“A Rage to Master”: A Blog on Gifted Children by Dr. Ellen Winner

Consistent with the name and purpose of this website, most of the entries provide support for the notion of several, relatively independent intellectual capacities, called the “multiple intelligences.” That includes reports on gifted children, most of whom have jagged profiles—that is, they may be very strong in one or two intelligences, less strong in others. Having studied gifted children, Ellen Winner has described many of these youngsters as having a “rage to master”—spending many hours each day engaged in, say, playing chess or practicing the violin.

But, counter to popular lore, there are no necessary patterns across the intelligences. Life is not fair! Some individuals are strong across several intelligences (Leonardo da Vinci comes to mind), while others, less fortunate, struggle in several intelligences. And the reasons for these diverse patterns are also multiple—genetic, cultural, and/or familial.

Recently, my wife, Dr. Ellen Winner, spent time with a remarkable child who, quite unusually, exhibited a “rage to master” across a wide range of learning opportunities. I’m pleased to post this blog—a contribution to our understanding of human giftedness.

-HG

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A Rage to Master…Everything

Ellen Winner

October 2018

As a developmental psychologist with a particular interest in gifted children, I have observed many unusual children. Most gifted children have one domain in which they excel. Domains in which one most often finds such children are language (speaking in sentences at a very early age), music (playing an instrument), drawing (typically very realistically), mathematics, and chess. These children exhibit what I call a “rage to master,” the domain in which they are strong. They spend hours working at developing their craft, and it is often hard for parents to tear the child away in order to eat, go to school, or go to sleep. These children have an enormous amount of energy which they focus exclusively (or at least primarily) on their domain of strength.

Recently friends of ours visited with their daughter who was on the cusp of turning six and who showed such a rage to master. But hers was unusual. She did not zero in on any one particular domain. Everything she came in contact with seemed to stimulate a rage to master. Because of her boundless energy for everything, she seemed to have a compulsion to keep busy, and if there were no obvious activities to engage in, she made up games for herself.

An example…

When she found some fine markers in our kitchen, she asked for paper and then proceeded to write out the alphabet and numbers up to 20 in very neat handwriting. She did this numerous times, and then used the phone to photograph each image.

Next, she discovered a puzzle where you have to put wooden shapes into a square box so that they all fit perfectly. She used my phone to time herself and was satisfied when she got her time down in half from her first try. After thus competing against herself, she then insisted that everyone else (six adults) try the puzzle, and she timed us each time, smiling broadly each time another person’s time was longer than hers.

In terms of attention, she also stood out. She noticed everything that the adults said in conversation even when she seemed to be concentrating on something else. We could tell because every once in a while she would look up from what she was doing and make a relevant comment.

I was surprised by the acuteness of her memory. At dinner she had asked me for my iPhone code which I gave to her orally. The next morning she picked up my phone and immediately typed in the code. When I told her I was amazed that she remembered, she began to tell me the code for the phone of one of her mother’s friends.

Her personality was strong, and she liked to be in control. She consumed all of our time and attention. We were like pieces in a human chess set that she manipulated. When she saw me holding my iPhone, she took it from me and began to take photos and videos of everyone in the room, including selfies of herself making funny faces. (I should note that her parents rarely take out their phones in front of her.)  She was however an iPhone expert, and instructed me on how to take a still photo and then to press loop or bounce to make the picture move in funny ways (this was news to me!).  She did allow me to take a few photos if I pointed the camera exactly where she instructed me. She was behaving like a movie director – making it clear she was in charge, and we were working for her.

Another way in which she “ran the show” was recounted to me by her father. He told me how he tried to keep her amused at a restaurant by showing her his two closed fists and asking her to guess in which hand he held a piece of paper. After one or two trials, she took over and insisted that he be the one to guess in which hand she was holding the paper.

When she was four, Trump was elected. She asked her parents what a president was. Her father, a policy scholar, listed to her all the things that presidents do and that the government does. When he finished, she said, “Then I want to be president!” That evening over dinner her parents found themselves being bossed around by their daughter. Her mother paused for a moment and then turned to her and asked, “Who set the rules in this house?” Their daughter’s instant reply: “Me because I’m the government.”

