Understanding Human Intelligences

December 1998 - Issue 1

Inside this Issue

Editor's Note

What Intelligence Does (and Doesn't) Mean

How Are You Intelligent?

Towards an Expanded Vision of Intelligence in India

Global Socio-Political Implications of Mechanistic Intelligence

Venezuela & the Democratization of Intelligence

Venezuelan Ministry for the Development of Human Intelligence Project Profiles

Project Zero

Closer to Home. . .

Further Reading & Resources

Editor's Note

W hat is intelligence? What does it mean to be an intelligent human being? How are we intelligent? Are there different ways to be intelligent? Is intelligence fixed? Can we become more intelligent?

In this first issue of Vimukt Shiksha, we ask you to start thinking about your own assumptions regarding human intelligence as well as the assumptions of the society we live in.

Why do we need to re-think our understanding of intelligence?

Mounting evidence from around the world indicates that the dominant model of education which is centered around mass factory-schooling (manifested in the form of schools, NFE centers, literacy courses, or distance education programs) at best ignores, and most often destroys, the vast creative potential of the large majority of human beings. School education is disempowering. Its greatest achievement to-date has been to produce massive feelings of failure, humiliation, inferiority, alienation, confusion, dependency, and powerlessness. As we will explore more deeply, these outcomes are not accidental but rather intended. They stem not from a lack of enrollments, poor textbooks, equipment and facilities, or unmotivated and untrained teachers; but rather, from gross and perverse misconceptualizations of human intelligence, human learning and human nature.

Mechanistic, monolithic, discriminatory and "human capital" understandings/goals of human intelligence have shaped today's educational structures, processes, and opportunities. Now, cutting-edge research from across disciplines - cognitive science, neurological science, psychology, political sociology and anthropology - are raising critical challenges to mainstream definitions of intelligence and, in the process, to the larger pedagogical and moral legitimacy of systems of mass factory-schooling. The central findings that underlie this research are that: (1) every human being possesses a wide range of intelligences and (2) every human being can learn to become more intelligent.

In small pockets around the world, action-researchers, policymakers, teachers, practioners, and learning activists who are serious about unleashing the tremendous human potential of their fellow human beings are trying to put these findings into action by experimenting with different institutions, policies, programs, and classroom activities that seek to develop all different types of intelligences in all human beings of all ages. They understand that creating healthy and vibrant societies, just and participatory democracies, and sustainable and dynamic economies will depend on helping individuals and communities understand and realize their full intelligence potential. They are committed to radically transforming their education systems. We invite you to join them and us.* 

What Intelligence Does (and Doesn't) Mean

What immediately came to mind when you saw the word "intelligence" printed above? I.Q. tests? The math genius who sat next to you in school and got top marks on every exam?

Most have us have been conditioned to associate intelligence with school-based achievement. We are born intelligent or not, with a certain measurable I.Q. level, and how we do in school depends on how bright we are. Right?

Wrong.Intelligence involves much more than acquiring knowledge and memorizing facts. In fact, scientific developments over the last century have given researchers the tools to challenge such narrow and mechanistic ideas of intelligence. Cutting-edge research into human intelligence concentrates on expanding the frameworks and the processes of what comprises intelligent thinking and behavior. It has benefited from major shifts in the field of psychology, the great interest in creating artificial computer intelligence, sophisticated advances in brain imaging equipment, and other such developments.

There are now a number of working intelligence definitions. Current theories overwhelmingly reject the notion of intelligence as a single general ability and the notion of intelligence as fixed or static. Instead, intelligence is now more broadly defined by a range of very different types of ways of knowing which help us understand and make meaning of the world. Furthermore, human beings can expand and learn these frameworks, tools and abilities. This development is extremely concentrated during the first years of human life, but human intelligence(s) can increase (and decrease) all during our life span, depending on the environments we are in.

The intelligence theories presented here cover a spectrum of conceptual approaches and contribute to highly nuanced understandings in the often controversial domain of human intelligence.

