Theories on Thursday: Howard Gardner

Do I dare admit how long it's been since I wrote a "Theories on Thursday" post?  Probably not.

Today's post was inspired by a run I took on Harvard's campus recently.  I was in Cambridge, MA for an Open Textbook Summit and decided to see Harvard's campus via a run.  It was lovely - not the campus, but my run, that is.  The campus, itself, was kind of dreary as nothing was in bloom and it was pretty chilly when I dawned my new red, Brooks running shoes.  However, look where I found myself..... At Howard Gardner's office!  Neat, no?  All education majors know of Howard Gardner's work and I was feeling pretty geeked about being there in his corridor (as he was not in his office.  Rats).

Howard Gardner's office

Since everyone knows of Howard Gardner's work in the multiple intelligences, I will be quick.  If right now, you aren't part of that "everyone" crowd, don't worry.  I wasn't either 15 years ago.

Here's what Dr. Gardner says about our many intelligences:
  • We have just that - many intelligences.  He likes to use the phrase, "multiple intelligences."
  • Most schools tend to favor only "some" of the intelligences.  Such a shame....
  • The linguistic and mathematical-logical intelligences are the two most prized and favored intelligences in traditional public schools.  Think of the SAT and what two main areas it measures.
  • Other important intelligences include:  Musical, spatial, naturalist, existentialist, intrapersonal, interpersonal and bodily/kinesthetic
  • Many people get the "personal" intelligences confused.  Intrapersonal is the intelligence you possess when you are being reflective, keeping a diary or a journal, or sharing your feelings. Interpersonal is the intelligence you possess when you relate to and get along well with other people.  Teachers, by the way, should have high interpersonal intelligence.
  • Ironically, I met some of Dr. Gardner's graduate students at a conference years ago and they said even though his theory is so dynamic, he teaches in an old-school kind of way.  They said each class he taught, he would arrive right at the start of class, crack a can of coke, lecture and leave right away.  They said he made no attempt to include nor invigorate the nine intelligences.
Funny, no?

I guess I need to go to Harvard  and take a class with Dr. G to see for myself.

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Care to join me?  We could do our Ph.D.s together.

Jen


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