Most gifted children have very jagged profiles – ahead in language, average in math; ahead in drawing, average in music. But this child seems to be high in many different intelligences – verbal (did I mention that she is bilingual and speaks fluently a language unrelated to English?), spatial (that puzzle), mathematics (timing everyone on the puzzle; remembering iPhone codes), bodily-kinesthetic (she climbed to the top of the three story climbing structure at the Boston Children’s Museum), musical (she plays the recorder and recorded herself singing for me on my phone), and interpersonal (she had everyone marching to her orders; she formed a strong relationship with both my husband and me the first night she arrived, and I observed her strong connection not only to her parents but to two adult siblings). About intrapersonal intelligence, I can only say that when she was asked a hard question (how can you test which colors a dog can see?) she thought for a while and then said (reflectively and accurately) that she did not know. In addition to her gifts across the board she showed a powerful motivation to compete and an equally powerful motivation to fill her time with goal oriented activities.

The point of this sketch: While most gifted children have a rage to master in one area, this child showed a rage to master everything she came into contact with. Of course, it’s not at all clear what she will grow up to become. But perhaps Bill and Hillary looked like this as young children. Perhaps she really will grow up to be president – of something. I suspect she will not be passively taking orders from any boss.

Game-Based Learning Program Helps Kids Find Their Dream Job

In September 2018, Dr. Howard Gardner received an email about Metier, a game-based learning program developed by teachers at Pillager Public Schools.  Metier uses MI concepts to help students find a career that aligns with their skills and their passions. Below is an introductory statement and video about Metier, followed by a brief response from Dr. Gardner.

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Metier is a grades 5-9 experiential learning program that utilizes games to guide students in discovering the truest, happiest, and greatest versions of themselves and the career field that makes them come alive. These games allow students to uncover their state of flow, which is an optimal state of consciousness wherein you feel your best and perform your best. According to research, those with the most flow in their lives are the most satisfied with their lives. By monitoring what gets students into flow, including a self-awareness of their intelligences, we can help them find their Metier: the job and life they love and loves them back.

Follow this link to watch an introductory video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLNooLxLOo_oetSnA5Q4oCCPei-_ikKCpQ&v=pykAtJvXQcw&app=desktop

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I was pleased to learn about the educational innovations that have been implemented by in the Metier program. I encounter many attempts to create educational programs associated with the idea of multiple intelligences, and this program is one of the most intriguing ones I’ve seen.

As I understand it, the architects of Metier have combined a focus on the intelligences favored by young people and the experiences that generate experiences of ‘flow’—that state of consciousness in which a person becomes completely absorbed in what he or she is doing and time flies by.  I’ve always felt a kinship with the ideas of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—who developed the notion of flow in the 1980s—and in fact he and I have been colleagues since that time.

To the work on ‘MI’ and ‘flow’ I would now add the ideas of our valued colleague William (Bill) Damon. With Anne Colby and other colleagues, Bill describes the importance of a sense of purpose: the feeling of mission that motivates people of all ages, with that mission affecting more than one’s own pleasure—that is, a wider sense of purpose. As young people mature, it’s important that they do not only experience flow—but that they experience flow while carrying out work and play that serves others, including the wider community.  And so I hope that in the future, programs like Metier will encourage young people not only to ‘follow their bliss’ but to contribute to the bliss of others.

-Dr. Howard Gardner

Podcast: Discussing MI Theory with Alanis Morissette

In November 2017, Howard Gardner joined Alanis Morissette on her podcast, “Conversation with Alanis Morissette,” to discuss MI Theory. In addition to being a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actress, Morissette is fan of MI and an advocate for integrative learning.

To listen to their discussion, click the following link: http://alanis.com/wellness/podcast-episode-11-conversation-howard-gardner/.

 

To read more about Morissette’s take on MI Theory, check out her blog posts on MI Theory and Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons:

http://alanis.com/wellness/9-types-of-smart-nurturing-our-multiple-intelligences/

http://alanis.com/news/multiple-intelligences-by-howard-gardner/

 

Study Finds Game-Based Learning Can Increase Intelligences in Students

In January 2018, M. Esther del Moral Pérez, Alba P. Guzmán Duque, and L. Carlota Fernández García published an article titled, “Game-Based Learning Increasing the Logical-Mathematical, Naturalistic, and Linguistic Learning Levels of Primary School Students” in the Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research. Howard Gardner comments below:

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In the educational literature, there is continuing discussion of whether games can contribute to learning and, if so, in what ways.  As the title indicates this study of game-based learning provides suggestive evidence that three discrete intelligences can be enhanced by weekly hour-long sessions.

