Books that help make Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences make sense to children
Authored by Mary R. Massey Ed.D. Illustrated by April Bensch
In 1983 Dr. Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist, wrote Frames of Mind after involvement in “Project Zero”, a study about learning. Gardner, believing intelligence is not merely a single function, but rather multiple and expandable, revealed his Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) to the world. He identified seven intelligences (and later added an eighth) with which he contends we are all born and have the ability to develop over the course of our lives. Gardner names the following as our multiple intelligences: verbal/linguistic, mathematical/logical, body/kinesthetic, musical/rhythmic, visual/spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist. In the SMART Parts series, Dr. Massey introduces MI to children by telling a fun story using a rhyming text and child-friendly names for the intelligences: word smart, number smart, body smart, music smart, art smart, people smart, self smart, and nature smart. The first book introduces children and their parents to Gardner’s theory. Eight subsequent books will each focus on one intelligence and one character from the first book. The tenth book will bring all characters back together, using all of their “SMART parts!” Gardner’s research has been embraced by the global education community and many schools are showing tremendous student success using teaching/learning strategies based on his theory. Dr. Massey believes all children are SMART; they’re just SMART in different ways. She has researched Gardner’s theory and uses it as a foundation for instruction, as a college professor. She also designs and conducts Multiple Intelligences (MI) professional development programs for teachers and is a regular presenter at Early Childhood Education Conferences.