Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice

By Howard Gardner | Go to book overview

Chapter 8
Approaching School
Intelligently: Practical
Intelligence at the
Middle School Level

Coauthored by
Mara Krechevsky

Educational interventions grounded in theory exhibit a distinctly different flavor from those that grow out of practice. Consider, for example, the difference between Boole's Laws of thought ( 1854) and Edwards's Drawing on the right side of the brain ( 1979). Boole's volume was designed to help people think; yet, it reflects the aesthetics of the logician rather than the kinds of practical problems that the ordinary rational (or irrational) person must confront in daily life.Edwards's book offers a promissory note that one may invoke a typically underutilized set of brain structures in becoming a better artist. But the appeal of the book inheres in its set of exercises, which are quite effective in helping nascent drawers observe and depict their subjects in a representationally faithful fashion.

The distance between a textbook on human memory and the "method of memory" devised by Simonides in the Classical era may seem slimmer, but the difference in accent is parallel.The theorist whose work is summarized in the text is trying to flesh out the basic laws of memory. These principles should explain the slavish recall of nonsense syllables as well as reconstruction of the gist of a story. Simonides, in contrast, wanted simply a method that could help him to recall the identities of a large number of guests gathered around a table at a fateful dinner.

Reverberations of these tensions are found today in the flood of

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