Multiple Intelligences

With his Multiple Intelligences Theory (1983), Howard Gardner argues that human beings manifest a portfolio of intelligences that support separate kinds of learning and doing. Thus, Sachin Tendulkar exhibits excellent bodily kinesthetic intelligence and strengths in other intelligences as a cricket player, team member, and former team captain.

Gardner has identified at least nine intelligences that are prevalent in our daily lives. He clarifies that the number and categories may vary depending on how human beings use their brain capacities in different socio-cultural contexts. Gardner also seeks to differentiate between intelligences and skills as mastering a specific skill does not necessarily reflect intelligent knowing and understanding.

Gardner admits that the MI Theory originally suffered from an approach to intelligence centered around the individual. Gardner now speaks of contextualized intelligence. Human beings have certain propensities towards different intelligences, but "intelligence is always an interaction between biological proclivities and opportunities for learning in a particular cultural context." In other words, intelligences develop both from our nature and the environments in which we are nurtured.

Intelligent Behavior Leads to Success

Robert Sternberg's Triarchic Theory (1984) represents another approach to a general intelligence framework. Now, in his most recent work, Sternberg emphasizes three different types of thinking as the bases for "successful intelligence" (see table). However, in addition to the ability to think analytically, creatively, and practically, we must be able to "reflect on when and how to use these abilities effectively". Successful intelligence thus requires knowing how to employ the different parts of our intelligence symbiotically.

Sternberg asserts that getting good grades in school or performing well on an I.Q. test mainly calls on static knowledge-based abilities: "inert intelligence". Life success can only be achieved if we are intelligent in more than one way. In addition, he reminds us that both success and intelligent behavior are defined in innumerable ways in different societies and cultural contexts.

Learning Intelligence

While Gardner and Sternberg stress a variety of ways we can be intelligent, David Perkins lays emphasis on how to actually become more intelligent. His three-part framework (see box) highlights the interplay between genetic predispositions, accumulated experience, and reflective thinking that leads to intelligence growth. Of the three intelligence processes, it is always possible, at all moments in our lives, to directly influence the third component: how we think.

We have immense capacity for learning better thinking. The foundations for thinking are laid in the first years of our lives, but we continue to build on, take apart, and re-build those structures all throughout our lives. Thus, Perkins concentrates on examining the different aspects of reflective intelligence in order to determine how we can shape and improve it most effectively.

Perkins has coined the term "mindware" to describe the tools used to think analytically and creatively. Mindware, says Perkins, "does three jobs, all of which concern the organization of thought. It works to pattern, repattern, and depattern thinking."

Practice alone does not necessarily lead to better thinking; it can even reinforce poor patterns of thinking. So, we need tools that help us think about our thinking, mindware that allows us to reorganize thought. This conscious reflection on our own thinking is called meta-cognition. (Note: the projects that describe the Venezuelan initiative to develop human intelligence in that country offer concrete examples of how to improve mindware and meta-cognition).

Feelings and Intelligence

The last parameter that we will mention here brings a whole new aspect of intelligence to the fore: emotional intelligence. Goleman argues that our emotional state of mind plays a large role in determining how our other intelligences work. Having the tools to think about and manage our emotions - meta-mood - is crucial to successfully relating to individuals and groups, to making decisions, to solving problems, to learning, and to developing our full human potential. So, Goleman would argue the need to develop something like Perkins' mindware for the emotional realm. Whereas in the past emotions were considered antithetical to intelligence, Goleman insists that we can't possibly be intelligent (or fully human) without them.

Which Theory is Right?

With so many new frameworks to think about, you may be asking yourself how to fit them together. Their authors have chosen very different approaches to highlight specific aspects of intelligence that can no longer be ignored within the whole picture. Broadly stated, these frameworks give ample room to help us recognize and truly develop intelligences in ourselves, our children, our students, our colleagues, our fellow human beings, and our many communities. To recap:

  We all have a number of different and equally important intelligences.

  We can all learn to expand specific intelligences.

*  Schools do not effectively allow us to understand, use and develop the full range of our human intelligences.*

How are you intelligent?