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Abstract:

Game-based learning is an innovative methodology that takes advantage of the educational potential offered by videogames in general and serious games in particular to boost training processes, thus making it easier for users to achieve motivated learning. The present paper focuses on the description of the Game to Learn Project, which has as its aim not only to promote the use of serious games and digital mini-games for the development of Multiple Intelligences, but also to analyse whether this methodology results in increased learning. Teachers assessed the level achieved by primary education students (N=119) in each learning category, before and after participating in the project, by means of a qualitative instrument. Finally, after corresponding analysis through descriptive statistical techniques, bivariate correlations, and ANOVA, the results showed significant differences between children’s learning levels in logical-mathematical, naturalistic and linguistic abilities before and after their participation in this innovative project, thus revealing a widespread increase in every indicator.

To read the full article, click here: Game-Based Learning Increasing the Logical-Mathematical, Naturalistic, and Linguistic Learning Levels of Primary School Students.

An MI Science Lesson to Emulate

In December 2017, Dr. Gardner received an email from Greek educator, George Flouris, which included a paper Flouris recently published with his colleagues in the International Journal of Education and Culture, Volume V. Below, Dr. Gardner comments on the paper and its implications for MI education.

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To my surprise, as well as the surprise of its critics, multiple intelligences (MI) theory continues to occupy a significant place—particularly so in pre-university education—in many parts of the world.  Yet, while MI is definitely a long-lasting meme,  I  am always on the lookout for examples of educational interventions which seem significant and helpful.

I was very pleased to read “Personalizing a Science Unit in the Greek Curriculum for Optimal “Quality” Instruction and Learning through the Use of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences” by George Flouris, Avraam Mavropoulos, and John Spiridakis. The authors describe an intervention designed for a science class for ninth graders. The lesson–focused on acid rain—is well conceived; the objectives are clear; the desirable ‘performances of understanding’ are sensible and appropriate. With respect to the specific curricular objectives, the students are offered a variety of ‘entry points’ and they have the opportunity to indicate which requests and options make the most sense to them. Finally, the lesson features several complementary evaluations—by self, peer, and teacher.

The specimen lesson is valuable. Not only can it be used by educators who are attempting to teach students about the significance of acid rain; the lesson itself  constitutes in effect a rubric that can be applied to many topics across several disciplines.

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To read the full article, click here: IJEC Vol 5 Issues 3-4_Article 1 (1) (1)

To view the full journal, click here: http://www.untestedideas.net/journal_article.php?jid=ije201612&vol=5&issue=4

Comment on “Three Cognitive Dimensions for Tracking Deep Learning Progress”

The original metaphor for each of the several intelligences was that of a computer, or a computational device.  I sought to convey that that there exist different kinds of information in the world—information deliberately more abstract than a signal to a specific sensory organ—and that the human mind/brain has evolved to be able to assimilate and operate upon those different forms of information.  To be more concrete, as humans we are able to operate upon linguistic information, spatial information, musical information information about other persons and so on—and these operations constitute the machinery of the several intelligences.

Even at the time that the theory was conceived—around 1980—I was at least dimly aware that there existed various kinds of computational processes and devices. And by the middle 1980s, I had become aware of a major fault-line within the cognitive sciences. On the one hand there are those who (in the Herbert Simon or Marvin Minsky tradition) think of computers in terms of their operating upon strings of symbols—much like a sophisticated calculator or a translator. On the other hand, there are those who (in the David Rumelhart or James McClelland tradition) think of computers in terms of neural networks that change gradually as a result of repeated exposure to certain kinds of data presented in certain kinds of ways. A fierce battle ground featured rival accounts of how human beings all over the world master language so efficiently—but it eventually has played out with respect to many kinds of information.

Fast forward thirty years. Not only do we have computational devices that work at a speed and with amounts of information that were barely conceivable a few decades ago. We are also at the point where machines seem to have become so smart at so many different tasks—whether via symbol manipulation or parallel distributed processing or some other process or processes—that they resemble or even surpass the kinds of intelligence that, since Biblical times, we have comfortably restricted to human beings.  Artificial intelligence has in many respects (or in many venues) become more intelligent than human intelligence. And to add to the spice, genetic manipulations and direct interventions on the brain hold promise–or threat—of altering human intelligence in ways that would have been inconceivable…. except possibly to writers of science fiction.

In an essay “Three Cognitive Dimensions for Tracking Deep Learning Progress,” Carlos Perez describes the concept of AGI—self-aware sentient automation.    He goes on to delineate three forms of artificial intelligence. The autonomous dimension reflects the adaptive intelligence found in biological organisms (akin to learning by neural networks). The computation dimension involves the decision making capabilities that we find in computers as well as in humans (akin to symbol manipulation). And the social dimension involves the tools required for interacting with other agents (animate or mechanical)—here Perez specifically mentions language, conventions, and culture.

