Multiple Intelligences


Ross recognizes that each child learns differently and incorporates into the school’s pedagogy the theory of multiple intelligences, developed by one of Ross School’s founding mentors, Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University.

Dr. Gardner generated the theory of multiple intelligences to recognize the various ways students process information, engage in experiences, and perform understanding. At Ross, his work has been central to the design and delivery of instruction and assessments in the Spiral Curriculum. The learning experiences our instructors bring into the classroom foster these eight modalities (described below) as they exist and are developing within each student.



Using one’s whole body or parts of the body to solve problems, express, or fashion products. People who employ bodily-kinesthetic intelligence include dancers, surgeons, actors, athletes, artisans, mechanics and other technically oriented professions.


The capacity to understand oneself, to have an effective working model of oneself—including one’s own desires, fears, and capacities—and to use this information effectively to regulate one’s own life. This intelligence is utilized in meditation, maintaining a journal, or in therapy/counseling.


The capacity to understand the intentions, motivation, desires of other people and, consequently, to work effectively with others. People who employ this intelligence include clinicians, religious leaders, promoters, teachers, actors, salespeople and political leaders.


A sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. People who employ this intelligence include writers, lawyers, poets, rappers, and linguists.


The capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. People who regularly employ logical-mathematical intelligence include engineers, scientists, and mathematicians.


Skilled in musical performance and composition, as well as sensitive to rhythm, tones, meter, timbre, and other sounds. Individuals with musical-rhythmic intelligence usually have good (sometimes perfect) pitch and are proficient at singing, playing an instrument, and/or composing music.


Expertise in recognizing and classifying the numerous species—the flora and fauna—of one’s environment. With a sensitivity to the natural world and living things, they can be considered stewards of their environments. Environmentalists, farmers, hunters, fishermen, and cooks display this pattern-recognition talent.


The potential to recognize and manipulate the patterns of wide space as well as the patterns of more confined areas. Visual-spatial intelligence is commonly employed by visual artists, surgeons, architects, pilots, navigators, chess players, and graphic artists.