President Trump and the nature of intelligence — by the father of ‘multiple intelligences’ theory
President Trump once famously said, “I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world.” He also said, “I love the poorly educated.”
How Trump views the nature of intelligence through these statements is not clear — but in this post, Harvard University’s Howard Gardner attempts to unpack the issue, bringing his unique understanding as a researcher who revolutionized the fields of psychology and education with his “theory of multiple intelligences.”
Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. His seminal work is his 1983 book, “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.” It details a new model of human intelligence that went beyond the traditional view that there was a single kind that could be measured by standardized tests. The theory initially listed seven intelligences that work together: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal and intrapersonal; he later added an eighth, naturalist intelligence and says there may be a few more.
Gardner holds positions as adjunct professor of psychology at Harvard University and senior director of Harvard Project Zero, an educational research group composed of multiple, independently sponsored research projects with the aim of understanding and enhancing high-level thinking and learning across disciplines. Gardner has received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship (1981), the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award in Education (1990), the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences (2011) and the Brock International Prize in Education (2015).
He has twice been selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world.
Here’s Gardner’s take on Trump and intelligence.
By Howard Gardner
Google “Donald Trump Smart” — and you get a whole set of quotations over the last year:
“I’m like a really smart person.”
“I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world.”