For this week, I decided that I wanted to explore the idea of “Multiple Intelligences,” since it is frequently discussed in Residence Life settings and Resident Advisor trainings. With information taken from the following webpage (, the theory of Multiple Intelligences comes from Howard Gardner. “This theory has emerged fro recent cognitive research and ‘documents the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways,’ according to Gardner (1991).” He described seven distinct learning styles: Visual-Spatial, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Linguistic, and Logical-Mathematical. The link I included goes on to discuss the things that need to be considered when teaching learners. While it doesn’t specifically mention Universal Design, it does suggest UD ideas, such as a larger variety of learners will learn better through learning in multiple different ways. If you would like more information regarding Howard Gardner, this link includes more about his early life and the development of the multiple intelligences, including the potential for three additional intelligences: naturalist, spiritualist/existential, and moral intelligences. Here are a brief explanation of each of the original seven intelligences, as well as the additional three:

Visual-Spatial: potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas

Bodily-kinesthetic: potential of using one’s whole body or parts of the body to solve problems; the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements

Musical: skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns; encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms

Interpersonal: capacity to understand the intetions, motivations and desires of other people; allows people to work effectively with others

Intrapersonal: capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one’s feelings, fears and motivations; involves having an effective working model of ourselves and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives

Linguistic: sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals; includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; use language as a mean to remember information

Logical-Mathematical: capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically; ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically

Naturalist: enables humans to recognize, categorize and draw upon certain features of the environment

Spiritualist/existential: explores the nature of existence in its multifarious guises; a concern with ‘ultimate issues’

Moral: a concern with those roles, behaviors and attitudes that govern the sanctity of life, particularly the sanctity of human life and other living creatures and the world they inhabit


Lastly, I am including a link to one of the many various tests available for people to find out what their predominant intelligences are:

I think this has a direct link with UDL, as it is one way for educators to look at the various types of learners they need to reach and their strengths. Just as someone with a mobility issue might be limited in how they learn through kinesthetic exercises, so might someone who doesn’t have a strong kinesthetic intelligence. This is one thing that many residence hall directors are already teaching their RAs about in terms of how they work together, but they could take it a step further by having their RAs think about applying this in how they do their programming. I will have to look at how I can include this in my presentation about UD in residence halls.