Before Gardner developed the concept of Multiple Intelligences, it was generally believed that people had what is called ‘general intelligence’. The generally accepted concept of the existence of one ‘general intelligence’ affirms that intelligence can be measured and is thought to be relatively consistent throughout one’s life (IQ numbers).This traditional concept of intelligence, usually referred to as intelligence quotient or IQ, first appeared around the early 1900s. According to Scott Seider (2003, accessed in April, 2013), in his article about Multiple Intelligences, an English psychologist called Charles Spearman (1904) published a paper about general intelligence in which he affirmed that “all forms of intellectual activity stem from a unitary or general ability for problem-solving”. Despite the critics, this idea, that an individual's intellectual abilities could be measured by a single test, became the prevalent view regarding general intelligence throughout the 20th century. Gardner’s theory came to change this view of a general intelligence concept. Gardner’s theory of intelligence affirms that people are intelligent in several different ways and that these different areas of intelligence combine to form an intelligence profile which will be unique for each individual and which cannot be measured by IQ test scores. Gardner’s theory also says that these areas of intelligence may change over time, with different areas improving or decreasing according to use, motivation, stimuli, context, cultural values, opportunities, etc. This can be confirmed in Campbell et al. (1999, 21) who say that: Neurophysiologists such as Mariana Diamond […] at the University of California at Berkeley have discovered that the brain can change structurally and functionally as a result of learning and experience – for better or worse. Throughout life we can continue to develop enhanced mental abilities in environments that are positive, nurturing, stimulating, and interactive. People may present different abilities like creating fabulous pieces of visual art, being a terrific athlete, playing musical instruments, having a special understanding of the natural world, writing poems, or a natural ability for leadership. Gardner believed that it is impossible to identify those who would be considered more intelligent among people with these abilities based on the measurements of an IQ test. He affirmed that “each student is unique and all in individual ways offer valuable contributions to human culture” (CAMPBELL et al. 1999, 15) Gardner has for many years investigated human cognitive capacities. The main points of his research highlight that everyone is born with a unique blend of all eight intelligences, these intelligences combine in special ways, and most people are able to develop each of these intelligences to a proper level of competency. He also points out that school tends to focus mainly on two intelligences which are associated with academic intelligence: linguistic and logical/mathematical. We also have to consider that we do not use one area of intelligence by itself, different areas will always be working together and this interaction among different intelligences is fundamental to build upon one another. So teachers need to be very careful not to label students as being ‘Logical-Mathematically intelligent’ or ‘Visually intelligent’ – assuming that they are only intelligent in one specific area. In the book Teaching and Learning through Multiple Intelligences, the eight intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner are: Linguistic Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence and Naturalistic intelligence.
On one level, MI theory applied to the curriculum might best be represented by a loose and diverse collection of teaching strategies such as those listed above. In this sense, MI theory represents a model of instruction that has ...
Noam Chomsky on Wednesday joined Bruno della Chiesa, a visiting lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), in an Askwith Forum covering the legacy of the radical Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (1921-1997) and his 1968 book, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.” The conversation was moderated by Professor Howard Gardner
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