Charles Huang Writing 50 5-650 April 16, 2001 The Seven Intelligences Society has taught us to see education and intelligence in a very black and white perspective. In school, students learn Mathematics, English, and History; they also learn that in order to be intelligent, they must excel in all of those aspects taught in school. Many aptitude tests such as the Student Aptitude Test or the Stanford Nine Test gear towards certain subjects to attempt to measure ones intelligence. But is there really a way to accurately measure someone's intelligence? Joseph Walters and Gardner attempts to explain the many different aspects of intelligence and the various types of intelligent people in "A Rounded Version: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences". Walters begins by explaining what constitutes Intelligence.
He does not agree with the traditional view that: "Intelligence is defined operationally as the ability to answer items on tests of intelligence... test scores across ages and across different tests corroborates the notion that the general faculty of intelligence does not change with age or training or experience". (3-9). Instead, he believes that intelligence is made up of many different factors according to the strengths and weaknesses of the human brain. Hence, his model The Seven Intelligences, they are musical, bodily kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial, interpersonal, and intra personal. Gardner is interested in reforming education in his understanding of the multiple intelligences.
How could education be altered in order to best accommodate the seven forms of intelligence? What would be done differently? And, how would society in general benefit from those differences? This paper will try to answer the questions above. Education could be altered in various ways to accommodate the seven forms of intelligence. First, the immense emphasis in mathematics, English and the sciences should be equal to the other subjects such as music, literature, art, physical education and history.
This way, students will understand that there is no hierarchy in the subjects they learn in school. Students should also be taught that just because one person may excel at a certain subject, does not make the other person inferior. With this knowledge, students are less likely to drop out of school, and more likely to participate in school. Also, the intelligence and aptitude tests would no longer exist since it is very difficult, maybe even impossible, to measure someone's intelligence. With no more pressure from these kinds of tests, the students will be able to concentrate more on their own intelligences and practice and appreciate them. These different attitudes towards education would also change society in a positive way.
Today, artists, historians, and other jobs are seen as secondary or even non-important. In our society there is so much emphasis on science, technology and business, it seems that if someone were unable to excel in those subjects that they would not excel in life. With the understanding of different intelligences at an early age, our society would eventually be more balanced and accepting. In addition, with less people dropping out of school, the crime rate, welfare, etc would decrease.
People who believe they have something to offer tend to have higher self-esteem and are happier than those who believe they have nothing to offer. This in turn, will lead to a happy society. Unfortunately, this society is not the one described above. Our society has a clear hierarchy of professions. Perhaps this is why our society has experienced many acts of violence, poverty, and discrimination.
If we would follow Walters and Gardner's' beliefs, everyone would be more rounded, more open and more happy. Hopefully, this society will one day be able teach the children about intelligence so they can grow up and create a society where people can be happy and healthy.