Multiple Intelligences

(H. Gardner, The Unschooled Mind, 1991)

[Approx.] eight distinct and relatively independent intelligences:

*  Linguistic intelligence

*  Logical-mathematical intelligence

*  Spatial intelligence

*  Musical intelligence

*  Bodily kinesthetic intelligence

*  Interpersonal intelligence

*  Intrapersonal intelligence

*  Naturalist intelligence

Successful Intelligence

(R. Sternberg, Successful Intelligence, 1996)

Three parts to successful intelligence:

*  Analytical thinking/intelligence

*  Creative thinking/intelligence

*  Practical thinking/intelligence

Learnable Intelligence

(D. Perkins, Outsmarting IQ: The Emerging Science of Learnable Intelligence, 1995)

Intelligent behavior is the learnable product of three dimensions:

*  Neural intelligence

*  Experiential intelligence

*  Reflective intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

(D. Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, 1995)

Interplay between emotional and cognitive/IQ intelligence results in outstanding human intelligence. Emotional intelligence is learnable and includes:

*  Self-awareness and impulse control

*  Mood self-regulation

*  Zeal, persistence, and self-motivation

*  Empathy

*  Social Deftness

Towards an Expanded Vision of Intelligence in India

Manish Jain

"What science about learning tells us is that human abilities are diverse in their form, range and development and are intensely individual--they do not match the mass production standards of schooling."

Howard Gardner, 1991

The emerging multi-disciplinary research on intelligence summarized in this newsletter has serious implications for the Indian education system. The research is presented in order to expose a systematic national effort - organized around mass factory-style schooling -- that has been suppressing the natural development of each individual's inherent human potential and human dignity. Our education system has been founded on the debilitating mis-assumptions that intelligence is a static, monolithic, unmodifiable trait, and that human potential and capability are finite. By continuing to perpetuate this myth, the Indian system of education is in fact committing a crime against humanity.

Consider how this crime transpires throughout the life of the learner:

*  We know that learning begins at birth and that tremendous brain development takes place the first two years of a child's life. However, most children, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, do not have access to the types of nurturing and stimulating environments that are critical to this development process. Underlying this lack of support is a mistaken belief that people are born intelligent or unntelligent and there is nothing one can do about it.

*  Such initial disadvantages become more formalized when, at the age of 2-3 years, young children are assigned (through scientifically questionable interview and assessment methods) to rigid categories of either 'brilliant' or 'dull'.

*  So-called 'brilliant' students then enter into a virtuous cycle of praise, support and achievement, while those deemed as 'dull' (more than 90% and coincidentally from low socio-economic and caste groups) are condemned to a vicious cycle of self-doubt, neglect and failure. This happens throughout one's formal schooling experience and is often reinforced by a complex web of family relationships and media images.

*  When the child enters into primary schooling, he or she is subjected to a curriculum based on Minimum Levels of Learning. Derived from an ideological agenda grounded in human capital theory and blind nation-statism, MLLs choose to emphasize training in a very narrow range of isolated skills and pieces of information (which seek legitimization by highlighting subhumanizing functionalistic codewords of 'competencies'). They largely ignore the genuine development of a variety of intelligences; (meta)-cognitive, meta-mood and spiritual meaning-making frameworks; creativity; critical thinking and conscientization; and collaborative styles.

Furthermore, driven by a desire for over- standardization and uniformity of outcomes, MLLs are grounded in a rigidly prescriptive, linear and reductionist framework that is absolutely insensitive to the specific developmental needs and abilities of each learner and community. This leaves virtually no room for recognizing the dynamic and complex nature of intelligences and the diversity of learning styles, paces, processes, motivation levels, experiences, knowledge systems, cultural contexts, and interests that are dialectically linked to the on-going development of various intelligences, With MLLs, the learner is reduced to a passive recipient. Neither the learner nor his or her parents/communities are given a serious role in reflecting on and framing their learning goals and outcomes.

The destructive nature of factory-schooling is further enhanced by the size and organizational structure (i.e., Classes 1 - 12) of schools which incorrectly assume that all children of the same age are developmentally the same and allow virtually no room for grouping children of different ages in other ways.

