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Multiple intelligences: Addressing Gardner's theory in a multi-age first and second grade classroom

1 June 1997


The purpose of this study was to answer the following research questions: 1) How do elementary teachers use Gardner's theory of MI to maximize their students' intelligences? 2) How can a teacher implement activities into the curriculum that address the seven intelligences? 3) What are some of the methods used to evaluate and assess students' academic progress in the MI model?

My research addressing these questions was based on Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner proposes that intelligence is not limited to one capacity which presides over all functions or activities. He contends that humans are equipped with a range of autonomous intelligences that work in harmony with each other. His theory makes it possible to identify an individual's intellectual profile at an early age and draw upon this knowledge to enhance that person's educational opportunities and options.

This study took place at a public K-5 elementary school located in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. The participants were first and second grade students. After collecting and organizing extensive field notes, interviews, and survey responses, various patterns emerged that reinforced the effectiveness of the MI model. My research revealed that implementation of MI into the elementary curriculum enables children to learn and succeed through their strengths in intelligence-specific domains.


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