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Frames of Mind. The theory of multiple intelligences

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message 1: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 64 comments Mod
Frames of Mind.The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
by Howard Gardner

In this book, Howard Gardner made a list of seven kinds of intelligence.

But first, what is an intelligence?

Howard Gardner defines intelligence as 'the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings.'

Here is a short introduction and Gardner's list, which I have taken from the Internet:

'Howard Gardner initially formulated a list of seven intelligences. His listing was provisional. The first two have been typically valued in schools; the next three are usually associated with the arts; and the final two are what Howard Gardner called 'personal intelligences' (Gardner 1999: 41-43).

LINGUISTIC INTELLIGENCE involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.

LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL INTELLIGENCE consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. In Howard Gardner's words, it entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.

MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.

BODILY-KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Howard Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related.

SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.

INTERPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. It allows people to work effectively with others. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence.

INTRAPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations. In Howard Gardner's view it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives.'
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To this list, Gardner has now added one more kind of intelligence:

NATURALIST INTELLIGENCE

'Naturalist intelligence enables human beings to recognize, categorize and draw upon certain features of the environment. It 'combines a description of the core ability with a characterization of the role that many cultures value' (ibid.: 48).

This is quite a dry description, but think of Darwin observing all of those finches. What would most of us have learned from seeing finches? I would have probably noticed their songs and not much more.

Or think of how it is when you walk in the woods with someone who has spent all of his life in the woods. What does he see and hear that you do not?

Think about the dinosaur digs. Some people find more bones than others. Is it just luck or do some people develop an intuitive sense of where to look?

These are simply my impressions of how a Naturalistic Intelligence might work. What do you think? I would guess that an observant and experienced farmer would also have a high degree of Naturalistic Intelligence.






message 2: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 64 comments Mod
Hello friends,

I have invited James Winchell, PhD., to tell us something about the application of the theory of multiple intelligences. I should mention, first of all, that James is my brother so I have known him for fifty-some years!

James has had (and continues to have) a distinguished academic career. His doctorate degree is in Comparative Literature and he served as professor of French language and literature at Stanford University in the 1980's and 90's. He currently teaches at Whitman College, a private college in Washington State.

Between university appointments, James spent 12 years as the head of the humanities department at a prep school that was founded with the purpose of engaging and developing the multiple intelligences of its students. James joined the school at its inception so he was able to contribute his ideas and energies to the development of the programs there.

If you have questions regarding how Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences can be applied in the real world, this is your chance to learn how it has been very successfully applied.


message 3: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 19 comments i'm interested in this trio:

"LINGUISTIC INTELLIGENCE involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.

LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL INTELLIGENCE consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. In Howard Gardner's words, it entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.

MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence. "

i guess i could describe myself as somewhat gifted in language and music but definitely NOT math...most people are surprised at that if they know i'm good at languages and music...they tell me math goes with language and music...but maybe that dynamic is not so true afterall? why is that? is there a way i could improve my math facility? the only thing i truly enjoy about math is seeing the "pictures" of equations written out and also the sounds of math terms. i LOVE math vocabulary.


message 4: by Lori (new)

Lori | 2 comments I found it...
Absolutely fabulous! I loved Gardner's theory about "Naturalist Intelligence"! Thank you so much for sharing this with me!
Sincerely,
Mrs. Lori E. Mazzola
Author of Tales of the Tree People


message 5: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 64 comments Mod
Hello again,

Sometimes we hear about schools with a lot of hands-on learning that are a good choice for kids with learning challenges. Actually, hands-on learning is good for all kids. The kids in schools for 'gifted and talented' students do not spend their days completing work sheets. They design and build things and they do primary research and learn the scientific method. There are several private elementary schools in Seattle that aim for this, some more than others.

To see a truly intentional 'multiple intelligences' school, we need to go to Portland, Oregon. The Northwest School, a private high school in Portland, was founded 12 or 13 years ago with the purpose of providing a thorough and comprehensive education by teaching to the multiple intelligences. Here is a statement of the school philosophy which I found on their website.
http://www.nwacademy.org

"The Northwest Academy program is based on the research of noted educators, especially Howard Gardner, whose work on multiple intelligences revealed the importance of arts-infused curriculum for the benefit of all students. The Northwest Academy has proven that the mix of arts training and rigorous academic work gives its graduates options and choices for the challenges and adventures of the 21st century."

Some of the arts classes are offered during the regular school day and some are offered as after-school activities. The list is extensive -- film making, print making, claymation, and dance, just to name a few. The founder of Norhwest Academy, Mary Vinton Folberg, has dance training in her background. Mary's brother, Will Vinton, is one of the early claymation innovators and he comes to teach workshops in claymation.

My brother, James Winchell, PhD., was hired as the Humanities Director when the school first opened and he helped with the development and teaching of the integrated humanities classes. I'm not certain how to describe this, but I think they taught history and the history of ideas while including a thorough grounding in literature and composition skills. I know that the students write two theses before they graduate. The school began as a class for high school freshmen and they added a class each year as the students progressed. Currently, the Northwest Academy includes middle school and high school.


message 6: by James (new)

James (metaphormixmaster1) | 1 comments Hello All,

My name is James Winchell and I'm Jeanne Voelker's brother. I'd like to comment at length on applying Gardner's ideas, but I've got a whole stack of papers to grade for tomorrow!

One macro-comment: the "poetic" (making) side of Gardner's ideas are undeniably powerful and insight-bearing perspectives for the teacher and the student. The "administrative" (distributing) side of the equation is the real challenge.

There's an old saying in the world of theater: "Amateurs talk about ideas, professionals talk about funding." I don't endorse this notion, but the edge it brings to the consideration is worthwhile. The founder of Northwest Academy in Portland, the visionary Mary Vinton Folberg, recognized the problem and stated at the outset of designing the school, "Class size tops: 15."

Re-inventing the "school economy" along this single guideline is the only practical way, in my experience, to "administer" Gardner's breakthroughs. Barring an increase in the teacher corps of roughly 100% (if average class size is now 30--and it may be higher in many places), the equation just doesn't work out.

Gardner's ideas have been available to educators since the 70's, and I feel certain that they have brought a great deal into the alert teacher's practice in a classroom full of young people. The poetic side of the solution--or at least one solution--is powerful, practical and available to all who care to look; it's the economic/administrative side that still baffles the professional in me, even as I much prefer my "amateur" side: amo, amas, amat.


message 7: by Jeanne (last edited Feb 12, 2009 11:56AM) (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 64 comments Mod
Exactly! How many schools do we know of that are well enough funded that they can offer a top-quality program while keeping the class size at 15 students or fewer? There are some, of course, and they depend on generous donations.


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