Multiple Intelligence Theory Proponent
Dr. Howard Gardner received in 1981 a MacArthur Prize Fellowship to support "Project Zero" at Harvard University. The announcement of this fellowship quoted Gardner as explaining that early in his career, he had been a devoted student of Piaget; however, as Gardner probed more deeply in his own study of the mind, he re-evaluated Piaget's theories as "too narrow a notion of how the human mind works." Gardner further stated that he did not believe in the existence of "one form of cognition" that "cuts across all human thinking." Gardner observed that there are at least seven intelligences and each intelligence has autonomous intellectual incapacities.
Subsequently, Gardner wrote about his observations of multiple intelligences in what has turned out to be a seminal book in the educational community, Frames of Mind, which was published in 1983. The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which Gardner proposed in this book, has become a catalyst, as well as the framework, for many current educational strategies that are proving successful in enhancing student success. The theory advances a mental paradigm in which each individual's mind can be thought of as a delicious pie, with seven large pre-cut slices, each with its own distinct taste. In other words, Gardner proposed at least seven relatively autonomous intellectual capacities that individuals employ to approach problems and create products:
Gardner says that "although they are not necessarily dependent on each other, these intelligences seldom operate in isolation. Every normal individual possesses varying degrees of each of these intelligences, but the ways in which intelligences combine and blend are as varied as the faces and the personalities of individuals."
Dr. Gardner is Co-Director of Project Zero and Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also Adjunct Professor of Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine and a research psychologist at the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center. Dr. Gardner has also written The Mind's New Science, To Open Minds, The Unschooled Mind, Multiple Intelligences, Creating Minds, and Leading Minds.