THE RELEVANCE OF THE THEORY OF MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES IN THE VEDIC ERA
The education system which evolved in ancient India between c. 1500 c. 500 BCE was known as the Vedic system of education. This education system was student centered. The Guru, educator, realized that the development of personality is the sole aim of education. Human personality was regarded as the supreme work of God. The qualities of self-esteem, self confidence, self restraint and self respect were the personality traits that the educator tried to inculcate in his pupils through example. There was an intimate relationship between the teacher and the disciple. No single method of instruction was adopted, though recitation by the pupil followed by explanation by the teacher was generally followed. Many years later, in 1983, the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) was proposed by the psychologist Howard Gardner in his path-breaking work, Frames of Mind. He talks about seven types of intelligences - linguistic (exemplified by poets, writers), musical (musicians, composers), logical-mathematical (scientists, analysts), spatial (navigators, gamers), bodily-kinesthetic (dancers, athletes), interpersonal (counsellors, public relations managers), and intrapersonal (monks). There is an uncanny resemblance between the conceptual framework of the Vedic teachings and the buttresses of the MI Theory. In this exploratory research paper, the researcher has tried to draw parallels between the two eras, thus arriving at interesting conclusions based on ancient facts as found in history and by diving deep into the MI Theory.