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  • MI World Symposium Report - Keynote Speeches

    Jun 21, 2010

    Beijing, China. The inaugural Multiple Intelligences World Symposium (MIWS) took place in Beijing from 31st May to 1st June, 2010. During this two-day event, educators from all over the world came together and shared their insights and findings with over 500 delegates.  Some of the highlights include speeches from three exceptional leaders in education.
    Gu Mingyuan, president of the Chinese Society of Education, talked in the symposium opening. He expressed that many Chinese educational philosophies synergize with the MI theory.  These philosophies have not been completely implemented in China's education system because of many social constraints in the past. MI theory is now well received in China because it fits the goal of the Chinese education reform that values different teaching methods for students’ various needs.
    Tao Xiping, chair of National Federation of UNESCO Association of China in the Asia-Pacific region, further emphasized the virtues of the MI theory in the Chinese educational context. As China shifts from industrialization to social democratization, the disadvantages of uniform education start to reveal. Xiping stressed the importance of vocational education and believed that MI implementation in schools would facilitate better learning for children.

    Gu Mingyuan                                                                                     Tao Xiping
    Dr. Howard Gardner, our feature speaker, gave an opening speech--'Multiple Intelligences: Past, Present, and Future’. He started with the traditional view of intelligence in the past and introduced the present development of the concept of intelligence, which is Multiple Intelligences Theory. He views individuals as relatively independent computers, not a single all-purpose one. Intelligence thus can be multi-dimensional and defined as 'the biopsychological potential to process information in certain ways, in order to solve problems or fashion products that are valued in a culture or community.'  Dr. Gardner was pleased to see that the MI theory is becoming increasingly popular in China, but also worried about many misapplications of the theory itself. He wished that the MIWS could serve as a platform for people to understand MI truly and share their genuine application experiences. On the second day of the symposium, Dr. Gardner gave another plenary session about the Good Work Project that studied individuals and institutions which exemplified good work. The Good Work Project assessed goals, values and objectives among professionals in fields such as journalism, law, medicine, science, business and education. In his speech, Dr. Gardner emphasized three elements - 'excellence, engagement and ethics' - in doing good work and being good citizens. 'Excellence' means that a person does things skillfully, like an expert. 'Engagement' requires the person to like the work so that he/she looks forward to do it. 'Ethics' means that work should be carried out in the right and responsible manners. Another finding of the project is the importance of alignment which means that it is easy to do good work when all stakeholders want the same thing. “You are all educators,” Dr. Gardner said to the audience, “I’m sure you know that the most important thing, if you want to have good workers and good citizens, is to have plenty of them around in the adult world, to have them show their good work and good citizenship, explain it, because sometimes people need explanations.”

    Howard Gardner

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    About Multiple Intelligences Institute

    The Multiple Intelligences (MI) Institute is committed to the understanding and application of Multiple Intelligences Theory in educational settings, from pre-school through adult education. Through our online course and support channels, face to face professional development, consulting services, and curriculum and resource development offerings, we support programs and educators seeking to tap into this powerful theory and pedagogical framework to create and provide learner-centered, goal-driven applications of MI Theory in any learning context.  Please visit our website for more information.