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

Guest Blog Series: Multiple Intelligences in Music, Part II

We recently received three guest blog entries regarding the use of Multiple Intelligences Theory in music education. The first, about MI and songwriting, is available by clicking here.

In the second blog, printed below, Graeme Winder, an advocate for music education reform for over 17 years, outlines how a multiple intelligences perspective can increase engagement and student success. Winder, who draws from a mix of personal experience as well as classroom studies, seeks to forge powerful new ideas into traditional paradigms in hopes of creating a much more effective way to teach music.

Click here to read the subsequent third post in the series about Edgar Willems’ teaching system, MI, and music education.

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Can Multiple Intelligences Theory Save Music Education?

By Graeme Winder

Does this sound familiar? You, your child, or someone you know, enrolls into music lessons with the hopes of reaping all the cognitive benefits that music education has to offer. Before long, what started out as unabashed excitement to begin this new journey of musical exploration, quickly degrades into a frustrating path of learning how to convert pages full of little black dots into music on your instrument.

The vast majority of those taking this path end up quitting soon after. In fact, music learning across the board, both privately and in our school systems, suffers from an astonishingly high drop-out rate of almost 80 percent in the first three years in my experience. Given the enormous cognitive, social, and artistic advantages that music learners have over non-music learners, why wouldn’t more individuals persevere through the initial struggles in order to reap the rewards that are promised to come?

Research studies have shown that lack of interest, poor relationships with the instructors, scheduling, and budget concerns all play a role in student dropouts. And while all of these reasons are valid, what if the real issue was something much deeper, something at the core of the teaching itself? What if the learning process was too restricted by antiquated paradigms to motivate and inspire the learning diversity of today’s student?

Many aspects of music have evolved throughout the centuries. New styles, instruments, and digital music breakthroughs continue to excite us today. And yet, the core of how music elements are taught has not shifted far from its pre-Renaissance western origins. As more and more students continue to fall out of the traditional teaching, the desire for alternative options continues to grow.

For the past seven years, our incubator school, Winder Academy of Music, has been researching, testing, and developing a new approach to solving these pedagogical challenges head on. Our approach was simple: design a new system that allowed for multiple learning pathways using a creative-based foundation.

We began by dividing our lesson plans into nine musical sub-categories that formed the core of our multiple intelligence platform (See Table 1 below). We then tested our students using carefully crafted evaluation techniques that allowed us to define and isolate a particular strength or weakness in each of the nine areas, resulting in a jagged-line profile of the student. Once we had this information, we could then mold a personalized lesson plan centered around the highest scoring areas while creating a secondary plan that would work on bolstering the students’ weaker areas.

For example, let’s say a student shows a particularly strong affinity towards the following fields: fine motor skills (kinesthetic), music theory and analysis (logical-mathematical), and lyricism (verbal-linguistic) . This student would then have a lesson plan that would include a stronger focus on technically challenging pieces and song-writing, highlighting those strengths in the very first lesson.

In seven years, Winder Academy has reported a retention rate of almost 75% and has found great success in the new method. The identification and development of individual learning strengths had clearly led to much higher levels of both effectiveness and enjoyment.

Students trained in this method are demonstrating a very advanced level of musical competency in many different areas. From playing anything by ear, to sight reading advanced sheet music, to writing original compositions, we have seen that the students advance much more quickly and with greater enthusiasm when they are learning in a style that aligns with their particular intelligence strength.

As one student who went on to pursue a career in music put it, “Early on, I struggled with reading notes. This new training allowed me to learn and develop much more quickly in ways that made a lot more sense.”

While there is still much more to be explored, tested, and understood, it is clear that offering multiple intelligence learning pathways to achieve stronger musical connections has had a profound impact on the direct success and retention in our school.

Music touches every person on this planet in such powerful ways. Perhaps with the help of MI learning, the questions and challenges facing music education today can finally be answered.

Table 1.

MI Chart

Howard Gardner’s Interview with Tiching Blog Featured In Spanish Book, “Hablamos de Educación”

In 2013, Howard Gardner was interviewed by the Spanish website, tiching.com.

Recently, this blog appeared in the Spanish education book, ”Hablamos de Educación”, or “Let’s Talk About Education”. Pages from the book featuring the interview can be found below, along with an English translation.

All around the world, the MI Theory continues to have an impact on education.

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2013 Interview with Tiching.com, English translation. This interview appeared in Spanish in its entirety in 2013 on blog.tiching.com. 

Tiching: Your Multiple Intelligences Theory is known around the world, but how can you define the term “intelligence”?

Howard Gardner: An intelligence is the biological and psychological potential to analyze information in specific ways, in order to solve problems or to create products that are valued in a culture.

