Learning theories in general are derived from the way theorists interpret human nature and how human beings learn.
Among the learning theories proposed in the second half of the 20th century, I would like to highlight the theory of multiple intelligences developed by Howard Gardner. Initially proposed as a theory of human intelligence, that is, as a cognitive model, MI attracted the attention of educators around the world due to its description of cognitive competence in terms of a set of skills, talents, or even intellectual competencies. , which Gardner called “intelligences”. Gardner’s intelligences are relatively autonomous, although they are not completely independent. It seems that the importance of MS for educators is that they recognize that each child has a different set of different abilities or a spectrum of intelligences.
In reality, Gardner’s learning theory is an alternative view to traditional intelligence theory (Binet and Simon’s IQ). It is a pluralistic theory of intelligence. According to Gardner, the MI model has used, in part, knowledge that was not available in the time of Binet and Simon (1908): cognitive science (study of the mind) and neuroscience (study of the brain). In MI, intelligence comes to be understood as multiple abilities. These categories (or intelligences) represent elements that can be found in all cultures, namely: music, words, logic, painting, social interaction, physical expression, inner reflection and appreciation of nature. In fact, MI theory is being used, with excellent results, in various educational settings, demonstrating how cultural contexts can shape educational practice. Additionally, MI represent eight ways of learning content. IM theory, therefore, does not privilege only language and logic as learning vehicles. ME theory provides a type of context in which educators can address any skill, subject, area, or instructional objective, and develop it in at least eight ways to teach it. Used not only in the classroom, but also as a conceptual model in a science park, MI is proving to be a way to ensure that learning takes place and is fun.
At first, the set of intelligences proposed by Gardner had seven basic intelligences. In a later work, the author added an eighth (naturalistic) intelligence, leaving open the discussion about the possibility of adopting a ninth (spiritual) intelligence. To arrive at this model, Gardner reports that he studied a broad, unrelated group of sources: prodigy studies, gifted individuals, brain-damaged patients, idiotic wise men, normal children, normal adults, experts in different fields of study, and individuals from different cultures. . . The eight intelligences proposed by Gardner are defined as abilities to: 1) use language competently (linguistically); 2) logical reasoning in mathematics and science (logical-mathematics); 3) note details of what is seen and visualize and manipulate objects in the mind (spatial); 4) understand, create and appreciate music and musical concepts (musical); 5) use one’s own body skillfully (corporal-kinesthetic); 6) recognize the subtle aspects of other people’s (interpersonal) behavior; 7) have an understanding of oneself (intrapersonal); and 8) recognize patterns and differences in nature (naturalistic). As Gardner believes, intelligence is a human ability that is linked to specific content in the world (for example, musical sounds or spatial patterns). Gardner also points out that these different intellectual forces, or competencies, each have their own historical development. For this very reason, they are valued differently by different cultures around the world.
Finally, according to Gardner, certain domains or skills, such as the logical-mathematical, which was deeply studied by J. Piaget, are universal. In short, Piaget investigates children’s minds to envision what is unique and generic about intelligence. However, there are other domains that are restricted to certain cultures. For example, the ability to read or make maps is important in certain cultures, but minimally valued or even unknown in others.