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The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

Howard Gardner
Subscribe to Howard Gardner feed Howard Gardner
Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education / Harvard Graduate School of Education
Updated: 43 min 4 sec ago

Official MI Theory Website

January 24, 2014 - 12:45pm

Interested in learning more about Multiple Intelligences Theory? Then visit the Official Authoritative Site of Multiple Intelligences at MI-OASIS! Join the discussion, ask questions, and read through Howard Gardner’s thoughts on the most recent developments in the field of education. 

The website can be accessed at http://www.multipleintelligencesoasis.org. 

Categories: Blog

It’s an App App App App World!

January 9, 2014 - 6:51am

In her most recent entry on the Global Search for Education blog, CM Rubin discusses The App Generation with co-authors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis. To learn more, and to read through this informative Q&A, visit the Huffington Post website today. 

Categories: Blog

Are apps becoming a human crutch?

January 8, 2014 - 7:51am

In this Seattle Times Op-Ed, Howard Gardner and Katie Davis discuss how hyper-knowledgeable, hyper-personalized apps breed app-dependence.

Categories: Blog

El Sistema: Music Lessons to Rebuild the World

January 6, 2014 - 8:15am

As a guest on the Open Source radio show, Howard Gardner participated in a discussion on the ‘El Sistema’ way of music learning. To learn more, and to hear Howard’s views on this innovative Venezuelan experiment, visit the podcast website today! 

Categories: Blog

Bloomberg EDU Podcast

December 16, 2013 - 8:32am

Visit the Bloomberg Radio website today to listen to Howard Gardner and James Steyer discuss how media and technology are affecting children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Categories: Blog

Correspondence on Beauty

December 12, 2013 - 12:07pm

Dear Dr. Gardner,

I was very interested in your book “Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed.”  

I propose for your consideration another way of looking at Beauty. I believe that we look at art simultaneously in two ways: the Eye explores it, and the Brain assesses it.  Your book seems to be concerned with the Brain, but I think that the role of the Eye is just as important and perhaps more fundamental. In this letter I will confine myself to considering how we see a painting, and will present my argument in a way which is totally unscientific but, I hope, easy to follow.

The Brain is smart. It can compare things, it can theorize about what it sees, it can bring forth a wide range of knowledge from its memory, it can learn. On the negative side, it can be influenced by likes and dislikes not relevant to the assessment at hand, and it can yield to real or imagined pressures to come up with a “correct” outcome of its assessment.

The Eye can’t think, it can only feel. Its actions can only be subconscious. It feels happy if it finds comfortable pathways to wander about in the painting, if it finds interesting patterns to explore, and if it can easily get to wherever it wants to go. It becomes unhappy if it gets confused as to where it should go next, or if it finds obstacles on its course, and so forth. It gets bored if the painting doesn’t offer interesting pathways to roam.

Whether or not a painting is beautiful does not matter to the Eye. (In any case, the beauty or lack thereof of a painting is not the same as the beauty or lack thereof of the subject—a picture of an ugly subject may be a beautiful painting.)

Likewise, it does not matter to the Eye whether a painting is abstract or representational. My father and grandfather were amateur landscape painters and I love that kind of stuff, but my eye was perfectly happy roaming about the map of internet traffic in your book.

Personally, I find that my judgment of art is almost entirely intuitive and based on how my Eye likes it. I may admire a painting or be impressed by it if my Brain tells me so, but unless my Eye approves of it, I cannot accept it as being good art.  Whether this puts me in the majority of people or in the minority, I don’t know.

What I think is significant about this all is that I believe the Eye’s way of assessing Beauty is more primitive and more basic than that of the Brain’s. Therefore I expect that it should remain more constant between cultures, through ages, and through the development of each individual.

This should be easy enough to test experimentally. Only, one would have to be careful that the data collected expressed the opinions of the Eye, untainted by the opinions or prejudices of the Brain or by the desire of some questionees to give “correct” answers.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading this. 


