligences in 1983 including linguistic, logical/mathematical,
interpersonal, visual/spatial, intrapersonal, musical and bodily-kinesthetic. Later
on ,He added naturalistic intelligence with the potential of a
ninth–existential intelligence . Each
intelligence does function in an independent way of one another and individuals
may have their own strengths and weaknesses in each type of intelligence .In
order to back up multiple intelligence theory (MIT), Gardner established certain
criteria that each intelligence must meet to be recognized as intelligence and
not just a talent or a skill. That is to say there are eight criteria which
determine whether an ability will be viewed as intelligence in relation to ”neurological,
evolutionary, and cross-cultural Evidence” (Gardner, 1983, p12). These criteria
Potential isolation by brain damage, which
refers to the degree to which the capabilities are independent .
from exceptional individuals, such as mentally retarded savants and child
prodigies, which shows that ”it is possible for a person to have exceptional
or precocious abilities in one particular field, whilst the same person’s level
of performance is other domains is no better than average” (Howe, 1997, p128).
identifiable set of operations, which means that each intelligence has set of operations
that activate disparate activities such
as sensitivity to pitch in musical intelligence and the ability to mimic body
movements of others .
distinctive mental history which refers to distinct levels of the capacity and
the developmental history one has to undergo in
order to reach high levels of expertise.
An evolutionary history: Each intelligence has
foundations on the evolutionary history of man. For instance, archaeological
evidence supports the presence of musical instruments
Experimental psychological tasks: it refers to
looking to psychological studies and witnessing intelligences working
independently. For instance, learners have a mastery of specific skill, such as
solving arithmetic problems, However , they may still not be able to read well.
results: Gardner points out that there are a number of standardized tests to assess multiple intelligence
and provide foundations to his theory of
multiple intelligences.For instance , Weschsler Intelligence Scale for children
that involves sub-tests focusing on focus on
the diverse of the different intelligences.
Having the potential of being coded in
symbolic systems or notations: Gardner claims that the best indicator for intelligent behavior
is the capacity to use symbols . This capacity is what distinguishes human from
other species. Each intelligence has its unique symbolic systems or notations. For linguistic intelligence, there are spoken
and writing languages such as English, Chinese and French. While, graphic
languages are employed by designers,engineers and architects(Armstrong 2009)
(“word smart”) is highly valued in the traditional classroom. It is
defined as the ability to manage both the spoken and written language and to
use words effectively and properly in order to achieve certain purpose as well
as the ability to learn new languages. It involves the sensitivity to the
sounds, rhythms and meaning of words. According to Gardner (1993) Lawyers,
authors, editors, and poets are considered to exhibit high linguistic intelligence.
Learners with a high level of linguistic intelligence tend to think in terms of
words. They enjoy reading novels, newspapers and playing word games such as
scrabble and anagrams.
22.214.171.124.Logical /mathematical intelligence
Logical intelligence is highly emphasized in
classroom .It is the ability to use numbers effectively and to reason well. This
type of intelligence involves ” the ability to reason, sequence, think in terms
of cause-and-effect, create hypotheses, look for conceptual regularities or
numerical patterns, and enjoy a generally rational outlook on life” (Armstrong
,1993, p. 10). Learners who are strong at logical intelligence are inclined to
think in terms of abstract concepts. They look for patterns, relationships,
regularities and logical sequences in things. A logical-mathematical learner
enjoys solving complex problems. Mathematicians, logicians, and scientists are
considered to have high level of logical intelligence.
126.96.36.199.Spatial / Visual intelligence
refers to the ability to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately. This
intelligence relies heavily on images, pictures, maps color, line, shape, form,
space in order to communicate and to organize information. It involves
Visualizing and representing spatial ideas. According to Teele (2000), visually
inclined learners enjoy doing maps, charts, diagrams, jigsaw and mazes ,puzzles
as well. Architects, designers, photographers, sculptors, and inventors possess
a high level of visual intelligence.
It is also known as “self-smart». It
refers to as self knowledge and the ability to act accordingly on that
basis .Learner with a highly developed intrapersonal intelligence “can easily
access her own feelings, discriminate between many different kinds of inner
emotional states, and use her self-understanding to enrich and guide her
life” (Armstrong, 1993, p. 11).
This intelligence involves awareness of one’s strengths and weakness,
thoughts, motivations, and moods .an interpersonal learners have a good sense
of self-esteem, self-regulation and self-discipline. They prefer working alone
rather than working with others .they also responds well to a set of medium
including journals, bibliography, and diary etc.
This intelligence is trigged by
interactions with others. According to Gardner (1983), an individual with a
highly developed interpersonal
intelligence understands and distinguishes
others’ motivations, intentions, needs, and their desires .It involves being
sensitive to verbal communications such as voice and nonverbal cues like facial
expressions, voice and gestures. Learners who are strong at interpersonal
intelligence “may have been labeled “too talkative” or
“excessivelySocial” in the traditional classroom” (Mckenzie, 2005,
p.12).Students with interpersonal tendency learn best interacting with others.
They do enjoy engaging in social gatherings such as committees’ and clubs.
Politicians, teachers, Clinicians and religious leaders are likely to exhibit a
strong interpersonal intelligence
Bodily / kinesthetic intelligence
This intelligence is trigged
through physical interaction with the environment .Gardner (1999) defines bodily
intelligence as the capacity to use one’s whole body or parts of it to solve
problems or to create something. This intelligence involves certain physical
skills such as coordination, strength, flexibility, and speed, as well as hap
tic abilities. Students who are strong at physical activities learn best by
doing. This means that “they thrive in hands-on learning environments”
(Mckenzie, 2005, p.12). Dancers, athletes and surgeons exhibit a well-developed
188.8.131.52. Musical intelligence
This intelligence is referred to
as “Sound Intelligence”,” Sound Smart “and “Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence”. This
intelligence involves musical skills such as composing, performing, and
appreciating music (Gardner, 1999). According to Nicholson-Nelson (1998)
individuals who are sensitive to pitch and rhythm have a musical intelligence.
They enjoy listening to music and recognizing sounds. Their learning is
associated with singing, humming, rapping, recording and tapping
and so on. Musicians,Singers, songwriters,
, dancers, composers, and music teachers exhibit a strong musical intelligence.
The naturalist intelligence was
proposed afterwards. Gardner (1999)
defines this type of intelligence as the ability to recognize and classify species
of environment . This intelligence has
to do hierarchies and categories. According to Armstrong (1993) “the naturalist reveals the intelligence of the
“green thumb”that knack that some people have to garden, to nurture household
plants, create wonderful landscapes, or in other ways show a natural care for
flora” (p. 225). Hunters, fishermen,
farmers and gardeners exhibit a well developed naturalistic intelligence.
Gardner (1999) identifies the
existential intelligence as “human capacity to raise and ponder large
questions” (p.19) .it is the understanding of processes within a large context.
It s subsumes philosophy and religion and underscores the values of beauty,
truth as well as goodness. It allows learners to see their place in the big
picture in relation to the classroom, the community or the universe. Students
with a well-developed existential intelligence are able to summarize and
synthesize ideas from various disciplines.