Chapter

Recognizing the Arts as Forms of Intelligence

Charles Fowler

in Strong Arts, Strong Schools

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195148336
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849154 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148336.003.0004
Recognizing the Arts as Forms of Intelligence

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Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner makes clear that intelligence can take many forms—scientific, political, social, and artistic—and that all are important. This point is the basis of his theory of multiple intelligences and the mistaken notions that people often have about what being “smart” means. Gardner believes that even though no intelligence is inherently artistic, “each can be used to create or to understand artistic works, to work with artistic symbol systems, and to create artistic meanings”. A person with a high degree of linguistic intelligence, he says, might become a poet, a novelist, or a dramatist or, instead, a lawyer or journalist. A person with a high degree of kinesthetic intelligence might become a dancer or an athlete. The arts can provide an educational “way through” for many students and because everybody's mind is different, education should be tailored to the individual.

Keywords: Harvard University; Howard Gardner; intelligence; theory of multiple intelligences; arts; arts education; students

Chapter.  2731 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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