From the Ivory Tower to the Schoolhouse

Jack Schneider’s 2014 book From the Ivory Tower to the Schoolhouse: How Scholarship Becomes Common Knowledge in Education devotes an entire chapter to Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. Detailing the reasons why MI became a significant educational force, the text is a useful tool for anyone seeking insight into the process by which ideas are adopted (or not adopted) by a wide public audience. An excerpt from the relevant chapter is below:

Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences has been a blockbuster in American education – what one set of backers called “contemporary education’s most popular idea.” A search of the federal government’s Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), for instance, returns over twelve hundred articles on “multiple intelligences” – twice as many results as a search for “Bloom’s taxonomy,” and a few hundred more than a search for “progressive education,” though not nearly as many as for “state standards.” It is extensively, and positively, covered in textbooks for aspiring teachers. Those curious about multiple intelligences conduct hundreds of thousands of Internet searches for it each year. And there are at least six schools in the United States named for Howard Gardner. Despite its critics, the idea has taken hold in schools large and small, public and private, across disciplines, and at all grade levels.”

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