Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom

Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom

Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom

Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom

Excerpt

In addition to my own writings, there are now a number of guides to the theory of multiple intelligences, written by my own associates at Harvard Project Zero and by colleagues in other parts of the country. Coming from a background in special education, Thomas Armstrong was one of the first educators to write about the theory. He has always stood out in my mind because of the accuracy of his accounts, the clarity of his prose, the broad range of his references, and the teacher-friendliness of his tone.

Now he has prepared the book that you hold in your hands for members of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Displaying the Armstrong virtues that I have come to expect, this volume is a reliable and readable account of my work, directed particularly to teachers, administrators, and other educators. Armstrong has also added some nice touches of his own: the notion of a “paralyzing experience,” to complement Joseph Walters' and my concept of a “crystallizing experience”; the suggestion to attend to the way that youngsters misbehave as a clue to their intelligences; some informal suggestions about how to involve youngsters in an examination of their own intelligences and how to manage one's classroom in an MI way. He has included several rough-and-ready tools that can allow one to assess one's own intellectual profile, to get a handle on the strengths and proclivities of youngsters under one's charge, and to involve youngsters in games built around MI ideas. He conveys a vivid idea of what MI classes, teaching moves, curricula, and assessments can be like. Each chapter concludes with a set of exercises to help one build on the ideas and practices that one has just read about.

As Armstrong points out in his introduction, I do not believe that there is a single royal road to an implementation of MI ideas in the classroom. I have been encouraged and edified by the wide variety of ways in which educators around the country have made use of my ideas, and I have no problem in saying “Let 100 MI schools bloom.” From my perspective, the essence of the theory is to respect the many differences among people, the multiple variations in the ways that they learn, the several modes by which they can

Howard Gardner is Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education and Co-Director of Project Zero at the Harvard Gradu
ate School of Education, and adjunct professor of neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine. He is the author of
Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Basic Books, 1983/1993), Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice (Basic
Books, 1993), and Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century (Basic Books, 1999).

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