BANGALORE: “India’s education system has to learn from those of Finland and Singapore, where education is even across all economic strata,” said Dr Howard Gardner, father of the celebrated Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory. The noted developmental psychologist is on a 3-week visit to India.
Drawing comparisons with India’s education system and that of others, he said, “There are huge disparities in US and India, when it comes to students getting admitted into prestigious institutions. This is due to the system giving prominence to economical background of students,” said Dr Gardner, adding that he was critical of Barack Obama’s education policy that does little to do away with this disparity.
Dr Gardner, said creativity was now the key word in education. “Creativity has become a hamlet all over. Institutions should teach students to perform and not just spew back what has been taught,” he said.
Commenting on how engineering and other professional courses have overpowered the education scenario in India, he said, “I am skeptical when a few professions are valourised over others. Who knows what will be needed in the next 25 years? Presently, youth are driven by big names such as Harvard or the IITs, not because of the quality of research but because of the brand.”
In this backdrop, he suggested that schools needed a change in their fundamental design. “Schools should not be designed to prepare students for professions,” opined Dr Gardner.
Dr Gardner proposed the MI theory in 1983 where he suggested that people have different kinds of ‘intelligences’. Dr Gardner suggests that people do not have just an intellectual capacity, but have many different intelligences.