*  Throughout school-life, the learner is confronted with one all-consuming goal: scoring well on the Class 10 and 12 exams. From the earliest stages, the externally-defined goal of 'high marks' determines how all other activities in the learner's life are prioritized.

Besides promoting a spirit of cut-throat competitiveness and killing intrinsic motivation, this has two other serious negative consequences. First, the examination system is geared towards memorizing decontextualized textbook facts (what is commonly called surface learning), and not understanding and development of one's intelligence frameworks. Second, our examination system, admission entrance tests/interviews, achievement tests and modes of instruction are all biased towards very superficial linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences (see Gardner and MI Theory). Those students who are talented in these two intelligences are deemed 'successful' while learners who may be rich in other intelligences are often discarded as 'failures'. The activities that give other intelligences some opportunity to develop are usually marginalized as 'extra-curricular' with lesser learning value ascribed to them. Careers that are given prominence in our society are also biased towards these two intelligences.

*  When the young adult leaves school (either by graduating or dropping out), s/he departs with a false understanding of his/her own limitations and lack of abilities. The adult is often made to believe that learning is over and that his/her intelligences cannot be further developed. As mentioned above, the young adult also leaves with a limited understanding of what success is and what his/her personal and professional opportunities are.

All of these examples have a strong underlying thread-- a gross misinterpretation of the learner to fit the mass production standards of schooling. The learner is seen as an empty vessel to be filled, as a wild animal to be disciplined and suppressed, and as a homogeneous object to be produced. These mis-assumptions have been critically challenged over the past 30 years by researchers all over the world, including India. Despite this, they continue to dominate visions of education in India. The outcomes of this crime against humanity are not only a destruction of tremendous diverse human potential which could have been used for the benefit of the country, but also an increasing base of frustration, violence and social injustice among a massive number of our people.

So what can we do?

Those of us committed to nurturing each human being and each community's inherent potential must support the long and painful efforts to rethink the structure, organization, content, instructional processes, and evaluation mechanisms that conspire to uphold the dominant learning-oppressive system of factory-schooling. Efforts towards radical transformation should focus on creating lifelong learning environments (in schools and out of schools) that seek to enable and empower the huge wealth of diverse human potential that exists in our people and cultures.

In the short term, this must involve steps to:

*  Shift our policy focus from a 'Ministry Committed to Expanding Schooling/Human Capital' to a 'Ministry Committed to Expanded Learning/Human Potential';

*  Conduct indigenous research on different frameworks and understandings of multiple intelligences that emerge from diverse socio-cultural contexts in India;

*  Challenge the legitimacy of existing MLL frameworks and evaluation mechanisms. Work to develop a dynamic 'learning to learn' curricular environment and new mechanisms for assessment.

*  Develop teacher training efforts with a greater sensitivity to different intelligences;

*  Develop programs for parents to understand multiple intelligences.*

Global Socio-Political Implications of Mechanistic Intelligence

Wasif Rizvi

Doctrines and systems based on abuse, exploitation and oppression are always in need of different intellectual and moral justifications and rationales to establish and perpetuate legitimacy for their crimes. In this essay, the predominant contemporary criteria for measuring natural human abilities and talents are problematized as the continuation of an insidious process of finding 'scientific' reasons to devalue and annihilate individuals and entire civilizations. Edward Herman calls it "biological determinism": wretched human conditions are not due to any systemic failure, but to the sufferers' inherent deficiencies. On the flip side, biological determinists argue that the positions of authority, exploitation and power are held by people inherently superior to those they control.

This argument has recently been advanced again by supposedly pre-eminent social scientists who try to explain flagrant global injustice against people of color on the basis of "biological intellectual disparities." This offensive set of arguments presented by two Harvard professors in The Bell Curve (1993) is directly derived from the social logic of the 18th century anthropologists and historians who justified violent slave trade and racism as "natural" or even a "favor" to the Negroes.

