“By 1981 I was claiming that all human beings possess not just a single intelligence rather we human beings are better described as having a set of autonomous intelligences.” Professor Howard Gardner of Harvard in his book Frames of Mind.  Multiple Intelligences are one of the Hybrid Skills.

Gardner is a highly regarded developmental and cognitive researcher. He and his many followers—including me—believe that teachers and parents should pluralize the idea we have of learning and intelligence. Intuitively, and according to Gardner’s work, we know we have a full arsenal of intelligences through which we learn; not just by reading and writing. 

Simply stated, we all learn in different ways. Gardner’s work pluralizes the notion of intelligence and encourages us to teach our children to use their entire arsenal of intelligences to learn.

As Dr. Thomas Armstrong says in his excellent book on multiple intelligences, “7 Kinds Of Smarts,” “The theory of multiple intelligences challenges old beliefs about what it means to be smart. Professor Gardner believes that our culture has focused too much attention on verbal and logical thinking—the abilities typically assessed on an intelligence test—and neglected other ways of knowing.” 

Prof. Howard Gardner’s philosophy of learning is that we—you and your children, friends, and strangers—are not just an anatomical collection; a waterproof bag, which stops at the skin’s boundary. We are also part of a greater entity, and as such, are connected to all other parts of that greater oneness, the natural world. We all have multiple intelligences, and all the others we are connected to also have multiple intelligences. I agree and would add that we all also have Hybrid Learning skills, and so do all the others with whom we share a connection. 

Once this ancient and sophisticated interconnectedness is understood, we lose our sense of isolation. We begin to change our perceptions of our limitations, of ourselves, our capacities, and our attitudes towards not just other humans but to the rest of the universe also. 

Since the invention of writing, our western culture has come to value linguistic intelligence above all others. Gardner wants us to consider the fact that we learn and express ourselves in many other ways also. 

He points out that humans spent hundreds of thousands—probably millions—of years learning without the help of words.

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Excerpted from my book Hybrid Learning.

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