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Howard Gardener

Language Development

  • Howard Gardener was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1943.
  • He was born of Jewish decent, but his family was originally from Nurnberg, Germany.
  • He completed his studies at Harvard University and has previously stated that Erik Erikson 'sealed' his ambition to become a scholar.


Howard Gardener is responsible for creating the initial list of the seven intelligences. In regards to language development, the only ones that apply are as follows:
  • Linguistic intelligence: invloves the sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Gardener views writers, poets, lawyers, and speakers to be those of high linguistic intelligence.
  • Musical intelligence: involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. In Gardener's view, musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.
  • Interpersonal intelligence: is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations, and desires of other people. It allows people to communicate and work effectively with one another.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence: entails the capacity to understand oneself, to understand one's feelings, fears, and motivations. In order to effectively communicate with others, you must first be able to communicate with oneself.