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: 2 hours 51 min ago

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

Answering John Gardner’s Challenge

December 1, 2015 - 1:22pm

Howard Gardner has contributed a blog post to DML Central, the Digital Media & Learning Research Hub’s blog devoted to the effects of digital media on education and youth civics.

Recounting John W. Gardner’s two decade old reflection that many young people are doing good work but are unsupported by government legislation, Howard Gardner notes that youth in our society continue to engage in high numbers in politics by using technology even in spite of a divided political system and concludes that we should encourage the next generation towards a future in which civic rights are protected and leaders are apt and informed.

Click here to read the blog post in full, and visit the Good Project’s website to learn more about this research.

Categories: Blog

Gardner on Seeking Out Differences

November 18, 2015 - 8:13am

Columnist Charles Assisi has written about Howard Gardner in a feature in Mint on Sunday, the digital Sunday-only version of India’s second-largest business newspaper.

In the article, titled “Opposites ought to attract,” Assisi shares his reflections about why he is thankful that the people in his life closest to him are very different from himself. For example, although he is an atheist, a progressive, and an ambitious person, he has a devoutly Catholic wife and two best friends, one of whom is anti-secularist and the other of whom is an alcoholic businessman.

Assisi thinks back on a conversation that he had with Howard Gardner in providing some explanation for the situation. According to Gardner, because people tend to gravitate towards those who agree with their own views, it is necessary, especially in today’s digital world, to seek out alternative perspectives and to listen to those with whom we disagree. By doing so, we are not only able to enrich our own perspectives but also hold a mirror up to ourselves and shift opinions if we discover new information.

Click here to read the full article via Mint on Sunday.

Categories: Blog

Watch Howard Gardner’s TEDx Livestream!

November 12, 2015 - 11:44am

This Sunday, November 15th, Howard Gardner will be speaking as a part of this fall’s TEDx Beacon Street event. Beginning at 3:45pm ET, Gardner’s talk will be titled “Beyond Wit and Grit.” 

Click here to access the TEDx Beacon Street website, where a livestream link will be available to allow members of the public to view Gardner’s talk in real time, as well as the presentations of all the other speakers.

Categories: Blog

Gardner Interviewed by Korean Newspaper

November 5, 2015 - 12:18pm

Howard Gardner was recently interviewed by Korean Newspaper Joongang Daily in conjunction with the publication of the Korean translation of his book The Disciplined Mind. In the interview transcript below, Gardner offers his thoughts about intelligence, creativity, and education on various fronts.

Click here for a PDF of the published Korean article.

Joongang Daily: As you probably know, you are well-known as the father of Multiple Intelligences theory. Your main works, including The Disciplined Mind, Frames of Mind, Extraordinary Minds, etc., deal with how the human mind operates. What does multiple intelligences theory mean in your overall academic career?

HG: Even today, over thirty years after I developed the theory, most of my mail, from all over the world, concerns MI theory. I have a website where I post occasional columns and answers to questions. (I would be happy if someone were to translate the website into Korean!)

My work on “MI theory” has taken me to interesting places and expanded my horizon, and I am glad that I developed the ideas and that they have had numerous applications in education. I have four children, and we are expecting our fourth grandchild—so as long as that paternity is recognized first, I am happy to be the father of MI theory.

That said, in my own scholarship, I have gone on to other issues. For the last twenty years, I have been studying ‘the good’—what it means to be a good worker, a good citizen, and a good person. One reason for this research is that I have seen MI ideas misapplied—and, I have to say, sometimes it has been in Korea. I came to realize that I had a responsibility to speak out when the ideas were not being used in a good way.

One of the rewards of being a scholar is that you can investigate whatever interests you. And so, after 20 years on the Good Project (see thegoodproject.org), I am now studying higher education in the United States as part of a project called “Liberal Arts and Sciences in the 21st Century.”

Joongang Daily: How do you define the human mind in the context of your research/studies? Among the many aspects of the operation of the human mind, which draws your interest the most?

HG: I construe the human mind very broadly—of course all mental activity comes from the human brain, but the human mind extends far beyond the brain to the technologies that we use, to the other people with whom we work and solve problems, and to history, culture and the arts. In my long career, I have had the chance to study many aspects of human cognition—intelligence, creativity, leadership, and ethics. I am more interested in ‘high end’ cognition—how we draw meaning from experiences, rather than how we see a line or hear a sound. And I’ve been more interested in cognition than in emotional or social aspects of the mind, though they are very important as well.