To unravel the argument framing the way human abilities, learning, and progress are seen today [which is widely applied and preached through contemporary factory-schooling and development], a correlative with the 'less sophisticated' [and more obvious] agendas of divisiveness, racism and exploitation is drawn in the following passages:

Africans are "creatures at the level of a mere thing and object of no value"; "slavery" has been the "occasion of the increase of human feelings among the Negroes...enabling them to become "participants in a higher morality and the culture connected to it."

Such flattery has not only been reserved for the continent of Africa, but extends all over the world, even South Asia:

"The inhabitants of Hindustan rank much lower in the scale of civilization than the nations of Europe. In truth, the Hindu like the eunuch, excels in the quality of a slave."

These are not quotes from a Nazi archive, but European intellectual discourse from the 18th/19th century. This malicious intellectualizing of savage injustice and exploitation in the name of "civilizing our little black and brown brothers" has been a most effective tool for moralizing the grimmest misdeeds of history.  

How does this continue to happen?

The withdrawal of direct forms of slavery and colonial rule combined with the emergence of a democratic liberal rhetoric temporarily left the grossly unjust global socio-economic order without any protective ideological cover. During this vulnerable time, elite systems were threatened by the idea of "ignorant persons, neither of learning nor fortune, being put in authority."6 However, the threat from "ignorant and unruly masses" did not last long.

In the past 50 years, the mass factory-schooling phenomenon has swept across the globe, bringing with it the all-powerful and monolithic definition of quantifiable IQ-based intelligence. Establishing this myth of IQ filled the void left by the disappearance of structures and institutions that justified different dehumanizing societal classifications:

"IQ tests served the needs of a system for a myth that would convince the lower classes that their meager station in life was a part of the natural order of things...a philosophy and general perspective promoted by schools and testing which assumes that people are inherently unequal in their talents and abilities"; "the inequalities of wealth, power, and status exist because people differ in how intelligent they are. Inequalities in society are thus natural...."

The suppositions underlying these concepts influence modern factory-schooling immeasurably. These presumed "truths", preached through factory-schooling, can be partially summarized as follows:

- Most poor and powerless people are "stupid" and "ignorant" and their situation is merely an outcome of a natural order of things.

- Only those people certified by schools as intelligent and talented are worthy of governing and controlling societal institutions and structures.

- Human intelligence is a fixed, quantifiable entity that is predetermined at birth.

- Schools are therefore an important cleansing filter for society that promote intelligent and bright students while failing/discarding the stupid ones.

The dominant factory-schooling system is based on all of these damaging mis-assumptions that are thinly veiled under the rhetoric of "meritocracy" or "equal-opportunities" but that actually encourage and legitimize a stratified human race. The intelligence argument thus becomes a sophisticated extension of sub-humanizing systems promoted under colonialism. 'Mechanistic' concepts of intelligence permit these dehumanizing structures to continue based on a self-justifying prophesy. The select few who fulfill the narrow formal intelligence criteria are heavily rewarded while the masses with their tremendous and diverse range of informal knowledge, potential and abilities are condemned as unintelligent and backward.

Social philosophers and radical pedagogy advocates around the world have expressed strong dissent against objectifying large segments of humanity in this way. The dissent has been continuous despite the arrogance of the existing system of factory-schooling with its extreme intolerance of any critique, and the efforts by certain international, national and local vested interests to supress and marginalize it.

In recent years, these critical voices, have gathered powerful evidence to support their claims. The spectacular failure of modern factory-schooling in some countries has [grudgingly] opened up some spaces to a discourse aimed at "transforming" [vs. reforming] learning systems. It is slowly being recognized that re-opening the black box of human intelligence and redefining its basic concepts and assumptions must be a key element in this transformation process.

To facilitate the transformation of education systems and the true liberation of human potential throughout South Asia, we must begin by questioning and reflecting on the goals and values that currently govern those involved in education (whether they be in international agencies, national/state research and training institutes, academia, or schools). We must honestly ask ourselves to what extent are our efforts actively challenging this web of legitimized stratification, racism and exploitation that has been built on a mechanistic definition of human intelligence. And to what extent are we reinforcing it?*

Venezuela & The Democratization of Intelligence

Nurturing and developing human intelligences is not currently treated as an on-going societal concern. Few governing bodies, be they international, national, state or local, are ready or willing to promote intellectual development for more than a select few.

