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Howard Gardner

(July 11, 1943 - )
American Psychologist and Educator

Influences

Education

  • Harvard University (A.B. in social relations, 1965)
  • London School of Economics (reading in philosophy and sociology, 1965-1966)
  • Harvard University (Ph.D. in social psychology/developmental psychology, 1971)
  • Harvard Medical School and Boston University Aphasia Research Center (Postdoctoral fellow, 1971-1972)

Career

  • Piano teacher (1958-1969)
  • Elementary School Teacher (Newton, MA, 1969)
  • Research Associate, Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center (1972-1974)
  • Research Associate in Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine (1972-1975)
  • Lecturer in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education (1974-1986)
  • Associate Professor of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine (1979-1984)
  • Professor of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine (1984-1987)
  • Research Affiliate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982-1986)
  • Research Psychologist, Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center (1978-1991)
  • Consulting Psychologist, Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center (1991-1993)
  • Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education (1986-1998)
  • Chair, Project Zero Steering Committee (1995-present); Co-director, Project Zero (1972-2000); Senior Director, 2000-present)
  • John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education (1998-present)
  • Numerous awards, including: MacArthur Prize Fellowship (1981); National Psychology Award for Excellence in the Media of the American Psychological Association (APA) (1984); William James Award, APA (1987); Educational Press of America, Distinguished Achievement Award (1989); Guggenheim Fellowship (2000); approximately 15 honorary doctorates

Definition of Intelligence

"An intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings ( Gardner, 1983/2003, p. x)"

Major Contributions

  • Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Ideas & Interests

Howard Gardner has established himself as one of the world's foremost authorities on the topics of intelligence, creativity, leadership, professional responsibility, and the arts. He is the author of hundreds of research articles, and his 23 books have been translated into more than 20 languages. He is also a recognizable figure in the popular media, having served as producer and consultant for several television programs. He has also been profiled countless times both on television and in print.

Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983) proposes that intelligent behavior does not arise from a single unitary quality of the mind, as the g -based theories profiled on this Web site suggest, but rather that different kinds of intelligence are generated from separate metaphorical pools of mental energy. Each of these pools enables the individual "to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings (Gardner, 1983/2003)." Gardner derived this conceptualization of intelligence in part from his experiences working with members extreme populations, in which certain cognitive abilities are preserved (often to a remarkable degree) even in the absence of other, very basic abilities. For example, some autistic savants display extraordinary musical or mathematical abilities despite severely impaired language development and social awareness. Likewise, individuals with localized brain damage often demonstrate severe deficits that are circumscribed to a single cognitive domain (Gardner, 1983/2003).

The seven intelligences proposed by Gardner are linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Linguistic intelligence enables individuals to read, write and speak well. Logical-mathematical intelligence encompasses logical thinking (as might be used in chess or deductive reasoning, for example) as well as mathematical and scientific problem-solving. Spatial intelligence makes its appearance when an individual navigates an unfamiliar set of streets, or when an architect visualizes her plans for a building. Musical intelligence generates the set of skills that allow musicians to play a tune by ear, or to execute a phrase with sensitivity and grace. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is necessary for problem-solving that requires the individual to use his or her physical body, as would be necessary for performing a complex surgical procedure, executing a series of dance steps or catching a fly ball. Interpersonal intelligence drives social skills and things like empathy and intuition about what motivates other people-a type of understanding that is necessary for salespersons, teachers and clergy, for example. Intrapersonal intelligence involves a similar set of abilities, but these are turned toward the self; individuals who have high intrapersonal intelligence have an accurate self-understanding, and can use this to their advantage in problem-solving. Gardner asserts that logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligences are overemphasized in traditional models of human intelligence, but that this is a cultural artifact; in different life circumstances, different intelligences would gain higher priority ( Gardner, 1993).

Dr. Gardner is the Senior Director of Harvard University 's Project Zero, an educational research group dedicated to understanding and enhancing "learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels (retrieved from http://pzweb.harvard.edu/index.htm.)" Several of Project Zero's projects involve the design and implementation of alternatives to traditional intelligence testing.

Selected Publications

Gardner, H. (1991). The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach. New York: BasicBooks.

Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. New York: BasicBooks.

Gardner, H. (1983/2003). Frames of mind. The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: BasicBooks.

Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed. New York: Basic Books

Gardner, H. (2000). The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts And Standardized Tests, The K-12 Education That Every Child Deserves. New York: Penguin Putnam.

References

Gardner, H. (1983/2003). Frames of mind. The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: BasicBooks.

Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. New York: BasicBooks.

Howard Gardner's Personal Website

Project Zero Website

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