Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice

By Howard Gardner | Go to book overview

and the intimate unit of the family or the classroom. The numerous workplaces in any industrialized country each exhibit characteristic kinds of needs, demands, options, and opportunities; and there may well be some features that span a variety of workplaces of the near future (Zuboff, 1988). We very much need careful studies about how intelligences are deployed within the workplaces of today and tomorrow. Also at a premium will be the study of other kinds of contemporary organizations and institutions, ranging from corporations and hospitals to museums and universities. Finally, the assumptions about the intelligences that are relevant (or at peril) in a society drenched in consumerism, the mass media, and mass culture all want sensitive study.

In this "fast forward" to 2013, I have mentioned a number of possible scientific, educational, and institutional sequelae of MI theory.To do so is perhaps to attribute to a psychologically based theory an importance that it does not merit. I happen to believe that social science cannot aspire to the same kinds of "permanent truths" that are the lodestone of the physical and biological sciences.Social or behavioral science is a much more tentative affair, which may yield powerful insights and understandings, but which may not sum up to an edifice of permanent knowledge. Nonetheless, human society is the richer because social scientists have helped us to understand a range of phenomena, ranging from the Oedipal complex to the identity crisis, from the culture of poverty to the affluent society.To this point, the concept of intelligence as IQ has been psychology's most successful contribution to the conversation of our society.If, by 2013, there is a wider acceptance of the notion that intelligence deserves to be pluralized, I will be pleased indeed.

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