Yet, twenty years ago, Venezuela had already made a serious national commitment to democratizing intelligence "through the active presence of a nation that has a firm grip on its thinking and creative capacity." 8

In 1978, Venezuela created an Office of the Minister of State for the Development of Intelligence. Intelligence was not added to existing programs or agendas within the Ministry of Education; it was given an entirely new and separate government bureau. This initiative suggests a clear understanding that promoting human intelligence would not or could not be adequately addressed within the scope of existing educational structures and offices which focused only on school administration. It represents a very conscious systemic policy attempt to liberate processes of learning and human growth from the hegemony of schooling.

After searching out programs for educational and intellectual development from around the world, a number of projects were taken on by the Ministry which targeted different age groups, backgrounds, and types of intelligence (see Project Profiles).

As put forth in The Democratization of Intelligence, an official explanation/project review:

"In a continuous and permanent educational action, framed both inside and outside the school system, the programs for the development of intelligence strive to encompass all stages of human life, for life flourishes by developing skills. A first phase covers the first six years of life and continues thereon for all the span of the educational system, (...) and then it extends itself further, covering the whole of adult life". 9

Six years after its inception, the Ministry for the Development of Intelligence disappeared as a result of political power shifts. Although a few intelligence programs continued in a watered-down form, the democratic vision guiding the original initiative was temporarily shelved and schools steadily lost the ground they had gained in academic achievement. However, many of the project visionaries continued their work on the various intelligence programs in different locations around the globe: China, South Africa, Mexico, and the United States.

Now, several of the Ministry's programs - Project Intelligence, the Family Project, and a Thinking Development Program for adults - have again found a home in Venezuela. With the support of a new government and voluntary communities/schools, the projects have been taken up over the last two years in a reinvigorated effort to realize the potential of the Venezuelan people's intelligence.*

Venezuelan Ministry for the Development of Human Intelligence

Project Profiles (1978-1984)

The Family Project

Who: Children age 0-6, mothers, and the whole family group.

What: Provide positive early visual and sensory-motor stimulation to optimize prenatal, infant, and child brain development.

How: "Adequate Stimulation" info. campaign carried out by prenatal/maternity services, community agencies, and communications media and gradually extended by means of trainers, facilitators, and volunteers to the larger public.

Visual Education Program

Who: Pre-school and kindergarten children ages 3-6.

What: Develop visual perception and memory.

How: Teacher Handbooks based on eminent artist's original idea.

Chess Program

Who: School children ages 7-9.

What: Develop abstract problem solving abilities.

How: Teach chess playing and promote application of chess-type thinking to other activities/problems.

Learning to Think Program

Who: School children ages 9-12.

What: Promote creative analysis and solutions to problems.

How: Teacher training in a process (vs. content) oriented methodology on how to support thinking.

Integral Creativity Program

Who: School children ages 9-13.

What: Develop creative abilities in specific areas (music, plastic arts, and poetry) in order to strengthen thinking abilities in all areas.

How: Integral art education.

Instrumental Enrichment Pilot Project

Who: Low-income family school children ages 10-13 and their teachers.

What: Develop specific cognitive skills (analysis, synthesis, verbal skills, social behaviour assessment).

How: Exercise tools; teachers trained as mediating agents between students and their lives/academic experiences.

Project Intelligence

Who: High school students.

What: Develop skills closely related to intelligence (foundations of reasoning, understanding language, verbal reasoning, problem solving, decision making, inventive thinking).

How: Teacher's guide with carefully scripted lesson and student evaluation models, student workbooks with strategy practice/exercises.

Thinking Methods and Systems

Who: Higher education students.

What: Strengthen mental processes used in problem solving and decision making.

How: Develop and implement specific courses and teaching/research methodologies that channel thinking patterns in innovative ways (for example, combining logical with creative thought).

