MI Theory’s Lasting Impact

2020 marks the centennial of the opening of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the school is celebrating by highlighting 100 stories about its impact over the past century. Howard Gardner recently spoke to HGSE’s Jill Anderson on the topic of multiple intelligences theory, its development, and its impact.

Watch the video via YouTube below, or click here to access HGSE’s feature:

A description of the short interview is included here.

In 1983, in one of the most influential books in a peerlessly influential career, Howard Gardner upended popularly accepted notions of how children think and learn. He proposed, in Frames of Mind, that there was not just a single intelligence that could be measured by one IQ test, but multiple intelligences — many ways of learning and knowing.

With his best-known work, Howard Gardner shifted the paradigm and ushered in an era of personalized learning.

The notion of multiple intelligences — and Gardner’s follow-up ideas about teaching individual students in the ways they can best learn, and teaching important concepts in multiple ways, for many access points — shifted the paradigm, ushering in an era of personalized learning whose promise is still being explored.

Gardner never rested at multiple intelligences. In an award-winning career — which has included MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award in Education, and innumerable honorary degrees — he’s focused on ethical development, citizenship (including digital citizenship), professionalism, and the value of college and the liberal arts. He may have retired from teaching in 2019, but his work continues.



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