YPP Network Description

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: 1 hour 1 min ago

Big Think Interviews Howard Gardner

April 21, 2016 - 9:14am

Howard Gardner has been interviewed for a video series by Big Think, a multimedia website that presents applicable ideas from top thinkers to a general audience.

In the three videos, Gardner discusses:

  • The basics of the theory of multiple intelligences and how leaders of organizations should account for MI in the workplace;
  • The eight component intelligences of MI theory; and
  • The problems with standardized testing today, which measures only mathematical and linguistic intelligences to the detriment of all of our other capacities.

Click on any of the titles below to view the corresponding video, or click here to see the full archive of videos by Howard Gardner available from Big Think.

  1. “Why ‘Multiple Intelligence’ Is a Better Way to Think About Having Smarts”
  2. “Intelligence Isn’t Black-and-White: There Are 8 Different Kinds”
  3. “An Intelligence Expert Defines the Real Problem with Standardized Testing in Schools”
Categories: Blog

2016 Future of Learning Institute

April 4, 2016 - 1:14pm

Registration is now open for the 2016 Future of Learning Institute, a conference organized by Project Zero in conjunction with the Harvard Graduate School of Education!

See below for a summary of the themes that the conference will explore, and click here for a PDF of this summary along with a draft schedule. Register today via Project Zero.

The Future of Learning Institute at Project Zero gathers educators from around the world to examine how learning is changing in our increasingly global and digital societies. The institute also facilitates the acquisition of practical tools to support deep, relevant, and long-lasting learning in a changing educational landscape.

We will explore four key questions:

I. Learning for what purpose? What are the purposes that guide our educational efforts; how are they being articulated by others and in my own work?
II. How might we rethink learning? How do we need to rethink the what, who, and how of learning in our dynamic global and digital times?
III. What should we do differently? What should I, and others, do differently in our teaching, learning and leadership to meet the new digital and global demands in practice?
IV. How might we recast the education profession? What is our role as responsible professionals in Education in an increasingly digital and globally interdependent world?

To address these questions, we bring together leading scholars and practitioners whose work sheds light on the changing nature of learning in today’s societies. The institute will focus on nurturing citizenships in a global and digital time. You will explore this theme through a dynamic combination of plenary sessions, interactive courses and reflection groups. Over three days you will become familiar with emerging research and innovative practices and find time to reflect with colleagues from around the world. You will craft an informed personal professional vision and a tool set suitable to your professional context.

Categories: Blog

In Search of Professional Ethics

April 4, 2016 - 12:04pm

CMRubinWorld, a website run by journalist Cathy Rubin about topical educational issues, has begun a new blog series in conjunction with Howard Gardner about his views on the professions and implications for educators in an increasingly digital world.

Click here to read the first post in the series in which Gardner talks about his blog “The Professional Ethicist” and the changing professional landscape.


Categories: Blog

Donald Trump and Beautiful Experiences

March 29, 2016 - 10:43am

Like most Americans, Howard Gardner has been following the engrossing and controversial 2016 presidential primary season in the United States. In the blog post below, Gardner comments on what he believes can help explain the appeal of Donald Trump for so many voters. Using the lens of the virtues of truth, beauty, and goodness, Trump is not true or good, but he does create experiences that his supporters find beautiful.


Like many other observers—indeed, like almost everyone I know!—I’ve been trying to account for the phenomenon of Donald Trump’s popularity. By popularity, I don’t just mean the number of votes he is likely to muster. While personally I cannot abide watching him, individuals whom I respect and even love can’t seem to get enough of him. How to account for this attraction, unprecedented in my experience? After ruminating for some time, I think I’ve found the answer—and it lurks in my own work, as an educator, on the purposes of education.

For some time, I’ve argued that the purpose of education is to nurture the appreciation of the true, the beautiful, and the good. Nothing very original here; in fact, the motto of my high school was “Verum, Pulchrum, Bonum.” On no account does Trump qualify as a truth-teller or truth seeker. He leads every measure of “pants-on-fire”—the schoolyard taunt of one who never provides evidence for his outlandish claims, who does not care whether his statements are true.

As for goodness, Trump also falls well short. A good worker should be ethical in all facets of her profession; a good citizen should take into account the welfare of all in his community. From all that has been reported, Trump receives low scores on both counts. As to whether Trump is a good person—a good friend, a good neighbor, a good husband and father—I’ll claim “not enough data.”

