"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Multiple Intelligences: A Widely Misunderstood Notion

The Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines uses "Multiple Intelligences" as among the excellent features of its new curriculum. In 2010, Luistro said the enhanced K+12 is a free, pro-poor, multiple intelligence program for graduates to be equipped with skills necessary to be gainfully employed after high school graduation. The Philippines in its new DepEd K+12 curriculum fully embraces "Multiple Intelligences" as a theory of education when in reality, it is not. Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, uses the word "notion" in a 2013 article published in the Washington Post to refer to "Multiple Intelligences", an idea he conceived in 1983.

DepEd K+12 advertises its curriculum as
one that takes into account the nature and needs of the learner
"Multiple intelligences", according to Gardner, is an idea that is opposite to the belief that the human brain is "one central all-purpose computer". Instead, in "Multiple Intelligences", humans are believed to have "a number of relatively autonomous computers", one for each of the following:

Above copied from MI Oasis
"Multiple Intelligences" still remain a notion. It is yet to be supported by evidence. In 2012, Dekker and coworkers list "There are multiple intelligences" as a neuromyth in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Lynn Waterhouse writes in Educational Psychologist:
"Multiple Intelligences" is not supported by sound or consistent validating empirical evidence, and because these theories do not respect the constraints provided by cumulative empirical evidence from cognitive neuroscience research, these theories should not be taught without providing the context of their existing empirical support. Enthusiasm for their application to classroom practice should be tempered by an awareness that their lack of sound empirical support makes it likely that their application will have little real power to enhance student learning beyond that stimulated by the initial excitement of something new.
DepEd is therefore hinging its new curriculum on something that is not based on evidence. Worse, DepEd may have even misunderstood Multiple Intelligences. A quick glance of how Multiple Intelligences can be implemented inside a classroom shows that DepEd could not possibly embrace this notion. The following is an example taken from Concept to Classroom:

Above copied from Thirteen Ed Online
One does not need to examine DepEd's K+12 curriculum to check if the agency is implementing "Multiple Intelligences" properly. One simply has to see the multiple ways of presenting a particular lesson and the multiple ways by which student learning is assessed in "Multiple Intelligences". These are not nine different subjects. This is teaching and assessing one specific lesson in nine different ways. Keeping all of the above tasks in mind and reflecting on what Gardner thinks on how Multiple Intelligences can be implemented in education makes it quite obvious that DepEd is merely using Multiple Intelligences as a sound bite, for the above is only possible when the pupil to teacher ratio is very small.

DepEd not only copies an unproven notion in education, but also apparently makes an outrageous claim. Classes are not small in Philippine public schools. When something is being falsely advertised to the public, it is immoral.

Above copied from TruReview


  1. I must agree. I have attended numerous seminars, training and workshops and I noticed most, if not all, were discussed in the context that is not based on actual Philippine school setup. The goal is clear, the expected outcome is great, the objectives are perfect, however, they are only possible in their imagined scenario. Even the video presentations they use do not show Filipino students. Hilig kasing manggaya ng pinoy. pinipilit ang setup ng ibang bansa satin.

  2. Yes, and DepEd is even copying something that is not supported by evidence. DepEd copies a notion that is considered as a myth by educational psychologists.