FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A note from Howard Gardner:
Almost every day, I receive questions about multiple intelligences theory. Some of the questions concern the theory itself, though many more deal with recommended practices or with questionable applications. The questions come from professors, teachers, parents, college students, high school students, and elementary school students; they emanate from many states and many lands. The questions used to arrive primarily by letter and phone; now, of course, they arrive as well by FAX and by e-mail. And whenever I speak publicly about the theory, whether in person or on radio or television, a new set of questions greets me upon my return to the office.
Initially, I sought to answer each question individually. There were not that many; I learned from and enjoyed the process. More recently, however, it has become impossible to answer all of the questions individually, even with staff help. Routinely, I refer individuals to my writings or those of other persons familiar with the theory. I have drafted generic letters that answer the most frequent questions-for example, “Is there a test for multiple intelligences?” (Answer, “Not one that I endorse”); and “Are there multiple intelligence high schools? (Answer, “Many but each has been developed by a group of practitioners, not by me”). When an interesting and novel question arises, I sometimes write an answer of some length and then include it in a future publication.
In the pages that follow, I respond to a number of common questions that have been raised frequently by those interested in the theory. I also respond to some other frequently asked questions about my work. Some of these answers were initially developed in conjunction with Joseph Walters and Margaux Wexberg, to whom I give thanks. Others draw on material from my books Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice, and Intelligence Reframed.
- Howard Gardner
For ease, we have provided Dr. Gardner’s FAQ responses in a PDF document, below. Be reminded that you can use the Find feature in Adobe Acrobat Reader to locate a specific word or term in the document.
Dr. Gardner FAQ Responses (PDF)