Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Gardner, H. (1995). Reflections on multiple intelligences myths and messages. Phi Delta Kappan, 77, 200-203, 206-209.

Garner wrote this article to address misconceptions that had arisen as a result of educators integrating the theory from Frames of Mind (1983) into classroom practice. He begins by debunking six myths about multiple intelligences. (1) Using standardized tests to determine which intelligence applies to a particular person is inconsistent with the tenets of multiple intelligence theory. These concepts rely on accumulated knowledge about the human brain and human cultures; therefore, a linguistic or logical intelligence test does not provide an appropriate lens for viewing multiple intelligences. (2) Since an intelligence is a new type of construct, it can not be forced into preconceived domains or disciplines. Multiple intelligences are determined by ever changing biological and psychological factors. (3) Though often compared to learning styles or other categories of learning strategies, a multiple intelligence is a capacity not a style. (4) Contrary to some theorists, multiple intelligence theory is empirical and is continually refined as new findings emerge. (5) Multiple Intelligence theory is not in conflict with research about the impact of heredity and environment on intelligence. (6) Multiple intelligences do not narrow the definition of intelligence to focus on scholastic performance, but instead focus on a set of talents. He concludes by emphasizing that there is not a single educational approach to using multiple intelligences in the classroom because all children are not the same.

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