11 octubre, 2013

Dr Howard Gardner

The theory of ‘Multiple Intelligences’.


Here is the link and the tapescript if you want to listen again:

I began to work simultaneously with children – normal kids, gifted kids, kids with learning problems, and with brain-damaged adults – people who were once fine but who’d had a stroke or a tumour, missile accident.  And the more I spent working with these two populations – it was important that I was seeing kids every day and brain-damaged patients every day - the more I became convinced that, kind of at a gut level, that it was much too simple to say ‘smart, average, dumb’ – that people could be very good in one thing, average in a second thing and not very good in a third.  That’s an intuition that I’m sure has been had by millions of people over the years. 

Um, I think I then did two things which were important academically:  number one I set up a series of criteria to essentially define what the human faculties were, and then I decided –  and I don’t ever remember how it happened - that it was important to call these ‘intelligences’.  If I’d written a book called ‘Seven or Eight or Nine Talents’ and said people could have different kinds of talents, then everybody would say ‘What else is new?’  ‘Cos, we know, there are musicians, there are athletes, there are chess players and so on.  And it was the notion of saying there are eight or nine faculties.  What we usually call ‘smart’ is a conjunction of language and logic, but it doesn’t say anything about spatial ability, about musical ability, about the capacity to solve problems using your hands or your body, about understanding other people, understanding yourself, to be able to make distinctions in the natural world...  Those are different faculties.  And I think what sealed the deal in 1980 was we could find some neurological evidence that the language abilities came from one part of the brain and the musical abilities from a second, and so on.  So, in the early ‘80s I promulgated the theory of multiple intelligences, often called ‘MI Theory’.  You’re kind to say it’s universally adopted.  I would say, it’s universally fretted about...