by Michael Berman
Tests were developed by Binet early in the 20th century and
were frequently used to assess the potential of children in
schools until quite recently. Tests of this type, however,
have now fallen into disrepute. All they test is linguistic
and logical-mathematical intelligence and this traditional
definition of intelligence is now regarded as too narrow.
We now know that 75% of teachers are sequential, analytical
presenters but 70% of students do not actually learn this
way! The educational psychologist most responsible for this
change of attitude is Howard Gardner, the creator of the Multiple
work at the Boston University School of Medicine lead to the
identification of eight criteria for the existence of intelligence
types: potential isolation by brain damage, the existence
of prodigies such as autistic savants, an identifiable set
of core operations, a distinctive developmental history along
with a definable set of expert end-state performances, an
evolutionary history, support from experimental psychological
tasks, support from psychometric findings, and susceptibility
to an encoding symbol system. (The criteria are explained
in detail in Gardner's "Frames of Mind" if you would
like to read more about them).
originally identified seven intelligence types which satisfy
the above criteria and our intelligence profiles consist of
combinations of the different types: linguistic, logical-mathematical,
spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal - the
way we relate to others, and intrapersonal - our ability to
self-evaluate. (Emotional Intelligence, the term popularised
by Daniel Goleman, covers what Gardner refers to as interpersonal
refers to Intelligences as potentials that will or will not
be activated, depending upon the values of a particular culture,
the opportunities available in that culture, and the personal
decisions made by individuals and/or their families, schoolteachers,
student who believes that intelligence can be developed is
likely to be persistent and adventurous. However, a learner
who thinks that ability is fixed, is more likely to get upset
when faced with failure as it can only be construed as evidence
of inadequate ability. The fluid 'theory' of intelligence
advocated by Gardner encourages students to stretch themselves.
In his book "Intelligence Reframed" Gardner adds
Naturalist Intelligence, our talent for classifying and categorising,
to the original Magnificent Seven. He also speculates on the
possibility of their being both a spiritual intelligence and
an existential intelligence but comes to no definite conclusions.
to Danah Zohar, author of "Spiritual Intelligence The
Ultimate Intelligence", SQ (Spiritual Intelligence) is
what we use to develop our longing and capacity for meaning,
vision and value. It facilitates a dialogue between reason
and emotion, between mind and body. SQ allows us to integrate
the intrapersonal and the interpersonal, to transcend the
gap between self and other.
is believed to be a built-in spiritual centre located among
neural connections in the temporal lobes of the brain. On
scans taken with positron emission topography these neural
areas light up whenever research subjects are exposed to discussion
of spiritual or religious topics. Neurobiologists have now
dubbed the area of the temporal lobes concerned with religious
or spiritual experience the 'God spot' or the 'God module'.
brain's unitive experience emanates from synchronous 40 Hz
neural oscillations that travel across the whole brain. According
to Zohar, the 40 Hz oscillations are the neural basis of SQ,
a third intelligence that places our actions and experience
in a larger context of meaning and value, thus rendering them
more effective. Everything possesses a degree of proto-consciousness
but only certain special structures, like brains, have what
is needed to generate full-blown consciousness. In this case,
we conscious human beings have our roots at the origin of
the universe itself. Our spiritual intelligence grounds us
in the wider cosmos, and life has purpose and meaning within
the larger context of cosmic evolutionary processes.
Ann Wright at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
has studied a link between heightened temporal lobe activity
and shamanistic experiences. These are soul journeys to distant
realms of experience in order to communicate with spirits
of the living and the dead, and to bring back healing advice.
Wright's work has also shown that rhythmic drumming of the
sort used in a vast range of spiritual rituals excites the
temporal lobes and associated areas of the limbic system.
visualisation can also be used to excite the temporal lobes
and the process can be used in the classroom. In a similar
way, every time you introduce a tale starting 'once upon a
time', you are inviting your audience to transcend their linear
concepts of time and space and so enter a light state of trance.
Consequently, both guided imagery and story telling can be
used in class to facilitate the development of SQ.
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