Wordtrade LogoWordtrade.com


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Multiple Intelligences Around the World edited by Jie-Qi Chen, Sean Moran, Howard Gardner (Jossey-Bass) Since its introduction in 1983, Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences (MI) theory has become a touchstone of education. Embracing a wide array of human talents that significantly contribute to our intellectual and cultural life, MI theory offers a broader definition of intelligence than is measured by standard IQ tests.

MI theory supports and celebrates the diversity of children's strengths in school and other learning environments. Now, more than a quarter of a century later, Multiple Intelligences Around the World draws upon a select group of MI practitioners to show how Gardner's theory is applied in the international arena. In this dynamic book, the contributors-representing countries such as China, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Australia, Norway, Denmark, England, Ireland, Scotland, Romania, Turkey, Argentina, Columbia, and the United States-share thoughtful stories and strategies of educational innovation.

Multiple Intelligences Around the World's cross-cultural discussions provide a valuable resource for teachers and administrators who are working with diverse student populations. In addition, the experiences of exam-driven countries like China and Japan will prove instructive to professionals faced with the task of improving both teaching and test scores.

This important book addresses a number of key questions including: How have different educational settings implemented MI? How does an educational idea created in one cultural milieu travel and take root in highly diverse educational soils? And, what universal lessons can be drawn from these experiences? 

Intelligence: A Brief History by Anna T. Cianciolo, Robert J. Sternberg (Blackwell Brief Histories of Psychology: Blackwell Publishers) (Paperback) Excerpt: Ideally, science moves in a forward direction. Why, then, should we write a book on intelligence that looks backward? A reason that quickly comes to mind is that the history of people trying to understand the basis of intelligent, or adaptive, behavior is inter­esting. It is replete with controversy and debate, and even has a few shady characters thrown into the mix. It is also littered with brilliant ideas, high hopes, and fascinating discoveries. Moreover, as with other topics in psychology, such as love, conflict and psychopathology, intelligence is a topic of great social interest.

Of course, a great reason for looking back on the history of intelligence is to understand how this history has given rise to the intelligence-testing practices that affect so many people today. That is, it makes good sense to explore the thinking behind different ways of conceptualizing and measuring intelligence because such explorations reveal to us what mental capabilities have been valued in particular times and places and how these values influence the ideas of succeeding generations. Such ex­plorations also lead to challenges of the status quo and eventu­ally to the forward movement critical to science and society. Knowing the current science of intelligence can inform our think­ing about today's issues, but knowing the history of intelligence informs the way we should approach tomorrow's challenges.

A final reason to explore the history of intelligence is that knowledge about past failures and mistakes in the exploration of intelligence can help us to avoid the doom of repeating them. Not every approach to understanding intelligence has been en-lightened, and some approaches have even retarded the growth of our understanding this complex phenomenon. Because of the tremendous social impact of intelligence research, awareness of the ways that it has been unsuccessful is not just a necessity for enhancing science but is an obligation for improving society.

Our first goal in writing this book is to provide our readers with a basic understanding of the historical trends in the explor­ation of intelligence and in the application of intelligence re-search to testing and instruction. Our second goal is to present a balanced history of some of the more controversial topics in intelligence — the genetic and environmental bases of intelligence and group differences in intelligence. We attempt to accomplish these goals by presenting in Chapters One, Two, and Three the multiple angles from which scholars in diverse domains (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, even philosophy) have ap­proached the study of intelligence and by discussing the implications of each approach for measuring and improving intelligence. In Chapters Four and Five, we present the multiple methods and perspectives that have been brought to bear on exploring genes and intelligence and the complex causes for racial/ethnic and sex differences on particular tests of intellectual ability.

Of course, a complete history of intelligence would require several volumes of text, so in the confines of this short book we must make our presentation very brief indeed. Writing a brief history of intelligence requires that we highlight only the most influential theories and practices and that we organize our dis­cussion carefully to share the most information with the fewest number of pages. For this reason, we have chosen not to present this history by listing the signal theories, key findings, and con­troversial practices in simple chronological order. Instead, we have organized the historical trends in research and application into capsules corresponding to the different ways that psycholo­gists, sociologists, anthropologists, and philosophers have con­ceptualized intelligence. We believe that presenting the history of intelligence as it followed from different conceptualizations of intelligence highlights how different ways of thinking have influ­enced the development of intelligence theory and practice.