Joongang Daily: In many of your works, you deal with creative minds in human history. Nowadays, many governments and corporations are developing various programs to foster people with creative talents; they are pouring in their resources for this purpose. In your opinion, what does it mean to be creative in modern society? I also wonder if you think developments in science and technology are affecting human creativity.

HG: I think that creativity today is not fundamentally different than it was 100 or 1,000 or even 10,000 years ago. Creative people use their minds to solve problems, to raise questions, and to create objects that arouse the interest and the excitement of others. If I had to specify differences today, I would mention two: 1) we have much more help from technology, particularly digital technology; and 2) we are more likely to work with others, both near and far, than alone. The image of the solitary creative individual, working in a garret or cave or study, is much less relevant today.

Developments in science and technology have always affected creativity. Until now, however, creativity has come chiefly from human beings, not from robots or computers. If that should change, then maybe the computers will be studying creativity, rather than the psychologists or policy makers who study it today!

Joongang Daily: Recently The Disciplined Mind was published in Korea. In this book, you have emphasized the importance of academic discipline. However, many people think that creativity is hindered by becoming familiar with the existing knowledge system. How do you respond?

HG: If you spend too much time mastering existing knowledge, that can be counterproductive. On the other hand, unless you know what has been learned before, and how it was learned, the chance is that you will re-invent the wheel rather than coming up with something new, useful, and interesting. As I express it in a book called Five Minds for the Future, being creative means thinking outside of the box. But you can’t think outside of the box unless you have a box! And that box contains the disciplined knowledge that you have acquired, often over a significant period of time.

Joongang Daily: You’ve visited Korea several times, as far as I know. Is there anything you want to say about Korean education? What do you think is the most distinct feature of Korean education?

HG: What I have to say is conventional wisdom about Korea. Students are very good at mastering material and performing well on standardized tests. For students with academic intelligences, this is fine, but it creates enormous stress on young people who may be stronger in areas that are NOT tested by standard tests. Korea stands out in terms of achievement but also stress. Parents are often too tough on their children, probably because the parents themselves were stressed when they were young.

My own experience is that Korean students are often very tough on themselves, very demanding. Up to a point that may be good; but when it becomes self-destructive, that is bad. It used to be said that East Asians were not as creative as Westerners due to cultural differences. But I think that is no longer true. The secrets of creativity are open to everyone, and there are many creative artists, musicians, and scientists of Korean background both in Korea and abroad.

Joongang Daily: Recently, the problem of school bullying is becoming more and more serious worldwide. As an antidote to this problem, our government passed an act called the Character Education Law. What do you think is the core idea of character education?

HG: Often Character Education focuses on identifying and drilling what one should do and what one should not do. That’s fine as far as it goes—no one should lie, steal, or injure others. But the more challenging aspects involve how one should behave in a difficult situation, where there is no easy answer: for example, when one is tempted to cheat on an examination which seems unfair, or when a friend of yours cheats. Those difficult situations cannot be solved simply by being told what to do. One needs to discuss alternatives, understand the positive and negative aspects of each, and work together to make a better community. To do this well is challenging; and that is what we focus on in the Good Project, mentioned above. In fact we have created a toolkit which helps students, teachers, and parents tackle difficult issues like bullying or cheating or competing for scarce rewards. One needs to understand WHY people bully and what are the harms for the victim, the victimizer, and the larger community.

Joongang Daily: As the youth unemployment rate soars, many universities are now faced with the problem called “the collapse of universities,” as they are closing down humanities and basic science departments. Do you think there might be solution to this problem?

HG: As I said before, all of my work now is focused on “Liberal Arts and Sciences in the 21st Century.” I focus on that highly current topic because I am aware of the situation that you describe and want to do something about it. It’s very important that our leaders understand why broad education is essential, not only for work but also for citizenship; alas, too many of them contribute to the problem, rather than to the solution.

When we are interviewing students and parents in our study, and they say that the purpose of education is to get a job, we follow up with the question “And what happens when the job disappears?”.  Often they are shocked; they never thought of that possibility before. Of course, the whole reason for a broad education in history, philosophy, and the arts, as well as basic science, is to prepare you, as best we can in 2015, for the world, no matter what the jobs happen to be in 2020 or 2050 and no matter what is the state of the world.

Joongang Daily: As Internet technology is improving, the kind of information people need is changing. With this background, many people are saying that schools are collapsing and education itself is at stake. What roles can schools, or education itself, play in this era? What meanings do they bear?

