Could “Green” Hospitals Encourage Naturalist Intelligence in Children?

An article, published in October 2016 in the Boston Globe, discusses Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime’s campaign to increase greenery in Mass General’s Pediatric facilities.

Howard Gardner commented on this idea, saying:

“This article caught my eye. A pediatrician at major teaching hospital is attempting to instill nature into the hospitalization appearance. This will be done by setting up an atrium rich in flora. She hopes both to provide an appealing and calming milieu and to increase the young children’s sensitivity to their natural environment—and the threats posed by climate change.

As one who has posited the existence of a ‘naturalist intelligence’, I find this plan appealing. To be sure, we do not activate an intelligence simply by providing its components;  it’s important to have activities and exercises that develop discrimination, skills, and ultimately knowledge. But there is a long evolutionary history of human beings exploring nature so this immersion should not be difficult. In fact, it’s only in recent centuries that most human beings have moved away from rural areas, filled with plants and animals, to cities, where the experience of nature is mostly second hand.

One advantage of enhancing naturalist intelligence is that it does not simply operate with nature. Much of our consumer society as well as many of our artistic and scientific environments call for fine discrimination and careful classification. And so, the development of naturalist intelligence can have benefits for other spheres of life.”

A link to the article is available here via the Boston Globe.

MI Press: First Quarter of 2017

The theory of multiple intelligences continues to receive attention from disparate communities and corners of the globe as MI is seemingly discovered and applied anew. Thus far in 2017, we have become aware of several MI-themed articles that we wanted to share with our readers.

Many writers appear to be inspired by MI’s broad conception of human intellect, which takes into account abilities which are often not a component of formal education (such as interpersonal, interpersonal, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences).

Click the links below to see what people are saying about MI in recent news!


Want to share more articles about MI or your own piece? Contact us or Tweet Howard Gardner @DrHowardGardner, and we can share your link.

Howard Gardner Comments on Anil Ananthaswamy’s “The Man Who Wasn’t There”

I recently read the Science Magazine discussion of Anil Ananthaswamy’s “The Man Who Wasn’t There”. This spurred me to write the following response. The original article can be found here. 

Of the various intelligences, intrapersonal intelligence—understanding of self—has always been the most difficult to describe, conceptualize, and measure.  After all, who is qualified to judge how well a person  understands himself or herself?  I often quip that only Person X’s therapist can assess how well Person X understands Person X.  But of course that assumes that the therapist has good INTER-personal intelligence. Anyway, this book is one of the first attempts of which I’m aware that  provides neurological and psychological insights into the understanding of self.  It does not answer any questions, but it raises some of the right ones.