Which leaves the judgment of beauty. One achievement (positive or negative) of recent times is that we no longer accept canonical definitions of what is beautiful; many scholars do not even sanction use of the word “beautiful.” After all, we value the artwork of Willem DeKooning (or street art) or the music of Arnold Schoenberg (or hip-hop or rap). Having pondered the evolution of taste—in art, music, literature, nature, food—I’ve come up with a quite different perspective. As I define it, a beautiful experience fits three criteria: it is initially interesting; it is memorable in form; and it invites and encourages re-visiting and re-experiencing.

Could this concept explain The Appeal of The Donald? I think it does.

To begin, even I would concede that Trump is interesting—he captures attention. He does so with his distinctive hair, his overly rotund physique, and his raspy voice.

As for memorable form, again Trump passes the test. We don’t just remember the content of his message. We remember the way that he presents, interacts with his audience, holds up his hands, comments and ripostes off the cuff, and struts and frets on stage.

Which brings me to the last criterion—the impulse to revisit. Here is where the world sharply divides. Many people, including me, find Trump repulsive; we don’t want to ever see or hear him again. This characterization applies to many awe-ful events: we may notice them, we may find them memorable, but few of us want to revisit the concomitant pain, suffering, and destruction. No Holocaust photos or movies, please.

But with respect to individuals of my acquaintance, quite a few cannot get enough of Trump. Something, anything, or many things about his presentation are sufficiently attractive, compelling, and indeed awe-some that these persons find themselves returning again and again to the places where his image and his message can be found. And while some who are attracted to his persona would die before they would vote for him, many cherish these “beautiful experiences” so much that they hope to repeat them over four or even eight years.

To quote another Latin phrase, “De gustibus non disputandum” (“One cannot quarrel with taste”). It is possible, however, to outgrow one’s taste—as we do with so many food and movies that we once savored—and to cultivate a more sophisticated one. I wish that we had on the political stage more individuals whose attractiveness is accompanied by a more constructive set of messages.

-Howard Gardner

Categories: Blog

Continued Attention for MI

March 25, 2016 - 11:43am

Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences was first presented in 1983 with the publication of the book Frames of Mind. Over thirty years later, MI still receives a steady stream of publicity due to its impact on education and understandings of human potential.

Several articles released in early 2016 dealing with MI have facilitated continued interest in the theory. These articles are outlined below:

Click any of the article titles above to read each in full!

Categories: Blog

Good Work for Lawyers

March 18, 2016 - 7:54am

The Practice, a publication of the Harvard Law School that provides critical analysis of the legal profession, has released an interview with Howard Gardner about “good work” in law.

Describing the meaning of good work and good citizenship, the effects of strong market pressures, and the way professional education shapes identity, Gardner stresses the need for institutions to prepare people to become good professionals and the powerful role that mentors can have in our lives.

Click here to read the full article. For more information about The Practice, visit their website.

Categories: Blog

Gardner on Education in the 21st Century

March 15, 2016 - 12:19pm

Howard Gardner talks about his latest research on higher education in the US in a featured guest blog on Edge.org!

Describing how he came to focus on studying higher education and the connections of that work to his wider endeavors on the Good Project, particularly related to the future of professions, Gardner connects those inquiries to others he has made about digital engagement and the meaning of “lifelong learning.” In the end, Gardner concludes:

“Learning takes place throughout life. I’m hoping that some of my best work is still ahead of me, and if I’m deluding myself, I’m happy to be deluded. We need to forget about education as occurring for certain ages and certain places and think about it as happening from the moment of birth until senility. Here’s where I would take issue with Silicon Valley celebrants—the life of learning needs to involve other people; it can’t just be done completely online.”

Click here to read and comment on the full article online, which also includes a high-quality video interview on the same topics.

Categories: Blog

Living in the Digital Era

March 4, 2016 - 12:23pm

For the past several years, Howard Gardner has focused a lot of his research on the effects of the digital revolution on society, particularly as these changes relate to young people’s use of media, their sense of identity, and their civic participation habits. On projects like the Good Project’s Good Play investigation, the MacArthur Foundation’s Youth and Participatory Politics network, and the book The App Generation, Gardner and colleagues have explored the way that online connectivity and devices are shaping society and youth in particular.

Several newer articles in the media have focused on this work. An outline of these articles is below:

-December 3, 2015: Gardner wrote about “The Good Citizen in the Digital Era” for the Huffington Post about bringing productive citizenship back to the forefront

-December 9, 2015: TimesUnion released an op-ed by Frank Robinson outlining The App Generation‘s main arguments and summarizing takeaways for readers

-December 10, 2015: The blog “Women’s Voices for Change” also referenced The App Generation in a post about the isolating effects of digital media called “Alone Together”

-January 18, 2016: An article in the New York Post about colleges looking at the social media profiles of applicants drew on research from The App Generation about the frequently narcissistic nature of social media

-February 6, 2016: German periodical Der Spiegel published a feature about The App Generation, interviewing co-authors Gardner and Katie Davis about their research and findings

Click on any of the links above to read the full articles and learn more about this exciting realm of work!