HG: For as long as I can look ahead, we will have schools, because we need places for young people to become socialized, to learn to deal with peers, to master citizenship, and—without wanting to be frivolous—to have a place to go while parents are working! But more and more of traditional education—acquiring the literacies and the disciplines—will occur online, before the age of school, and throughout life—no more will we think of education as ending at age 20 or 25. Teachers will become more like coaches or curators, less like dispensers of information that is readily available on any search engine.

A few years ago a ‘wise guy’ student said to me, “Dr Gardner, why do we even need school when the answers to all questions are on my smart phone?”

I looked at him for a moment and said, “Yes, the answer to all questions, except the important ones!” And that’s another reason why schools and the liberal arts and sciences will continue to the indefinite future.

Joongang Daily: What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing these days? How do you think education should change in the 21st century to solve that problem? What can an educator do?

HG: I assume that you mean the biggest problem in education—because problems of climate change, the water supply, regional warfare, and nuclear weapons are far greater than the educational challenges, significant though they are (I hardly need remind an audience of South Koreans, given the weapons available in North Korea).

I don’t think that there is a single biggest problem in education. As I have suggested in my answer to other questions, we have a lot of misconceptions about the reasons for education (not just to get a job) and where it should take place (not just online). In the United States, the biggest challenge is to make the teaching profession attractive enough so that talented students will devote a significant proportion of their lives to teaching and that they will help to bring a diverse society closer together. But in other countries, like Singapore, Finland, or Korea, there are other strengths and other challenges.

Joongang Daily: It’s been thirty years since you announced Multiple Intelligence theory. It has been very influential around the globe. How do you think this theory will be evaluated thirty years from now?

HG: When I put forth the theory, I thought that the most important part was the identification of the specific intelligences and their relation to specific regions of the brain. And indeed, I think that is why the theory attracted a lot of attention. But today, I think it was more important simply to pluralize the word ‘intelligence’ and to help parents, teachers, and children themselves realize that you can be smart in more than one way, and that it’s important to identify your strengths, and make use of them—for work, for play, for what you are passionate about, for how best to work with others. I don’t know and I don’t care whether my name and the phrase ‘multiple intelligences’ will still be on the radar screen, but I do hope that the ideas of ‘several ways of being smart’ will become part of common sense, common knowledge, and common wisdom.

I’ve often said that one of the big problems with IQ is that you can’t do anything about your IQ—it is just a way of labelling you and oftentimes dismissing you. The good think about an “MI” way of thinking is that it gives hope to all people about their own potential and gives parents and teachers different ways of addressing their students. Indeed, that is one of the key ideas in The Disciplined Mind, where I show how important knowledge can be conveyed in ‘’multiple intelligences ways’.

Joongang Daily: With advances in brain science and cognitive science, new findings regarding human learning and decision making are now coming into light. How do you think this progress will affect education in the future? Nowadays, it seems that many people are especially interested in Artificial Intelligence. What do you think of the future of AI?

HG: Brain science and AI (cognitive science) are different from one another. Any educator—indeed, any educated person—should monitor what is happening in both areas of science. I think that brain science will be most important in helping us to identify potential learning problems, very early in life, and in suggesting ways in which to address those problems effectively. It is already happening with respect to spoken and written language.

As for AI, I am less interested in creating machines that will replace human beings than I am in creating machines, programs, and apps that will allow human beings to achieve what we want to achieve more skillfully and more ethically—working together with us, just as we should all learn to work with other persons, even if they don’t look or sound the way that we do.

To put it differently, if brain science or cognitive science can help human beings to survive and thrive together, that should make all of us very happy.

Categories: Blog

Intelligences in the Classroom

October 27, 2015 - 12:06pm

Howard Gardner has been interviewed for an article in the September 20th edition of the Spanish magazine Espacio de Pensamiento e Innovación Educativa (Space Thinking and Educational Innovation). 

Discussing the meaning of intelligence and the practices of individuation and personalization in the MI-conscious classroom, Gardner addresses some of the frequent problems faced by teachers who seek more personalized education for students. He also responds directly to criticism of multiple intelligences theory. 

Click here to read the Spanish (pg. 2) and English (pg. 10) texts as a single PDF. The English interview questions and answers have also been reprinted below.

1. What features must be present in a class based on multiple intelligences?

The most important educational implications of MI theory are individuation and pluralization.

