The Theory of Multiple Intelligences is the way a college professor says, “These are the many ways in which people are smart.” In many schools, students who are selected for the ‘Gifted and Talented’ program are considered ‘smart.’ Students who are star athletes, musicians, poets, vocalists, artists, or dancers are considered ‘Talented,’ but without the ‘Gifted’ part of the label. However, Harvard Professor, Dr. Howard Gardner, author of “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” states emphatically that there are at least 8 types of smart, and there may be even more that we have yet to discover.

To increase the opportunities of your becoming a competitive candidate for college admissions and scholarship consideration, you must consider the question, “Am I devoting my time and making a significant contribution to activities that showcase my gifts, talents, and leadership attributes?” Or in other words, are you devoting your time to areas where you can demonstrate to a college how uniquely smart you are at such things as solving complex math problems (logical/mathematical); writing poetry (verbal/linguistic); playing a musical instrument (musical/rhythmic); serving as an officer in a club or leading a team (interpersonal); researching and finding solutions to complex issues (intrapersonal); creating extraordinary artwork (visual/spatial); becoming an elite athlete (bodily/kinesthetic); or working with animals or creating community gardens (naturalist)?

Students who have committed years to musical training or athletic development; engaged in spoken word or dance competitions; started a nonprofit or business; or committed themselves to stellar academic achievement may have developed a clearly-define ‘Hook.’ Athletes are recruited as a result of their giftedness in sports. However, the same is true for gifted musicians, dancers, artists, and students with top grades and test scores. This module requires that you consider whether or not you have developed a ‘hook,’ and if not, is there an area that you believe you have the potential to develop a hook?

The ‘Video – Ways of Being Smart’ provides an overview of each of the areas in which you might demonstrate gifts or talents, which will be covered in this module. The videos selected to provide insight into each of the 8 intelligences may also provide insight into the type of programs that have assisted students in developing or showcasing their intelligence, thereby expanding their college and scholarship opportunities.


Engage in a self-examination of your gifts and talents and identify those areas that may be further developed through your high school experience to qualify for scholarships or expand your college admission opportunities.

Estimated time to complete: Undetermined.

Guiding Questions

  • What are my gifts and talents, and am I developing them to the level necessary to influence college admissions and scholarship opportunities?
  • Am I maximizing opportunities within my school and community to develop my gifts and talents?

Supplemental Reading