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Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple…

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983)

by Howard Gardner

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Early in the book, I was quite intrigued with the idea of Gardner's theories, but as he explained his multiple intelligences, I lost interest. At first go through, I don't agree that music, body-kinesthetic or even language rate as different intelligences...spatial, maybe; math maybe; "personal"? I've come to understand that is a "yes" (thank Goleman for branding that emotional intelligence) Obviously, there are people more skilled than others in the different areas, but scales of intelligence? I say no.

Now, I should note that I scored high in the past on so-called IQ tests.., but I think those are skewed, culturally, if not in other ways - language associations, spatial orientations, etc are not in my opinion reflective of intelligence (and if course, I'm not a researcher in the field, so that is opinion only for any future trolls who want to argue with me.) There are so many highly intelligent people who cannot solve the problems posed on standardized tests, and yet are extremely adept at problem solving. That is what I consider a true measure of intelligence...not the ability to use/understand music, math, language, etc. The abstract concepts of math might be the exception to my generalization - there has to be intelligence to manipulate the symbols.

I have think more on this. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Did not finish
  jtfairbro | Sep 29, 2009 |
I ran into many references to this book in 1998 when I was doing research on non-school-based education. I like to go to the source, so I bought the book and read it.

Gardner's theory houses intelligence in 6 (or 7, depending on how you count it) domains, rather than in broad themes like memory or problem solving. He uses cross-cultural, prodigy and defect/injury examples to illustrate that a gifted musician may have a specifically musical memory, as opposed to a good memory that may be applied equally to numbers, poems or dance steps. The 6 domains are: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic and personal (personal is composed of interpersonal and intrapersonal).

It certainly seems like either the Theory of Multiple Intelligences has permeated education, or education has favored similar ideas for a long time. College classrooms are rife with visual aids meant to supplement traditional lectures, and elementary schools with educational computer games meant to stimulate spatial reasoners. I suppose if I were going to continue down this path, I would research whether there's been any evidence that the theory can be applied to education with measurably successful results. Gardner admits at the end of the book that in 1983 there was no compelling evidence that tailoring educational material to the student's learning style worked any better than not. Perhaps I'll save that for a rainy day when I run out of reading material.

The end of the book, on applying the theory to education, is a little wishy-washy. Gardner basically says that one should consider cultural context (duh) and form specific goals rather than "more education = better" (again, duh). He anticipated computers in classrooms changing the balance of the kinds of intelligence favored by society, and it has. ( )
1 vote bexaplex | Jan 5, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465025102, Paperback)

More than 200,00 copies of earlier editions have been sold; this reissue includes a new introduction by the author to mark the twenty-first birthday of this remarkable book.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Explores the development of the theory of multiple intelligences over the last decade.

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