Howard Gardner

The Mauritian education systems seem to measure only 2 intelligence centers.This is not the case only for Mauritius, it is the sin of most non progessive nations.  What about the other intelligences? Is it time for a reform? Do we have the political guts to undertake such reforms for the betterment of our nations?

Howard Gardner, world renowned educationist has more to say based on the new discoveries on the human brain.

Your many different “intelligence centers”, what are they?

Ask Harvard psychologist Professor Howard Gardner, and he’ll tell you that visual ability is only one of your many “intelligences”. He’s spent years analyzing the human brain and its impact on education. And his conclusions are simple but highly important.
Gardner says we each have several different types of intelligence. Two of them are very highly valued in traditional education.
He calls the first one linguistic intelligence: our ability to read, write and communicate with words. Obviously this ability is very highly developed in authors, poets and orators.

The second is logical or mathematical intelligence: our ability to reason and calculate. This is most developed in scientists, mathematicians, lawyers, judges.
Traditionally, most so-called intelligence tests have focused on these two talents. And much schooling around the world concentrates on those two abilities. But Gardner says this has given us a warped and limited view of our learning potential. He lists the other main distinct intelligences as:
Musical intelligence: obviously highly developed in composers, conductors and top musicians, from Beethoven to Louis Armstrong;
Spatial or visual intelligence: the kind of ability used by architects, sculptors, painters, navigators and pilots – what the current authors would argue are, in fact, two separate forms of intelligence.
Kinesthetic intelligence or physical intelligence: very highly developed in athletes, dancers, gymnasts and perhaps surgeons;
Interpersonal intelligence: the ability to relate to others – the kind of ability that seems natural with salesmen, motivators, negotiators.
And intrapersonal intelligence or introspective intelligence: the ability of insight, to know oneself – the kind of ability that gives some people great intuition. The kind of ability that lets you tap into the tremendous bank of information stored in your subconscious mind.
But these are not merely arbitrary functions that Professor Gardner has invented for a Ph. D.dissertation. He says brain surgery and research have shown that some of these “intelligences” or abilities are located in distinct parts of your brain. Severely damage that part and you could lose that ability. That is why strokes can affect the ability to walk or talk, depending on which part of the brain is affected.
Professor Gardner now considers there is another intelligence: “naturalist”: the ability to work with and harmonize with nature. The two current authors consider this might better be grouped with several other types of learning styles, which we cover in the book: the Learning Revolution.*

* Professor Gardner’s model does not cover what we consider one of the most important “intelligences” of all: the ability to create totally new concepts by linking together information from different parts of the brain. Many modern thinkers, such as British Professor Charles Handy, say there are several other intelligences, such as plain common sense. But Professor Gardner’s research is a brilliant starting point for designing schools that cater to different abilities and learning styles.