A brilliant state-of-the-art report on how the landmark theory of multiple intelligences is radically changing our understanding of education and human development.
In Frames of Mind (1983), Gardner first set forth his influential theory of Multiple Intelligences, contending that each of us is equipped with eight or more separate types of intelligence (including linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal varieties). In this combative update, geared mainly to educators, psychologists and other professionals, Harvard education professor Gardner adds to the list a new naturalist intelligence, which involves attunement to the environment, its flora and fauna. He further proposes that there may be a spiritual or existential intelligence (knowledge of transcendental and cosmic matters), but adds that this awaits scientific verification. Critics will undoubtedly pounce on his ideas, but Gardner has his ammunition ready: he argues that accumulating neurological evidence supports MI theory, and cites a study by Harvard Project Zero (of which he is codirector) reporting that schools across the U.S. applying MI theory boast improved student performance and parent participation. Gardner also outlines two of his new educational approaches: "individually configured education," tailored to individual differences, and "Teaching for Understanding," designed to assess students' comprehension at each step. He also throws down a gauntlet: "If we ignore the differences [in how people acquire and represent knowledge], we are destined to perpetuate a system that caters to an elite--typically those who learn best in a... linguistic or logical-mathematical manner." His book is certain to fuel debate. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.