Student Question

Traditional IQ tests tend to measure how well a person will do in school. How would you construct a test to measure the multiple intelligences proposed by people like Howard Gardner?

Expert Answers

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Gardener's Multiple Intelligence Theory described eight different intelligence areas. They are as follows: spatial, verbal, interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical, musical, kinesthetic, and naturalistic. While some tests exist online that measure a person's interest level in these different intelligence areas, no one test exists that measures one's ability in all of these things. One can only use a survey to find a person's perceived strengths and interests. These forms are common in career centers and with guidance counselors as people try to find their niche in life.

Gardener's Multiple Intelligence Theory is one reason why college admission forms are much different than they were thirty years ago. Colleges look beyond standardized tests and many will also insist on receiving a portfolio of the student's best work. Colleges will also accept students who have higher musical or kinesthetic ability than they do mathematical or verbal skills. While the common standardized tests today measure mathematical and verbal skills, universities realize that there are many ways to measure a person's skill set. A "one-size-fits-all" test for Gardener's theory does not exist yet, but there are surveys that allow one to explore one's interests.

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