Changing the Mindset of Education

Howard Gardner

An article in the Huffington Post‘s Education section has referenced Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences in a call for greater empowerment of students’ abilities.

Columnists Arina Bokas and Rod Rock draw on Carol Dweck’s research to delineate two mindsets about success in education: 1) a fixed mindset where people believe that their achievements are due to inherent intelligence; and 2) a growth mindset in which intelligence can be cultivated and enhanced due to hard work. According to the authors, too often, the fixed mindset, reinforced by a belief in biological origins of intellectual capacity, wins out in education. By assuming that intelligence is not malleable and cannot be expanded, the minds of children cannot grow.

By embracing the alternative growth mindset, which is supported by neuroscientific evidence, learning can be better fostered. Gardner’s MI theory holds that students have different strengths in many separate areas. The multiple intelligences can…

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