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Source: https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.11190

These three forms of artificial intelligence may well be distinct. But it is also possible they may confound function—what a system is trying to accomplish—and mechanism—how the system goes about accomplishing the task. For instance, computation involves decision making—but decision making can occur through neural networks, even when intuition suggests that it is occurring via the manipulation of symbols. By the same token, the autonomous intelligence features adaptation, which does not necessarily involve neural networks. I may be missing something—but in any case, some clarification on the nature of these three forms, and how we determine which is at work (or in play), would be helpful.

Returning to the topic at hand, Perez suggests that these three dimensions map variously onto the multiple intelligences.  On his delineation, spatial and logical intelligences align with the computational dimension; verbal and intrapersonal intelligences align with the social dimension; and, finally, the bodily-kinesthetic, naturalistic, rhythmic-musical, and interpersonal intelligences map onto the autonomous dimension.

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Source: https://medium.com/intuitionmachine/deep-learning-system-zero-intuition-and-rationality-c07bd134dbfb

I would not have done the mapping in the same way. For example, language and music seem to me to fall under the computational dimension. But I applaud the effort to conceive of the different forms of thinking that might be involved as one attempts to account for the range of capacities of human beings (and, increasingly. other intelligent entities)  that must accomplish three tasks: carry out their own operations by the  available means; evolve in light of biological and other physical forces; and interact flexibly with other agents in a cultural setting. I hope that other researchers will join this timely effort.

I thank Jim Gray and David Perkins for their helpful comments.

To see the complete article by Carlos E. Perez, please click here: https://medium.com/intuitionmachine/deep-learning-system-zero-intuition-and-rationality-c07bd134dbfb

Study of Spatial Intelligence

In a new study, published in Cognitive Science in June 2017, researchers at University College London and Bangor University have found that artists, architects, and sculptors process spaces differently. When asked to describe the spaces in three different images (a Google Street View image, a painting of St. Peter’s Basilica, and a computer-generated surreal scene), the variation in participants’ responses correlated to their professions.

Howard Gardner comments on the study below:

“I’m glad to see that researchers are trying to understand the different manifestations of spatial intelligence. The decision to look at painters, architects, and sculptors is a shrewd one—and the comparisons make sense. We would expect that sculptors—working in three dimensions—would share aspects of the painters’ and of the architects’ approaches.

Whether these findings have specific brain and developmental implications is a more vexed issue. Everything that we do involves the brain and so it’s to be expected that different kinds of activities involve different brain areas—how could it not be the case? And assuming it is the case, why is this so? There could be genetic reasons (best demonstrated by studying identical twins reared apart), training reasons (how teachers introduce skills), work experiences (what one does every day for many years), or a combination of these things. After all, individuals may be attracted to the visual-spatial professions because of innate proclivities; but even if individuals were randomly assigned to a spatial treatment, we would expect their brains ultimately to change. Whether those who become proficient do so primarily because of nature or primarily through the amount and type of training remains to be seen.”

Thomas Hoerr, MI Expert, Emeritus Head of School, New City School, and Scholar In Residence, UMSL College of Education, comments:

“When I present on MI, I like to spend a bit of time talking about how all of our intelligences might be put to use. I note that, as Howard has written, any complex act draws from more than one intelligence. (In fact, that would be the case for most simple acts, as well.) Intelligences are not used in isolation.

Beyond that, it’s helpful for people to consider the various manifestations of intelligences. Thinking about how the work of an architect differs from an artist makes sense to folks; the dimensions resonate. Likewise, the differences between poetry and prose are quite salient.

For teachers, in particular, I hope that this realization will encourage them – give themselves permission, if you will – to offer different experiences and pathways for kids to learn. It’s great, for example, to incorporate the spatial intelligence in teaching social studies concepts. Alone, I like that idea! Better, though, is if those spatial intelligences can be nuanced, so that there are opportunities for kids to use a range of materials, e.g., paint, clay, paper, and photography (though not on the same day!). The more teachers can envision the various aspects of intelligences, the more they can work to give students these kinds of opportunities.

What all of this does, as Howard theorized, is illustrate the multiplicity of multiple intelligences. That’s an exciting idea!”

 

For more information on the study, visit the following webpage: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170628095931.htm.

