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Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences For The 21st Century

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Howard E. Gardner

How would a musical genius like Mozart have performed on the SAT or GRE? Well enough to go to an Ivy League? Difficult to say, of course, but thank goodness Howard Gardner thought to ask the question: Can every sort of intelligence be measured with the … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Howard E. Gardner
Genre: Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Basic Books
1 review about Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences...

A Matrix of Human Resources

  • Jan 19, 2000
Rating:
+5
I found this a difficult but rewarding book to read. Its basic premise is that "intelligence is too important to be left to the intelligence testers." Gardner notes that, during the past half century, many assumptions about the human mind and the human brain have been challenged...in some instances revised. "For example, we now understand that the human mind, reflecting the structure of the brain, is composed of modules or faculties. At the same time, in light of scientific and technological changes, the needs and desires of cultures all over the world have undergone equally dramatic shifts." The task Gardner sets for himself, therefore, is to introduce and then explain his theory of multiple intelligences (MI) in juxtaposition with the traditional view of intelligence.

After describing the traditional view of intelligence in Chapter 2, he next considers several "new candidate intelligences" (naturalist, spiritual, existential, and moral). In the remaining chapters, he addresses questions and criticisms about his theory; dispels some of the more prominent myths; explores the relationships among intelligence, creativity, and leadership; suggests how his theory can be applied; discusses the theory in scholastic settings, then in"the wider world"; and then in the final chapter, explores in greater depth (returning to issues raised in Chapter 1) "my answer to the provocative question, "Who owns intelligence?'"

Gardner "reframes" our understanding of human intelligence by increasing the number and nature of our perspectives on it. That is to say, he creates a wider, deeper, and more diverse frame-of-reference in which certain conclusions which, for many apparently, are controversial. For example, "the saga of individual consciousness cannot be reduced to formulas or generalizations." Moreover, "no two selves, no two consciousnesses, no two minds are exactly alike." Therefore, "Each of is...is situated to make a unique contribution to the world." The challenge for the human race is to discover "our deepest common tie -- that we are all joint products of natural and cultural evolution."

I am reminded of what Walt Whitman once said: "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes." Gardner seems to be suggesting that, if each human being contains "multitudes", it is imperative that we cherish as well as recognize such diversity and complexity. Only then can we "in a complementary but synergistic way" ensure "that Nature and Culture survive for future generations." For all of us, Gardner's theory has profound implications. It also suggests substantial benefits if we apply this theory within what is sometimes referred to as "The Family of Man."

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