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Howard Gardner Presents Marx Lecture

In the last three years, the Virginia and Leonard Marx Lecture has brought the "big hitters" of education, child development and psychology to TC. The first lecture featured Harvard Professor and psychiatrist Robert Coles. The second Marx lecture brought James Comer, professor of child psychiatry and director of the School Development Program at Yale Child Study Center. Last year we reveled in the wisdom of Carol Gilligan, the Graham Professor of Gender Studies at Harvard.

This year, Howard Gardner presented the fourth Marx Lecture on September 23. Gardner is the Hobbs Professor in Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is best known in the field of education for his theory of multiple intelligences.

In his 1983 book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Gardner claims that conventional tests measure only a small set of a person's capacities. He believes that there are actually eight or nine different forms of intelligence, including logical-mathematical, linguistic, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, natural, and possibly existential. He further developed these ideas with studies on Multiple Intelligences and Creating Minds in 1993, and Leading Minds in 1995, focusing on the diverse talents that make up the genius known as "leadership." Recently, he looked at Extraordinary Mind (1997), as part of that series of studies.

As Co-Director of Harvard Project Zero for the last 15 years, he and his colleagues are designing performance-based assessments, education for understanding, and the use of multiple intelligences to effect more personalized curriculum, instruction and assessment. He and his colleagues are also investigating the relationship between cutting-edge work in different domains and a sense of social responsibility for the use and implications of that work. Simon & Schuster will publish his book, The Well-Disciplined Mind: What all students should understand, in 1999.

Gardner received his A.B. degree in 1965 from Harvard College. He studied for a year at the London School of Economics before returning to Harvard to pursue a Ph.D. in developmental psychology. He studied cognitive problems in people suffering brain damage while he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Medical School and the Boston University Aphasia Research Center. He eventually entered the field of learning and education through his interest in human potential and its development.

The Marx Lectures were established by Virginia and Leonard Marx to allow the most outstanding researchers in the field of child development to speak at TC. Mrs. Marx, who is dedicated to helping children who are at the greatest risk, received her master's degree in psychology at TC in 1928. She was a member of the TC Alumni Council for six years and was a member of the President's Advisory Council under President Timpane.

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