Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice

By Howard Gardner | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
The Emergence and
Nurturance of Multiple
Intelligences in Early
Childhood: The Project
Spectrum Approach

Coauthored
by Mara Krechevsky

Standardized tests were invented, in part, as one way to identify unusual talents, and they are certainly capable of revealing scholastic prodigies. But consider the individuals who do not perform well on such assessments. How can we assess their strengths, and what would it mean to do so?

Jacob is a four-year-old boy who was asked to participate in two forms of assessment at the start of the school year: the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th ed.) and a new approach to assessment called Project Spectrum.Jacob refused to be tested on the Stanford-Binet. Three subtests were attempted and partially completed, after which Jacob ran out of the testing room, left the building, and climbed a tree. On the Spectrum battery, which includes fifteen different tasks spanning a wide range of domains, Jacob participated in most of the activities, and demonstrated outstanding strength in the areas of visual arts and numbers.He revealed a consuming love of different materials, and worked with every possible medium in the art area. On other activities, even when he resisted engaging in the task at hand, he always expressed interest in the materials out of which the games were made, for example, the small figures on a storytelling board, the metal of the bells for the music activity, and so on. This passion for the physicality of materials extended to almost every area: his exploration of the discovery or natural science area focused at one point on an examination of bones and

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