Three Messages from the “MI Front”

Nowadays, most of my energies are devoted to new projects. With Wendy Fischman and other colleagues, I am studying higher education in the United States. And with Lynn Barendsen, Danny Mucinskas, and other colleagues, I am continuing work on The Good Project. In particular, we’re focused on the fostering of good work and good citizenship in young people… and in the rest of us. You can follow those lines of work at thegoodproject.org and howardgardner.com.

That said, to this day, approximately 80% of my over-the-transom mail concerns the theory of multiple intelligences—and I can confidently predict that when I die, obituaries will feature MI. As for the MI queries, I direct people to FAQ on this site, to various readings, or to colleagues who continue to work, broadly speaking in the MI tradition. And occasionally, I provide answers myself and may post them on this site.

In the last weeks, three items have come to my attention and I thought it worthwhile to mention them:

Neural networks dedicated to social processing

When MI theory was first introduced, almost 35 years ago, the most convincing line of evidence was the existence in the brain of specific neural zones that are particularly dedicated to specific kinds of contents. At the time, the neural evidence was quite schematic, because methods of monitoring the brain were still quite rough and imprecise. Nowadays, it is possible to get far more precise evidence—and in a recent article in Science magazine, we find evidence of the neural systems in monkeys dedicated specifically to the content of social information. For a non-technical summary, click here.

In this context, I should also mention the work of Branton Shearer and Jessica Karanian who have provided far more up-to-date information about the neural correlates of each of the several intelligences. See this link.

Genes for intelligence

Ever since the concept of genes were introduced early in the 20th century, at about the same time that the psychometric examination of intelligence was launched, investigators have searched for the gene or the genes of intelligence. As with the discovery of evidence for neural correlates of specific intelligences (like interpersonal intelligence), the physicality of a biological marker is persuasive particularly (as it happens) to American audiences.

It’s long been clear that there are genes for intelligence, as measured by psychologists (“g” for general intelligence), and it’s also been clear that many genes are involved—often hundreds or even thousands have been cited.

Nonetheless, as reported in Nature Genetics on May 22, it is progress in the genetics of intelligence that recently 52 genes have been identified as contributing to psychometric intelligence. It’s estimated that these genes account for 5% of the variance in measured intellect—of course, leaving 95% unaccounted for.

I have to emphasize that this discovery does not have any particular relevance to MI theory. We still have little idea of whether strength in, say, musical, or spatial, or interpersonal (social) intellect is based largely, somewhat, or minimally on psychometric intellect. And that is because psychometric intellect is primarily a measure of linguistic and logical abilities, with spatial abilities sometimes included as well.

My own speculation is that there will be some overlap, but there will clearly be specific genes or gene complex that are implicated in one intelligence, and that these will not be identical with those genes or gene complex are implicated in other intelligences. Put concretely, the genes that contribute to traditional IQ will be different from those that contribute to musical or athletic or social talent.

And even if I am wrong, even if the correlation across intelligences turns out to be quite high, this fact does not undermine MI theory. And that is because we still need to understand why specific individuals can be strong in intelligences A and B, and not in C , D, or E, while others can exhibit the opposite profile. And the explanation is likely to lie in the importance (or unimportance) attached to a specific skill in a given society, the amount of resources devoted to its cultivation, and the excellence of the teaching and modelling. Put concretely, if a society values music, teaches it well, and individuals are highly motivated, the population will be musically intelligent as a whole—think Finland, think Hungary.

I believe that we will continue to accrue evidence for the scientific validity of MI theory. But in the end, its status as a scientific claim is not identical to its significance for education. The latter goal has to be determined by teachers, and others involved in education—which, as it happens, is all of us.

An unlikely award for me

On May 26, I learned by email that I had been selected as the 2017 winner of the Mensa Lifetime Achievement Award, for “contributions to the field of human intelligence and related subjects.” It’s always pleasurable to get an award and particularly one that was not expected. Moreover, I looked over the previous winners and they are all respectable scholars of intelligence.

Still, the receipt of the award has a certain irony. Mensa is the organization for individuals who have documented high IQs—and if I am known at all within psychology, it is as a critic of the concept of IQ, particularly as a variable used to explain a whole cluster of human outcomes. Moreover, I have sometimes quipped that individuals in Mensa spend time congratulating one another on their high IQ scores—a comment that is not a sign of respect, I have to admit.

But I would never have studied cognition, and would never have developed and enunciated a theory of intelligence, if I did not think that the topic was an important one—indeed, one of the most importance in psychology. And in that vein, I am happy to accept the award and to hope that, going forward, we can continue to explore the relationship between the traditional views of intellect, and more iconoclastic ones, like the one to which this site is dedicated.

