Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, visited Millfield School on the 12th of March to present the ideas in his new book Five Minds for the Future, as well as review his thoughts on multiple intelligences.
In reference to Five Minds for the Future, Gardner outlined the five minds (disciplined, synthesizing, creating, respectful and ethical). He noted how the first three minds were mainly centred on cognitive attributes that helped to add depth, increase breadth and help stretch us as individuals. The other two, respectful and ethical, were seen as essential qualities for the 21st century. With the increase in globalisation and diversity it is essential that we learn to develop gratiousness and forgiveness in order to develop a respectful mind. The ethical mind is more complex, but important in order to develop an understanding of how we need to “behave in roles that are not historically founded.”
In a second lecture Gardner enjoyed dispelling some of the myths about multiple intelligences such as its associations with learning styles, and the true meaning of ‘kinaesthetic’ learning. One key point was his comparison to the intelligences as computers with different strengths which are not connected to the sensory systems. Another was his insistence that multiple intelligences was not about curriculum, but rather a way of thinking.
In a later conversation with Gardner he recommended a recent article from the NY Times by Elizabeth Green titled ‘Building a Better Teacher’. If you have a few minutes it is a nice read:
An inspiring day.