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RE: Not Every Child Is Secretly a Genius


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RE: Not Every Child Is Secretly a Genius
Topic: Society 5:52 pm EDT, Jun 27, 2009

Briefly, he has posited that our intellectual abilities are divided among at least eight abilities: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalistic, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. The appealing elements of the theory are numerous.

It's "cool," to start with: The list-like format has great attraction for introductory psychology and education classes. It also seems to jibe well with the common observation that individuals have particular talents. More important, especially for education, it implicitly (although perhaps unintentionally on Gardner's part) promises that each child has strengths as well as weaknesses. With eight separate intelligences, the odds seem good that every child will be intelligent in one of those realms. After all, it's not called the theory of multiple stupidities.

Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences almost certainly has a grain of truth. It is similar to the fact that the human body contains multiple types of fluids that need to be in good balance. The problem is that the fluids regulating the human body are not simply blood, bile, phlegm, and black bile as posited by medieval scholars who simply observed that people contained these loose categories of ooze.

Similarly, visual-spacial, verbal-linguistic, etc... are patterns that are evidently on the surface of learning, but I WILL EAT MY DIRTIEST, SMELLIEST OLD HAT if nature was to give up such a critical secret of human cognition so easily. I will go on record as strongly conjecturing that the neurotypical system of human learning is *at least* as complicated as the enzymatic chemistry that goes on in human cells.

On the other hand, one can rate the overall effectiveness of a system, and some systems are more effective. Part of me really doesn't want to believe that it is genetic, but one cannot ignore data.

I don't think that this invalidates meritocracy, however. I would rather work with a scientific researcher who is plain dumb but has placed 10,000 hours of hard work studying the subject and can collaborate than an incredibly clever individual who refuses to seriously study the literature and is arrogantly lacking in reflective criticism. I will also guarantee that the former will have a greater impact nine times out of ten.

RE: Not Every Child Is Secretly a Genius

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