Frames of Mind – The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

Author: 
Gardner, Howard
Publisher: 
BasicBooks a division of HarperCollins Publishers
Date Published: 
1983
ISBN: 
0-465-02509-9

A patient recommended this book to me. In it Gardner discusses many aspects of intelligence and presents his concept that we do not have a single intelligence that is measured by any single testing instrument. Rather he proposes that we have seven different areas that, although interdependent in many ways, can be developed singularly. These are linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic and personal intelligences, which is broken down into intra- and inter- personal areas of intelligence.

He uses evidence from brain research as well as looking at prodigies in fields like music, mathematics, and linguistics as well as looking at many different cultures. His writing style is highly readable and he makes his case very well. Several core sections of this book deal heavily with Piagetian concepts of development, learning, and intelligence. Early in the book he quotes Piaget,

…all study of human thought must begin by positing an individual who is attempting to make sense of the world. The individual is continually construction hypotheses and thereby attempting to generate knowledge: he is trying to figure our the nature of material objects in the world, how they interact with one another, as well as the nature of persons in the world, their motivations and their behavior.

This goes along so well with the concepts that are core to our thinking that we go out and get information from the world, we select an area of space from which we derive meaning and direct action.

In a section on spatial intelligence there was this reference I found interesting in reference to visualizations (internal picturing).

In his pioneering investigation of the imagery faculty, Francis Gaulton found that, when asked to recall the scene of that morning’s breakfast, scientists typically reported little or no visual imagery, while individuals of apparently modest intellectual powers often reported detailed concrete imagery.

I found this entire section very interesting. Finally a quote that should have great significance to the success of our own therapy programs states that,

….. has concluded that proper motivation to learn may well be the single biggest difference between a successful and an unsuccessful educational program (and learner).