-Howard Gardner

MI Theory Featured in Zimbabwean News

In an article featured on AllAfrica.com, an African online news source, on September 13, 2016, Zimbabwean author David Mungoshi writes about MI theory in relation to several esteemed Zimbabwean figures. This feature marks an exciting expansion in the reach of MI theory, as it is the first time MI has been featured in press in an African nation.

In the article, Mungoshi urges parents and teachers to consider MI theory as a resource to help guide their students and children to their dominant intelligences. He cites Kirsty Coventry, Olympic gold-medalist swimmer, and Charles Manyuchi, Silver Class World Boxing Champion, as examples of Zimbabweans who have honed their dominant intelligences to bring success and fame not only to themselves, but also to their country.

To read the article in full, visit the following website: http://allafrica.com/stories/201609130359.html

MI and Law Enforcement Training

Each day, Howard Gardner receives several general inquiries or pointed questions related to applications of the theory of multiple intelligences.

In the exchange below, Gardner received a note from a police training officer seeking advice on how to incorporate MI into training for law enforcement personnel.

Read the original note and Gardner’s response below.

 

Good morning Dr. Gardner,

I am part of a training group in my local police force (Police Training Officers, or PTOs) that has been tasked with the creation of a manual of problem based learning exercises to assist new officers in becoming considerate and understanding. I would like to use the theory of multiple intelligences as well as the concept of emotional intelligence in the manual.

Our questions, as basic as they may be, are:

1. What are your thoughts on the applicability of your theory to law enforcement?

2. How can each component of MI be used to assist the development of police officers in America today?

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your insight.

Sincerely,

Police Trainer

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Dear Police Trainer,

Many thanks for your thoughtful note. I am pleased and flattered that you and your colleagues think that the MI ideas we have developed might be useful in the education of police officers and future training officers (PTOs). At the start, I have to admit that I know very little about the training of police—in the past or today—and much of what I know is based either on old television shows or movies or on my scanning of newspaper headlines over the past years.

Therefore, I ask that you consider these notes to be “general advice” for educating professionals in general, rather than advice that is particularly targeted to your specific colleagues and future colleagues. (For that reason, I am posting the response here on MI Oasis.)

To begin with, the most important implication of MI theory for any profession, including law enforcement officers, is an appreciation that both their colleagues, and equally the individuals to whom they respond, may think quite differently from the ways in which they themselves do. For example, reflecting on an event that he/she witnesses, one person may convert the event into a story to be retold, another may see it much like a movie, a third will think about how the participants felt and reacted, and so on. My set of eight intelligences lay out the principal ways in which experiencers “code” and “recode” events at the time, for their memory, and for how they share these recollections with others. The more that one is cognizant of this fact of life, the less likely one will blunder—and of course, in law enforcement, such blunders can be fatal, as we’ve seen all too often in the last few years.

Another important implication of MI theory is how one assembles teams of peers, as well as teams of supervisors and rookies. Of course, there should be some expectations of all members of the team—for example, senses of responsibility, loyalty, and helpfulness. But in general, teams perform in superior fashion if they contain individuals who have complementary skills and approaches. Rather than having a dozen carbon copies of the chief, or the former chief, teams perform more effectively if a few members are more logical/analytic, a few have a very good “person sense,” a few are very sensitive to the environment—both physical and interpersonal—and so on. These disparate individuals will likely have different “takes” on what happens/happened, and what should be done, and these diverse stances should result in a fuller understanding of situations and how those situations should be followed up.

Understanding others (interpersonal intelligence) is crucial, but equally important is a good understanding of yourself (intrapersonal intelligence)—how you think, how (and under what circumstances) you react, what are your strong and weak points, and how to use this profile in a constructive way. I am grateful to my colleagues Tom Hoerr and Mindy Kornhaber for these pointers.

Now that police units (and observers) are likely to record events, the skills of recording and interpreting need to be added to the repertoire of police teams.

In the last years, I have provisionally added a new intelligence to my original eight. I call it “pedagogical” or “teaching” intelligence. We all know that there can be two people who are equally skilled at some activity; one can easily teach/explain it to others, while the second is quite stymied, ends up repeating himself, and is very insensitive to what the learner is picking up and how. You should be alert to the power of teaching intelligence and place good teachers in appropriate positions.

I could go on, but I hope that these notes convey how I am thinking about the training of officers and, more generally, how MI theory can be helpful to those who are charged with the formation of the next generation of professionals. If you have any thoughts or criticisms, I’d be pleased to hear them.

With best wishes,

Howard