Howard Gardner and Multiple Intelligences

On Thursday, October 30, 2008, the annual Harry Mullin M.D. Memorial Lecture was given by Howard Gardner, PhD, Harvard University, who is also a native of Scranton.  His lecture, titled “Multiple Intelligences: The First Twenty Five Years… and Beyond” was open to the public in the Houlihan-McLean Center.  I was among those that traveled to see Dr. Gardner speak.  The basic interpretation of Gardner’s theory is that we all possess intelligence in a number of different areas to varying degress.  No person is alike, not even identical twins when it comes to intelligence.  Our intelligences interact and communicate with each other just as a series of computers can interact and communicate with one another when programmed to do so.  I knew the basics of his theory of multiple intelligences, but I wanted to hear more.  Over the course of his lecture, Gardner did say that it was difficult to truly measure intelligence and that traditional tests of intelligence only measured an individual’s abilities to read and calculate.  This made sense as I thought about how each person is gifted in different areas and reasoned that IQ tests were flawed because they only assessed math and reading abilities.  I was not disappointed as Gardner described how he came up with his theory and how he believes that in the future education will be customized or tailored to the individual student in order to strengthen and improve a student’s multiple intelligences and enhance a student’s overall learning and abilities.  This revolutionary man and his theory will continue to spark debate and influence how humans think, learn, and act for years to come.  I look forward to seeing who the speaker for next year’s  Harry Mullin M.D. Memorial Lecture will be here at the University of Scranton.

Howard Gardner - Theory of Multiple Intelligence
Howard Gardner – Theory of Multiple Intelligence