Individuation means knowing as much as you can about each student, giving each student the chance to learn
in a way that is most comfortable and to demonstrate learning and understanding in ways that are comfortable.
Of course, this is easier to do when you have a smaller class. But you cannot let a large class size defeat the idea of
personalized learning, and digital technology makes individualized education a possibility for all students.

Pluralization means deciding what is really important for students to know, learn, and understand and then to convey
that information to students in a variety of formats and media, thereby addressing the multiple intelligences. I’ve never encountered anything of importance that can only be taught in one way. And when you teach pluralistically, you not only reach more students; you also show what it is like to really understand something when you can represent that knowledge in several forms/formats.

2. What problems have been encountered when this is put into practice in a class?

One problem is that teachers worry about every student. That’s not necessary. Many students are flexible and can learn in many ways. It’s not necessary to devote time to those students; in fact, sometimes they can be drawn upon to help those students who have difficulty with the content.

Another problem, alluded to in the answer to the first question, is that it is more difficult to individualize when you have large classes. In that case, one has to be flexible and innovative, making use of various technologies, bringing other teachers into the room, asking older and more sophisticated students to share the job of the teacher… and to use what I have to call ‘pedagogical intelligence.’

Another problem is taking the theory of MI too literally: there is no need to teach everything in 7 or 8 ways. It’s important to teach a topic in more than one way, but even two ways is genuine progress.

And yet another problem is using the intelligences superficially. It may be a bit easier to learn a poem if you sing it, but that is not musical intelligence. Musical intelligence would involve focusing on the interpretation of the text and making choices that make musical sense as well. Similarly, dancing a poem is not bodily-kinesthetic intelligence unless you actually pay attention to the quality of the bodily movement.

3. What do you think about the criticism that your theories are based more on intuition than on the results of empirical research?

The criticism is wrong! The theory is based entirely on scientific evidence, taken from psychology, anthropology, and biology (originally neurosciences, but increasingly now from genetics). What the critics SHOULD say is that theory is not based on experiments. Much of science cannot be investigated experimentally (for example, geology, astronomy, the theory of evolution, etc.).

Not only is my theory based on evidence from science; it can and will be changed on the basis of new scientific evidence. Fifteen years ago I would not have spoken of pedagogical intelligence, but evidence is accruing that the ability to teach is a distinctly human capacity which begins to develop in the first years of life.

4. What are the differences between the intelligences and skills?

I use the word intelligence to designate a broad capacity to compute certain kinds of information in certain kinds of ways. Linguistic intelligence deals with language, whether it is heard or read; spatial intelligence deals with the capacity to locate oneself or objects in space, which can be a small space (like a chess board or a piece of sculpture) or a much larger space, the realm of navigators or architects. Each of these intelligences involves a multitude of skills. There is no tension between ‘intelligence’ and ‘skills.’ It is a question of grain-size: many skills can constitute an intelligence.

People often ask about the relation between intelligences and talents. You can use either term, but I use intelligence, because it is important to indicate that being good with music or with understanding other people is every bit as important, and quite separate from, the ability to do math or to use ordinary language to communicate.

Categories: Blog

Publicity for The App Generation

October 14, 2015 - 12:02pm

Howard Gardner and Katie Davis’s book The App Generation continues to be referenced in the press two years after its release. In September-October 2015, the following publications featured the book in articles about the effects of digital technology on society:

Sherry Turkle’s op-ed in the New York Times about the psychological results of omnipresent digital devices cites Gardner and Davis’s use of the term “app generation” to refer to the impatient, app-driven instincts of many young people today

-A Sentinel & Enterprise columnist references The App Generation in a discussion about how smartphones are influencing youth today (although somewhat oversimplifying the argument of the book, which does not advocate that such technology be “quarantined” but instead used smartly)

-A presentation in Trinidad and Tobago incorporated ideas from the book in a talk for business managers who want to further understand generational differences, as reported by The Guardian Trinidad and Tobago

-The constraining tendencies of social media and online tools on the reformulation of young people’s identities was the focus of a Pickens Sentinel article that focuses on The App Generation‘s argument

Click any of the links above to read the full text.

To learn more about The App Generation, including ordering information, visit theappgenerationbook.com.

Categories: Blog

The Reggio Emilia Approach to Education

October 1, 2015 - 8:54am

Sweden’s Reggio Emilia Institutet has published an interview with Howard Gardner in the Fall 2015 edition of its magazine Modern Barndom (English: Modern Childhood). 