T: Your Theory explains that exist eight different intelligences. Do we have all the intelligences in various grades or each person has only one type of intelligence?

HG: As implied by the definition, I reject the notion that human beings have a single intelligence, which can be drawn on for the full range of problem solving.  What is usually called ‘intelligence’ refers to the linguistic and logical capacities that are valued in certain kinds of school and for certain school-like tasks.  It leaves little if any room for spatial intelligence, personal intelligences, musical intelligence etc.

All human beings have all of the intelligences. But we differ, for both genetic and experiential reasons, in our profile of intelligences at any moment.  We can enhance our intelligences, but I am never going to become Yo-Yo Ma, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, or Pele, the soccer player.

T: We attended your Conference in Montserrat College and you talked about two new intelligences that you want to introduce (pedagogical and spiritual). How has this issue advanced?

HG: In order for me to ‘endorse’ an intelligence, I need to carry out lots of research.  I have had not had the time to research ‘teaching intelligence’ and that the survey I conducted years ago of ‘existential intelligence’ left me uncertain about whether it is a full-blown intelligence.  Yet I use these terms informally and anyone else is welcome to do so as well.

T: Which criteria do you use in order to include a new type of intelligence in your theory?

HG: My eight criteria for an intelligence are laid out in chapter 4 of my 1983 book FRAMES OF MIND.  These criteria are drawn from several disciplines and several kinds of populations.  There is not a single foolproof equation for determining whether a candidate intelligence does or does not qualify. I weigh the various considerations and make the best judgment I can. My guess is that ‘teaching intelligence’ and ‘existential intelligence’ would do pretty well on the 8 criteria: but as I’ve said, I have not been able to do the required research to be confident about my conclusion.

T: Do you think you will include more types of intelligence in the future?

HG: Only in a speculative manner.  My colleague Antonio Battro has written about a ‘digital intelligence’ and that is certainly worth thinking about.  However, at present, what he calls ‘digital intelligence’ seems adequately accounted for by logical-mathematical and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence—the skills of coding and of manipulating a mouse and/or a cursor.

T: You are working on Oasis Project, what are its objectives?

HG: This is a website, which will be launched in the summer of 2013  multipleintelligencesoasis.org  It represents my effort to describe MI theory, to highlight powerful applications, and to point out problematic assertions—hence the image of an oasis (water in the middle of a parched desert). At first it will only be an English but I’d be delighted if we could find a way to produce a high quality version in Spanish.

T: Most of the members of our community are teachers, how can they identify the intelligence of their pupils?

HG: When speaking to parents, I encourage them to take their child(ren) to a children’s museum and watch carefully what the child does, how she/she does it, what he/she returns to, where there is definite growth.  Teachers could do the same or could set up ‘play areas’ which provide ‘nutrition’ for different intelligences… and watch carefully what happens and what does not happen with each child.

When a child is thriving, there is no reason to spend time assessing intelligences. But when a child is NOT thriving—in school or at home—that is the time to apply the lens of multiple intelligences and see whether one can find ways to help the child thrive in different environments.

T: Once intelligences are identified, how can they be enhanced? Are empowerment mechanisms different for each type of intelligence?

HG: Intelligences are enhanced when a person engaged in activities that involve the exercise of that intelligence. It helps to have good teachers, ample resources, and personal motivation.  Anyone can improve any intelligence; but it is easier to improve the intelligence if those factors are available and if you have high potential in that intelligence.

T: Should school curriculums be rethinked in order to enhance all the intelligences? If yes, what should be transformed?

HG: I don’t think that it is necessary to rethink curricular goals. But it is certainly worth thinking about whether these goals can be reached in multiple ways. I think that any important educational goal can be realized via several routes.  In Chapter 7-9 of my 1999 book THE DISCIPLINED MIND, I show how to teach important lessons in science, history, and music, through alternative intelligences routes.

T: Which is the importance of new technologies, such as Tiching, in the learning process of each pupil?

HG: Any good teacher should become acquainted with relevant technologies. But the technologies should not dictate an education goal. Rather, the teacher (or parent or student or policy maker) should ask: can technology help to achieve this goal, and which technologies are most likely to be helpful?

T: Which is the intelligence that you have more developed?

HG: I think that I am strongest in linguistic and musical intelligence, and I continue to work on my interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence.

T: In which project/s are you working on now?

HG: For the last twenty years, I have been engaged in the GoodWork Project, a study of how professions survive in a time when markets are very powerful. The GWP now has many offshoots- which you can read about at thegoodproject.org. With Richard Light, a close colleague, I am starting a study of Liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century.  We want to understand how best to create and preserve a form of higher education that we value but that is in jeopardy for many reasons.

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