Sunday, May 30, 2010

A side bar on Gardner

Frames of mind: the theory of multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983) The classic text on multiple intelligence’s. Where Gardner differed from previous authors who sought to develop multidimensional models of intelligence was in the precision with which he defined what constitutes intelligence. I particularly note his distinction that an intelligence should be an ability, which can be lost due to brain injury. Thus, to my mind, by establishing an organic differentiation Gardner enables us to bound the levels of distinction involved here.
This is actually quite a profound distinction, as we normally think of subject categories or areas of learning as being very clearly culturally determined. By collocating what we assume are cultural distinctions with biological functions, Gardner is making a quite interesting connection between culture and biological determinism.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind : the theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.

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