Thinking Development Programs

Who: Adult population

What: Promote life-long learning

How: Urban communities project, peasant project, workers project, public administration project, armed forces project, and television and radio project.

Project Zero

Howard Gardner and David Perkins, researchers mentioned in this newsletter, are co-directors of Project Zero, an applied research initiative at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Originally founded in 1967 to learn about artistic development and effective arts education (about which "zero" was really known), Project Zero soon enlarged its scope to promote a "better understanding...of the richness, complexity, and challenges of learning" in a wide variety of domains.10 The activities are all based on a detailed understanding of human cognitive development -- they place the learner at the center of the educational process, respecting the different ways in which an individual learns at various stages of life, as well as differences among individuals in the ways they perceive the world and express their ideas.

The group seeks to bridge the gap between the university (with its theories and research) and schools, communities, professional organizations, cultural organizations, and policy-making bodies. (with their continuous need for practical applications). They operate through a process of action-research where theory is applied, tested, and advanced through integrated applications in real learning contexts. They are running over 20 projects in collaboration with learners, teachers, administrators, parents, cultural artists, researchers, and policymakers.

Some of the current and past projects include:

- Project SUMIT investigates schools already using Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory in order to identify, document, and promote effective implementation of MI. SUMIT staff chose 42 schools which have been using MI for at least three years and whose teachers/administrators find that MI has led to improved student outcome. Their experiences and processes were closely documented in order to identify practices that can lead to effective MI use in other schools. Project SUMIT is using this field research to design new practical and methodological tools for educators, administrators, human development consultants, and policymakers. These resources include assessment materials, case studies to show how certain educators developed their own MI applications, and a library of MI-supportive and MI-influenced curricula.

- Patterns of Thinking was a multi-year investigation into the nature of critical and creative thinking. The project's focus was understanding teaching and assessment of thinking dispositions.

- The APPLE Project (Assessing Projects and Portfolios for Learning) was a research and development effort focused on studying effective ways of assessing student performances; fair documentation and assessment of children's work on creative projects; and determining how best to implement portfolio assessment in schools.

- Project Spectrum, based on the belief that every child exhibits a distinctive spectrum of abilities, offered an alternative approach to assessment and curriculum development during preschool and early primary school years.

- MI is not only for children. The Adult Multiple Intelligences Project is giving 11 adult educators the opportunity to develop innovative instructional strategies, curriculum, and assessment for adult learners and adult learning contexts.

For further information about these and other projects, contact:

Project Zero, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

And Closer to Home. . .

At the Miranda School in Bangalore, children are exploring how to use and develop their multiple intelligences in a school setting. For the past three years, both teachers and students have been creating and using new tools and activities to facilitate their own and others' learning in a variety of ways that cater to different intelligences.

For further details, please contact:

M. Srinivasan, GEAR Foundation,

48 3rd Cross, 29th Main, BTM Layout, II Stage, Bangalore 560076, India.

Further reading and resources--


New Horizons for Learning       

21st Century Learning Initiative

Learning Without Frontiers      

Project Zero                             

Articles and Books

Abbott, J. 1997. "To Be Intelligent" in Educational Leadership.

Botkin, J.W., et al 1979. No Limits to Learning - Bridging the Human Gap. Oxford: Pergamon Press Ltd.

Caine G. et al 1994. Mindshifts. A Brain-Based Process for Restructuring Schools and Renewing Education. Tucson: Zephyr Press.

Gardner, H. 1995. Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership. New York: BasicBooks.

Lazear, D. 1994. Multiple Intelligence Approaches to Assessment: Solving the Assessment Conundrum. Tucson: Zephyr Press.

Nicholson-Nelson, K. 1998. Developing Students' Multiple Intelligences: Activities Book. New York: Scholastic Inc.

For More Teaching-Learning Materials

Contact Zephyr Press for great teacher and parent resources on intelligences: 3316 N. Chapel Ave., P.O. Box 66006, Tucson, AZ 85728-6006, USA

(Tel:1-800-232-2187; Fax:1-520-323-9402;