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Intelligence Reframed


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Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor in Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Among numerous honours, Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981. In 1990, he was the first American to receive the University of Louisville's Grawemeyer Award in education. In 2000, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


In his seminal work, Frames of Mind, Harvard psychologist Gardner argued that intelligence comprises more than one or two properties. Since translated into seven languages, the book proceeded to spawn debate. Besides language and math, Gardner posits five other types of intelligence: musical, kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Here he considers three new possibilities: naturalistic, spiritual, and existential. Three chapters take up issues and misunderstandings commonly found in applying multiple intelligence theory in education, business, and the arts. A chapter on creators and leaders shows the breadth of Gardner's knowledge and interests, and one on achieving understanding through performance proves his pragmatic orientation as a teacher. Besides references, appendixes include schools and other contacts. This valuable book by a leading psychologist and educator is essential for most libraries.ÄE. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

In Frames of Mind (1983), Gardner first set forth his influential theory of Multiple Intelligences, contending that each of us is equipped with eight or more separate types of intelligence (including linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal varieties). In this combative update, geared mainly to educators, psychologists and other professionals, Harvard education professor Gardner adds to the list a new naturalist intelligence, which involves attunement to the environment, its flora and fauna. He further proposes that there may be a spiritual or existential intelligence (knowledge of transcendental and cosmic matters), but adds that this awaits scientific verification. Critics will undoubtedly pounce on his ideas, but Gardner has his ammunition ready: he argues that accumulating neurological evidence supports MI theory, and cites a study by Harvard Project Zero (of which he is codirector) reporting that schools across the U.S. applying MI theory boast improved student performance and parent participation. Gardner also outlines two of his new educational approaches: "individually configured education," tailored to individual differences, and "Teaching for Understanding," designed to assess students' comprehension at each step. He also throws down a gauntlet: "If we ignore the differences [in how people acquire and represent knowledge], we are destined to perpetuate a system that caters to an eliteÄtypically those who learn best in a... linguistic or logical-mathematical manner." His book is certain to fuel debate. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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