Building a functional multiple intelligences theory to advance educational neuroscience
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CitationCerruti, Carlo. 2013. “Building a functional multiple intelligences theory to advance educational neuroscience.” Frontiers in Psychology 4 (1): 950. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00950. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00950.
AbstractA key goal of educational neuroscience is to conduct constrained experimental research that is theory-driven and yet also clearly related to educators’ complex set of questions and concerns. However, the fields of education, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience use different levels of description to characterize human ability. An important advance in research in educational neuroscience would be the identification of a cognitive and neurocognitive framework at a level of description relatively intuitive to educators. I argue that the theory of multiple intelligences (MI; Gardner, 1983), a conception of the mind that motivated a past generation of teachers, may provide such an opportunity. I criticize MI for doing little to clarify for teachers a core misunderstanding, specifically that MI was only an anatomical map of the mind but not a functional theory that detailed how the mind actually processes information. In an attempt to build a “functional MI” theory, I integrate into MI basic principles of cognitive and neural functioning, namely interregional neural facilitation and inhibition. In so doing I hope to forge a path toward constrained experimental research that bears upon teachers’ concerns about teaching and learning.
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