Coverage from the Brock Prize Symposium

On March 24, 2015, Howard Gardner was awarded the Brock International Prize in Education for his worldwide contributions to practice in the field of education. An annual award presented to an influential or innovative educator, Gardner is the first scholar from Harvard University to be so honored.

Speaking at the Brock Prize Symposium at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma in a conversation moderated by President Richard K. Miller of Olin College, Gardner answered questions about his groundbreaking work on multiple intelligences (MI) theory, including the power of individuation and pluralization in educating for student understanding. Gardner also described his more recent work on the Good Project, including research investigating ethics in young people, whether a moral intelligence exists, how to discover the meaning of the “good,” and the distinction between the conceptions of neighborly morality and ethics of roles in a modern society.

A full video of the symposium event featuring discussion with Howard Gardner is available via YouTube below:

Additionally, an interview with Howard Gardner on Public Radio Tulsa program StudioTulsa in which he discusses his work and the award is accessible by clicking here.

Smart Is Cool: Reinventing Intelligence

Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences has been used as the framework for a non-profit organization that is attempting to reassess the meaning of intelligence.

smart is coolSmart Is Cool is a grassroots organization that seeks to celebrate the wide range of abilities that young people possess and to increase appreciation for unique areas of intelligence. With a diverse membership consisting of teachers, students, visual artists, community activists, writers, and more, Smart Is Cool aims to promote a new definition of “smart” based on the components of MI. October 22, 2015, has even been designated Smart Is Cool Day by the organization. Smart Is Cool Day will be observed nationwide among partners and has even been included in Chase’s Calendar of Events.

Similar to the way in which MI is a critique of traditional measures of intelligence, including tests that focus on a narrow range of knowledge, Smart Is Cool aims to transform the understanding of intellectual ability. As a part of its mission, the organization hosts events that showcase diverse areas of intelligence in young people and also supports youth in their creation and implementation of projects/programs that contribute to local communities.

Some examples of projects/programs that Smart Is Cool has supported include:

-A fifth grader at a Connecticut public school who published her first book called Smart Is Cool about the theory of multiple intelligences.

-Concerts for Success, a series of concerts and forums joining both urban and suburban schools in activities such as poetry reading, literary compositions, musical compositions, public speaking, and visual arts to encourage and enhance academic success.

Click here to be taken to their website where you can discover more information.

Attention for Multiple Intelligences from France

Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences has been receiving an abundance of attention in recent weeks from France and the Francophone world.

First, a conference on the topic of MI theory took place on March 24, 2015, in La Rochelle, France, co-organized by Apel (Association des parents d’élèves de l’enseignement libre), newspaper la Croix, and bi-monthly magazine Cerveau & Psycho. Gardner participated in a short, pre-recorded video interview about MI that was shown at the event, which is available below via YouTube (French subtitles):

A PowerPoint presentation shown at the conference is available by clicking here.

cover cerveauThe conference itself generated a fair amount of publicity, including a special edition of Cerveau&Psycho (March-April 2015) with three separate full-length articles about multiple intelligences theory. These were (available in French by clicking on the appropriate description):

The magazine also published the results of a parent survey about which intelligences parents would most like to foster in their children.

Furthermore, La Croix devoted a large spread in its March 25, 2015, edition to a group of articles about multiple intelligences, which included:

Additional materials are available via the Apel website. Photos from the conference have been published on the Apel Facebook page,

Other French media outlets have also seemed to indicate a heightened awareness of multiple intelligences recently. Daily newspaper Libération featured an article about using MI theory in schools to enhance learning outcomes, and radio broadcaster France Inter’s program “La tête au carré” also devoted a show to MI. Newspaper Les Échos has also published an article explaining the components of multiple intelligences. These developments follow the release of stories in L’Express and BioInfo about multiple intelligences at the end of 2014, initially reported at the end of 2014.

One group in France has even created a children’s song explaining each of the components of MI, recorded by The Smartles, with animated characters to match (see the video below, with English subtitles):

Finally, below is an interesting exchange from a French student studying MI theory at university that Gardner recently received.

Mr. Gardner,

I’m a student in the French university Panthéon-Assas. I come to you because I’m actually working on studying qualities of detectives. I’m working with your multiple intelligences theory, and I should be glad and proud if you could tell me few words about what you think are the intelligences of a detective (to be able to investigate as well as possible).

Thank you for your time.


Scholar in France


Dear Scholar,

Thank you for your note and your interest in multiple intelligences.

You raise an interesting question. As detectives are conventionally portrayed in the media (I have never spoken to a detective in person), they rely heavily on making deductions. That seems to me like logical-mathematical intelligence. But detectives are also interested in motivation—why would X have robbed or killed Y?—and that involves interpersonal intelligence. Depending on the nature of the clues, any intelligence could be involved. For example, if a victim left a note to be read, that involves linguistic intelligence. Or if there is a physical trail to be pursued, that activates spatial intelligence. And so on.

So, as in many areas of life, proficiency can involve a number of intelligences, and individuals might differ on which intelligences they make use of.

I hope that this answers your query.

With best wishes,

Howard Gardner

We are excited to announce all of these developments from France, and we look forward to seeing how multiple intelligences theory will continue to receive interest in French-speaking parts of the world!