Study of Learning Disorders: Evidence for MI Theory?

A study of the relationship between learning disorders and intellectual profiles, published in February 2017 in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, lends further empirical support to the theory of multiple intelligences.

Written by Enrico Toffalini, David Giofrè, and Cesare Cornoldi, the study sampled over 1,000 children diagnosed with specific learning disorders, revealing partial differences in intellectual profiles between subgroups.

Gardner commented on this finding, saying:

This large study of students with specific learning disabilities provides evidence for distinct multiple intelligences. Each of the four profiles has a revealing mixture of strengths and weaknesses. The study is especially notable because it focuses on difficulties in school—an institution which typically valorizes only linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. One can readily assume that if one looks across the range of profiles of strengths and weaknesses, both in and outside of school, equally distinctive profiles would emerge.

A PDF of the article is available here via the Association for Psychological Science.

MI and Habits of Mind in Arts Education

Howard Gardner and Ellen Winner discuss their respective research on multiple intelligences and arts education, as well as how these two lines of work fit together, in a newly-released short video.

Gardner is most known for the theory of multiple intelligences, a critique of the notion that humans have a single measurable intelligence, such as an IQ. Instead, the brain is analagous to a set of computers, each processing different information. His theory currently takes eight discrete intelligences into account. Explore the resources on this site to learn more.

Winner is supportive of arts education and has researched that realm extensively, coming to the conclusion that there is little evidence for claims that education in the arts improves overall test scores. Instead, the conversation around arts education should be changed, which she and her colleague Lois Hetland attempted to do by studying habits of mind in studio art classrooms.

In the video below, these two lines of work are explained and related to one another. Click to watch the full recording.