Categories: Blog

The Power and Benefits of Beauty

February 25, 2016 - 1:35pm

Howard Gardner discussed “beauty” as one of three key virtues in his 2011 book Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed. According to his conceptualization, beautiful things or experiences share three characteristics: they are interesting, memorable, and worth revisiting.

Gardner’s work on beauty has subsequently been referenced in a November 2015 article on the Huffington Post‘s Healthy Living site. In the piece, life coach Pam Bauer outlines the positive benefits of beautiful environments and experiences to boost happiness with a feeling of satisfaction. She then advises readers to surround themselves with objects they find beautiful, particularly those from nature. 

Click here to read the article in full.

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed has also been featured in the Italian periodical Vita. Read the Italian-language article from January 2016 by clicking here.

Categories: Blog

Gardner Comments in The Harvard Crimson

February 18, 2016 - 1:02pm

Howard Gardner has been interviewed for a trio of articles in the student-run university newspaper The Harvard Crimson. Consulted as a thought leader on issues in higher education today, Gardner provided context and opinions for the following stories:

-“Harvard Tuition Jumped 31 Percent Since 1998, Report Says,” in which Gardner discusses the rising cost of a college degree across the board;

-“Ed School Report Calls for Reforming Admissions Practices,” about the recent Turning the Tide report released by the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common project; and

-“Faculty Overwhelmingly Donate to Clinton,” with Gardner arguing for a separation between politics and the classroom.

Click any of the three article titles below to read the full original pieces.

Categories: Blog

2016 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

February 11, 2016 - 9:49am

Howard Gardner has been named among the most visible academics in the field of education, according to the 2016 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings compiled by Education Week‘s Rick Hess for his “Straight Up” op-ed column.

Using publicly available and verifiable metrics like Google Scholar scores, press and web mentioned, Klout score, and book points, the ranking lists of the 200 people who had the most influence on discourse in American education this year. Howard Gardner came in at #3 overall, and #1 in the discipline of psychology. Rounding out the overall top 3 were Linda Darling-Hammond and Diane Ravitch.

Congratulations to all who were listed!

Click here to see the full list of scholars. Alternatively, click here for the top 10 lists by discipline, and here for the rubric criteria rationale.

Categories: Blog

How to Stop Cheating

February 3, 2016 - 7:32am

An article by Howard Gardner and fellow Good Project researchers Alexis Redding and Carrie James has been published in Independent School, the magazine of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Titled “Nurturing Ethical Collaboration,” the piece outlines some of the primary reasons for the prevalence of cultures of cheating in secondary schools. The authors then offer solutions to this crisis, including tips for how educators should provide supports that encourage students to collaborate with one another ethically.

Click here to read the full article.

Categories: Blog

Is Donald Trump a Narcissist?

January 28, 2016 - 9:04am

With the presidential election season in the United States heating up even further as the state primaries approach, a great amount of media attention has been focused on Donald Trump’s controversial campaign for the Republican nomination.

Vanity Fair questioned the mental health of Trump in an article titled “Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In!”. Howard Gardner was consulted for the piece and is quoted as saying that Trump is “remarkably narcissistic” but that the more interesting question is the mental states of his many supporters.

Click here to read the full article via Vanity Fair.

Categories: Blog

Who Should Judge the Judges?

January 20, 2016 - 8:21am

Howard Gardner has released a new post on his blog “The Professional Ethicist” on the Good Project’s website!

In this thought-provoking piece, entitled “The Varieties of Disinterestedness: Who should judge the judges?”, Gardner discusses the concept of “disinterestedness” (or impartiality) and its relation to the due process of law, illustrated through the example of the federal judge Mark J. Wolf and his actions presiding over the murder trial of Gary Lee Sampson.

Click here to read and to comment on the full blog post via the Good Project!

Categories: Blog

Videos: Gardner on Good Work and Bruner

January 13, 2016 - 1:00pm

Two new videos featuring Howard Gardner have been released via YouTube.

In the first clip, Gardner talks about the events that led him to explore the 3 Es of Good Work (excellence, ethics, and engagement) and how he came to devote the past two decades of his career to research on the Good Project. In the second, he speaks briefly about his mentor and friend Jerome Bruner, a fellow cognitive psychologist.

Check out both of the videos below!