Throughout history, people have used metaphors to make sense of the complex world in which they live. This practice was exemplified in the popular American film, Forrest Gump, where Forrest, a simplistic but thoughtful man, compared life to a box of chocolates in order to characterize life's unpredict­ability. In Chapter One, we begin our historical review by de-scribing seven metaphors that have been used to conceptualize intelligence and to develop theories for understanding its nature. We highlight the signal theories corresponding to these meta­phors, noting that a complete understanding of the complex phenomenon of intelligence requires cooperation among scholars and the integration of multiple ways of thinking.

Once intelligence has been defined, the task of determining how to measure it follows, although sometimes the reverse has been done. For nearly a century, tests of intellectual capability have had a tremendous impact on Western society through their use in diagnosing mental disabilities and in selecting people for educational, occupational, and even military positions. Chapter Two is a presentation of the historical trends in intelligence testing that stem from each of the seven metaphors for conceptu­alizing intelligence. We first describe assessments developed before rigorous theorizing about intelligence began, and then we describe the testing innovations that followed formal scien­tific exploration of the nature of intelligence.

Given the tremendous amount of social value placed on intelli­gence, and its clear role in determining economic success, it is not surprising that people have sought diverse ways to improve it. Some methods for improving intelligence have a more solid scientific basis than others, varying from chemicals believed to enhance neurological functioning to extensive instructional interventions, and each has met with varying degrees of success. We present in Chapter Three the numerous methods used in at-tempts to improve people's intelligence through instruction. We trace the origins of each method to the metaphors used to con­ceptualize intelligence, and discuss the overall effectiveness of attempts to enhance intelligence.

In Chapters Four and Five we focus primarily on the research stemming from a small subset of the metaphors used to concep­tualize intelligence. This subset of metaphors has a special focus on how people differ in their intelligence and the causes for these differences. It is believed that exploring the causes of intellectual differences among people reveals the mental mechanisms that underlie intelligent behavior. Chapter Four is centered on past and future trends in the exploration of the genetic and environmental bases of intelligence. We describe statistical methods for determining genetic versus environmental influences on intelli­gence and more modern molecular-genetic methods for under-standing how genes influence intelligent behavior. Chapter Five is centered on attempts throughout the history of intelligence testing to determine the complex cause of group differences in intelligence-test scores. We focus primarily on sex differences and racial/ethnic differences, two areas of special interest in the United States.

We conclude our book with a final chapter that looks forward into the future of intelligence. We discuss what we believe to be important directions for future theorizing about the subject, for enhancements in intelligence-test development, for improved intelligence instruction, for deeper understanding of the genetic and environmental bases of intelligence, and for further explor­ation of the causes of group differences in intelligence-test scores.

This book is intended for interested readers who would like to learn more about intelligence, but who are unfamiliar with the field of intelligence research. It is written to be understandable to learners outside of the academic community, but provides infor­mation useful to students completing undergraduate studies in psychology or education. This book also would make a useful supplement for courses in human abilities or the history of psychology taught to advanced college undergraduates. For such purposes, this book will provide broad insight into the key topics of intelligence research and basic issues involved in exploring intelligence, and should be used together with the primary sources referenced within it.

A unique characteristic of this book is that it covers a wide range of topics in intelligence that are typically covered in separ­ate books or are excluded from mainstream presentations of intelligence research because they are scientifically controversial or difficult to communicate. Our coverage allows for the attainment of a basic understanding of the history of intelligence by reading just one book, an understanding that will equip our readers to approach in more depth the main topics of intelligence research in a critical and informed manner. In addition, we attempt to discuss the more socially controversial topics pre­sented in this book in a balanced fashion not typically seen in the mainstream literature. We try to avoid the shrill proclam­ations made on both sides of a controversy so that we may provide a thoughtful review of the research that has been done so far, how it should and should not be interpreted, and what scientists have yet to learn.


Headline 3

insert content here