An Inquisitive Artist


Dear Inquisitive Artist,

Thank you for your thoughtful note. As a technical matter, the eye is part of the brain. But I assume that your point is meant metaphorically as it seems closer to what Daniel Kahneman calls ‘thinking fast’ and ‘thinking slow,’ or ‘system 1’ and ‘system 2.’ In my view of beauty, what makes something interesting and worth revisiting is ‘thinking fast.’ But the ability to demonstrate, in some fashion, why one prefers one experience to another, involves the other system. I don’t agree that judgments of beauty will be similar across cultures, except in cases of outdoor scenes or other very generic presentations. As you say, this can be tested empirically.

With best wishes,

Howard Gardner

Categories: Blog

92Y – The App Generation

December 5, 2013 - 11:06am

On Monday, December 9th at 8:15pm, co-authors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis will be talking at the 92nd Street Y about their recently published book, The App Generation. 

Visit the 92Y website today to learn more about the event and to purchase tickets before it’s too late!

Categories: Blog

Ask the Expert

December 2, 2013 - 10:41am

Visit the Other Side of Organized website today to read through Howard Gardner’s recent Q&A, the latest entry in the “Ask the Expert” interview series! 

Categories: Blog

Are Kids Today Less Creative?

November 26, 2013 - 12:03pm

Visit the Discovery News website today to learn more about Katie Davis’ groundbreaking study on creativity! This study, which focuses on the progression of literary and visual artworks of young people over the past 20 years, is also featured in The App Generation, her new book with Howard Gardner.  

Categories: Blog

Howard Gardner Discusses Dependence on Electronics

November 21, 2013 - 8:40am

Education professor Howard E. Gardner ’65 and information assistant professor Katie Davis discussed young adults’ increasing dependence on electronic devices at a Cambridge Forum meeting Monday evening at First Parish Church in Harvard Square.

To learn more about the event visit the Harvard Crimson website

Categories: Blog

App Consciousness

November 18, 2013 - 12:46pm

An Entire Generation of Humans is Developing ‘App Consciousness’

Visit the Forbes website to read Jordan Shapiro’s reaction to Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’ The App Generation and how we may be entering an age of App Consciousness. 

Categories: Blog

Upcoming Cambridge Forum Appearance

November 15, 2013 - 8:00am

Join co-authors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis this Monday, November 18th, at 7pm for a Cambridge Forum discussion on The App Generation and the ways in which digital media are changing how young people learn and relate to the world.

To learn more about this exciting event, visit the Cambridge Forum website today! 

Categories: Blog

The App Generation

November 8, 2013 - 8:09am

A video recording of Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’ recent Askwith Forum is now available on the Harvard Graduate School of Education website. To learn more about The App Generation watch the forum, in its entirety, today! 

Categories: Blog

Ed Tech Researcher Book Review

November 4, 2013 - 8:06am

Visit the EdTech Researcher blog on the Education Week website today to read through Justin Reich’s review of The App Generation! 

Categories: Blog

From Cognitive Theory to Comic Books

November 1, 2013 - 10:32am

In conjunction with the Project Zero Artists-in-Residence program, HGSE Arts in Education Masters Student, Brendon Snyder, has created a graphic novel outlying how MI Theory has impacted his life:

From Cognitive Theory to Comic Books – Brendon Snyder (PDF


Categories: Blog

Growing Up: There’s No App for That

October 30, 2013 - 12:06pm

In this exclusive review, The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’ new book - The App Generation. To learn how young people let digital apps dictate their identities, visit the website today! 

Categories: Blog

App Generation Explored at Askwith Forum

October 28, 2013 - 10:27am

Visit the Harvard Graduate School of Education website today to read through this illuminating summary of Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’ recent presentation on The App Generation!

Categories: Blog

A Blessing of Influences

October 21, 2013 - 1:01pm

In this extensive article, Howard Gardner discusses the influence of others on his life and his work. Looking to the walls of his office, lined with numerous letters and accolades, Gardner praises counsel from others. To learn more, visit the Harvard Gazette website today! 

Categories: Blog

Talking about “The App Generation”

October 18, 2013 - 12:48pm

Visit the Amplify website today to learn more about The App Generation in this exclusive interview with authors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis!

Categories: Blog

‘Multiple Intelligences’ are not ‘Learning Styles’

October 17, 2013 - 10:58am

In his most recent Washington Post Op-Ed, Howard Gardner discusses his thoughts on multiple intelligences, learning styles, and the misinterpretation of MI Theory. Visit ‘The Answer Sheet’ website today to learn more!

Categories: Blog