Multiple Intelligences in the Schools.Report as inadecuate

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Within the context of school improvement and school reform, it is important to examine Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (MI theory). His work has far-reaching implications for curriculum development and classroom implementation. Gardner believes that the culture defines intelligence too narrowly. He sought to broaden the scope of human potential beyond the confines of the ability to answer items on tests of intelligence and an IQ score. He was disturbed by the almost exclusive use of linguistic and logical capacities in the construction of items on intelligence, aptitude, and achievement tests. The MI theory challenges the concept of intelligence as a single general capacity that everyone possesses in varying degrees. Gardner suggests that intelligence has more to do with the capacity for solving problems and fashioning products in a context-rich and naturalistic setting. He identified seven areas of intelligence, which he believes all people possess: (1) linguistic intelligence; (2) logical-mathematical intelligence; (3) spatial intelligence; (4) bodily-kinesthetic intelligence; (5) musical intelligence; (6) interpersonal intelligence; (7) intrapersonal intelligence. A number of school projects have grown out of the thinking of Gardner and other liberals like John Dewey, Rousseau, Maria Montessori, and Friedrich Froebel. Using the seven intelligences as their framework, teachers at Crow Island School in Winnetka, Illinois, assess their students using a portfolio approach. (Contains 19 references and an appendix listing Gardner's criteria.) (TB)

Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Holistic Approach, Holistic Evaluation, Integrated Activities, Intelligence, Interdisciplinary Approach, Multiple Intelligences, Philosophy, Student Needs

Author: Quigley, Kathleen M.


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