Re: the theory of multiple intelligences....

Date: Sat Feb 26 2000 - 09:08:37 MST

While I'm as ready to condemn "PC-ness" as the next person and DO think that
the THEORY of "multiple intelligences" has had a bad effect on education
POLICY, I believe there is a valuable kernel of truth upon which the basic
idea is based and that the PRACTICE of "teaching to a person's strengths" is
good. I know that this is what Nadia is talking about and believe that
whatever "debate" is going on here is really folks talking past each other.

My opinion on this is based to a great extent on my own personal experience.
I have a very uneven distribution of mental talents. I've always scored off
the scale (on the good side :-) in visualization and verbal skills, but am
basically a mathematical moron. Thus I tend to translate almost all
intellectual problems into complimentary geometric and categorical terms.
When I teach on insurance commercial and legal issues I draw a 3-D "risk
space" model I've developed and always have to check and see if my audience
is keeping up with me, since I can naturally and intuitively visualize
concepts with this model and often spin off into discussions of how certain
issues require a few more dimensions to resolve properly. On the other hand,
when I encounter the same material in purely numerical terms, I often find
myself completely lost, even though many of the core issues are ones I've
been considered an "expert" in for almost two decades. I've encountered
people who have different basic mental architecture who underestimate my
abilities as a lawyer when they see me "drawing little pictures" to work on a
legal issue, only to get their butts kicked when my strategic initiative
comes out of a 5-dimensional vector they didn't "see" coming.

      Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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