23 April 2012

Musical Stupidity and the Reigning Monoculture

Many music educators, myself included, thought Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences was useful when it first appeared. But over time, some of us became frustrated with it being limited to separating out the individual components of what in the end needs to be a whole, integrated person. On the heels of hard won gains in holistic education, the theory of multiple intelligences is re-compartmentalizing schooling, by suggesting that a different curriculum can be developed for each intelligence, whereas what is needed is a curriculum for the whole person. While Gardner insists that the various intelligences can be merged together in life and education, the discourse of multiple intelligences reifies intelligence into separable entities, each testable and isolatable.