Categories: Blog

Recent Foreign Press for MI

January 6, 2016 - 1:10pm

Howard Gardner and the theory of multiple intelligences have received a variety of mentions in foreign periodicals and publications over the past few months.

Outlined below are links to several articles concerning the implementation of MI theory in practice in the classroom and Gardner’s views of the meaning of intelligence. Click the linked text to view each specific article.

  • Spain’s version of Blasting News featured an interview with journalist Arián Zargarán about MI and education that discusses how educators are able to cater to different intelligence profiles and how to prepare students for the careers of the future
  • In the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, reporter Robin Cheung uses MI to analyze Chinese Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou, holding her up as an example of someone who used her particular intelligences to her advantage and to good ends
  • McGill University of Montreal, Canada, held a lecture by Prof. Patrick Hansen about how the component intelligences of MI theory are present in opera performance
  • French news site L’Alsace released a story about teachers using MI in the classroom, part of a recent wave of interest in multiple intelligences in the francophone world
  • Finally, 50 students from 12 schools in Gurgaon and New Delhi in India participated in a multiple intelligences-themed competition with activities designed to stimulate different abilities, according to The Hans India

We are excited by the continued use of MI in countries across the world over three decades since the publication of Frames of Mind, which first outlined the theory in 1983.

Categories: Blog

Katie Davis Named APS Rising Star

December 23, 2015 - 9:53am

Dr. Katie Davis, an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Information School and co-author 2013’s The App Generation, has been recognized by the Association for Psychological Science as a 2015 Rising Star!

Davis earned her Ed.D. in Human Development and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011. She studies the role of digital media in the lives of adolescents, particularly its academic, social, and moral effects. Current projects include investigations of identity development and informal learning in online fan fiction communities, using digital badges to recognize anytime, anywhere learning, the effects of gamifying classroom instruction, and the causes and consequences of cyberbullying. She previously worked for the Good Project on the Good Play and Developing Minds and Digital Media projects. 

We congratulate Katie on this well-deserved honor!

Click here to see the full list of 2015 Rising Stars, and click here to be taken to Davis’s website.

Categories: Blog

Video of Gardner’s TEDxBeaconStreet Talk

December 15, 2015 - 8:54am

On November 15th, 2015, Howard Gardner delivered his talk “Beyond Wit and Grit: Rethinking the Keys to Success” at Boston’s TEDxBeaconStreet event.

A video of the presentation is now available via YouTube. In this talk, Gardner summarizes his work on intelligence (leading to the theory of multiple intelligences) and his transition to working on the Good Project and ethical questions that have taken on increasingly urgent importance in our society.

Check out the video below!

Categories: Blog

A Future for the Professions?

December 11, 2015 - 9:38am

Howard Gardner has recently launched a new blog called “The Professional Ethicist” via the Good Project’s website! In this series, Gardner discusses in-depth vexed ethical issues that arise in the workplace and also in other sectors of society based on his years of research with the Good Project.

Below, Gardner explained the decision to name the blog “The Professional Ethicist” and also a rationale for its existence:

“1) the blog will largely address questions that arise in one or more professions, ranging from law and medicine to education and journalism; and 2) except for a few philosophers who write generally about ethics, most individuals are interested in the ethics of particular vocations or areas of focus. In the blog, we will deliberately cast our net widely, across the professional landscape and beyond. My aspiration is that others will also contribute; we’ll feature conversations and interactive forums; and this blog will become a “go-to” place for many who crave careful considerations of the most challenging issues that arise in work and life. We want the blog to become interactive in content and form; we plan to structure some blogs as dialogues between us and members of other organizations and seek a robust commentary from readers.”

With the post “Is There a Future for the Professions? An Interim Verdict,” Gardner officially launched “The Professional Ethicist” by using this longer-form piece to express some of the challenges facing the professions in the present day in addition to offering a historical, economic, and technical summary of why the professions may be threatened in current society.

Click here to read the post, and please feel free to comment, share, and write to us!



Categories: Blog

An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

December 3, 2015 - 1:52pm

On December 1, 2015, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced the birth of their daughter, Max, as well a huge philanthropic commitment to give away $45 billion (99% of their shares in the company) to charity. In a letter to their daughter, Chan and Zuckerberg expressed their interest in funding education in a way that would promote “personalized learning” for students and harness the power of technology.

Reacting to the news in The Washington Post‘s Answer Sheet column, Howard Gardner has written an open letter back to Mark and Priscilla, explaining what shape a personalized/individualized educational experience might take and the ways we can achieve the best for the students of the future.

Click here to read the full letter from Gardner to Zuckerberg and Chan. A Spanish translation of the letter has also been published and is available here.

Categories: Blog