Differing Views on Multiple Intelligences

One of the students in the Wilkes EDIM 503: Differentiation Supported by Technology class shared an interesting article on the California Watch website questioning the effectiveness of multiple intelligence instruction. Though controversial at first, Howard Gardner’s almost 30 year old theory seems to have found fairly broad acceptance in the education community. The challenge seems to be more a matter of implementation in this era of crowded classrooms and limited funding. As the article states, “But a group of four psychologists, including professors from UC San Diego and UCLA, have reviewed historical data and say there is little scientific evidence to support the learning-styles theory.” By setting up a set of criteria and scouring the research, the study’s authors claim they have found no evidence of improved test scores when instruction was tailored to students’ learning styles. Many educators and supporters (including suppliers of material and training) of Gardner’s theory, of course, disagree.  The article concludes with a diplomatic, “Both camps agree on one thing: Using a diverse range of teaching styles is important for all students.” What do you think?

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