In this article, Gardner discusses and shares insights about the educational approach of the Italian city Reggio Emilia and the collaboration between Reggio Emilia and Harvard’s Project Zero. 

Click here to see a PDF of the article in Swedish. The original English interview questions and answers have been reprinted below.

1. What do you think is the most important contribution that Reggio Emilia has had on the educational landscape?

A: I am going to challenge the premise of this question. Over the last 50 years, the educators in Reggio Emilia have developed an entire approach to the education of young children, which is also reflected in the values and the mode of operation of the city of Reggio Emilia. To ask for the most important contribution is like asking what is the most important feature of a democracy and how is it realized in Sweden (or in New Zealand or in a New England town meeting). It is the whole approach that is the “contribution.”

I would add that many persons and places take a superficial approach to Reggio Emilia and just copy one feature, like ‘projects’ or ‘reflection’ or ‘listening’ or having a ‘pedagogista.’ What I like about Sweden is that educators in your country have taken the whole approach seriously, realizing that it takes time to construct and must be continuously monitored and adjusted. I often joke that Reggio is really located in Sweden, not in Italy.

2. Have your experiences with Reggio Emilia had any impact on your own research? If so, in what ways?

A: I don’t do research with young children. In fact, at present, I am carrying out a large research project with students at the university. But I can say that my over 30 years of visiting Reggio have affected profoundly my understanding of young children, of their teachers, and of the possibilities of the pedagogical environment. For me, and for others like my teacher Jerome Bruner, time in the Reggio preschools has opened our eyes to potentials that we had not appreciated before. When I first visited Reggio, I had young children, but I was quite naive about their individual potentials and how they could interact with peers and elders. Now, I have young grandchildren, and I think that I have much greater insights into their potentials of understanding, listening, creating, cooperating, and relating positively to their broader community.

3. In what way do you think you and your research have had an impact on Reggio Emilia?

A: I think that Loris Malaguzzi, the principal architect of the Reggio approach during the early years, found my general approach to children sympathetic (I am very interested in the visual arts, for example, and I am a follower of John Dewey and democratic education) and thought that my idea of’multiple intelligences might connect to his “hundred languages of children.” That said, I don’t think that my own ideas have been necessary for Reggio Emilia’s approach.

On the other hand, twenty years ago, I arranged with an American foundation to provide support for Reggio Emilia, in the wake of Malaguzzi’s untimely death. That support enabled a longtime relationship between Reggio Emilia and Harvard’s Project Zero (PZ), a research group that I then directed and have been involved with for nearly 50 years. The interactions between Reggio Emilia and PZ have been mutually beneficial. Not only have we helped Reggio to understand and explain to others what is most distinctive about the enterprise (see question #1); our working together has opened up connections to networks of researchers and practitioners all around the world, from the Lemshaga School outside Stockholm to the Early Model Learning Center in Washington, D.C., to connections with the LEGO Foundation. I would like to think that our two organizations can be key players in facilitating a more progressive, democratic, and caring education for young children, at a time when too much focus around the world falls on test preparation, national rankings, shoving the curriculum of school into the preschool years, and focusing on science, mathematics and engineering, to the exclusion of the arts, humanities, and interpretive disciplines.

4. Does a dialogue continue between you and PZ on the one hand and Reggio Emilia on the other?

A: There is a continuing dialogue between key figures in the Reggio network, both in Italy and elsewhere, including Sweden, and several researchers at Harvard Project Zero (including Mara Krechevsky, Steve Seidel, Melissa Rivard, Daniel Wilson, Ben Mardell, and others, including me). We correspond regularly and take advantage of opportunities to meet (e.g. at the LEGO Conference in May, where Carlina Rinaldi won the LEGO prize; or in Boston in May, when Tiziana Filippini was awarded an honorary degree at Wheelock College). I can say that our relations with our Reggio Emilia colleagues have been formative and transformative for how we at Project Zero think about young children (and, in an extension of Reggio work, with older children as well). I hope that the interactions with our research group have been fruitful as well for the educational pioneers and architects in Reggio Emilia.

Categories: Blog

Gardner Interviewed by Faculti Media

September 21, 2015 - 11:16am

Short interviews with Howard Gardner on his books The App Generation and Frames of Mind have been released by Faculti Media.

Faculti Media is a company that produces concise videos of experts from across the academic landscape discussing their research and ideas. Watch Gardner’s two videos below via YouTube to learn more about his work on both of these important texts!

The App Generation:

Frames of Mind:

Categories: Blog

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