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The Development and Education of the Mind: The Selected Works of Howard Gardner

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Leading American psychologist and educator Howard Gardner has assembled his most important writings about education. Spanning over thirty years, this collection reveals the thinking, the concepts and the empirical research that have made Gardner one of the most respected and cited educational authorities of our time. Trained originally as a psychologist at Harvard Universit Leading American psychologist and educator Howard Gardner has assembled his most important writings about education. Spanning over thirty years, this collection reveals the thinking, the concepts and the empirical research that have made Gardner one of the most respected and cited educational authorities of our time. Trained originally as a psychologist at Harvard University, Howard Gardner begins with personal sketches and tributes to his major teachers and mentors. He then presents the work for which he is best-known - the theory of multiple intelligences - including a summary of the original theory and accounts of how it has been updated over the years. Other seminal papers featured include: education in the arts the nature of understanding powerful ways in which to assess learning broad statements about the educational enterprise how education is likely to evolve in the globalised world of the twenty-first century.


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Leading American psychologist and educator Howard Gardner has assembled his most important writings about education. Spanning over thirty years, this collection reveals the thinking, the concepts and the empirical research that have made Gardner one of the most respected and cited educational authorities of our time. Trained originally as a psychologist at Harvard Universit Leading American psychologist and educator Howard Gardner has assembled his most important writings about education. Spanning over thirty years, this collection reveals the thinking, the concepts and the empirical research that have made Gardner one of the most respected and cited educational authorities of our time. Trained originally as a psychologist at Harvard University, Howard Gardner begins with personal sketches and tributes to his major teachers and mentors. He then presents the work for which he is best-known - the theory of multiple intelligences - including a summary of the original theory and accounts of how it has been updated over the years. Other seminal papers featured include: education in the arts the nature of understanding powerful ways in which to assess learning broad statements about the educational enterprise how education is likely to evolve in the globalised world of the twenty-first century.

41 review for The Development and Education of the Mind: The Selected Works of Howard Gardner

  1. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    If you were to do a teaching course in Australia you are very likely to come out of that course knowing the names of a few education theorists and should probably be able to speak for a couple of minutes on each of them. Vygotski, Bloom, Piaget, Dewey, Bandura and Freire are some of the names it would be virtually impossible to receive a teaching qualification in Australia without ever having heard of. And this guy – Howard Gardner – would also be in probably the top three you are most likely to If you were to do a teaching course in Australia you are very likely to come out of that course knowing the names of a few education theorists and should probably be able to speak for a couple of minutes on each of them. Vygotski, Bloom, Piaget, Dewey, Bandura and Freire are some of the names it would be virtually impossible to receive a teaching qualification in Australia without ever having heard of. And this guy – Howard Gardner – would also be in probably the top three you are most likely to hear about. Although, pretty well the only thing you will be likely to say about him is ‘multiple intelligences’. Now, the odd thing about the theorists you are most likely to hear about in a pre-service teaching course is that this will be virtually the last time you are ever likely to hear about these guys again if you decide to go further. I have a very clear memory of mentioning to a lecturer in the last year of my Masters that something that had happened in the class she was giving was very similar to a prediction of Bloom’s in his taxonomy and, from the expression on her face, you might have thought I had farted. I’ve always thought Gardner a bit of a lightweight – in the sense that I could never work out whether his multiple intelligences said too little or too much. People learn stuff in different ways hardly seems like an earth shattering revelation. But even so, what are you going to do with that piece of information? However, as with most people, I’d never read him in the original, only through commentaries on his work, and so my simplified version of what he had to say was a product of other simplified versions of his work – a kind of string of Chinese whispers of people seeking to make him clear to a novice audience and going perhaps a little too far in the direction of simplifying for clarity while forsaking nuance. That said, I have to say this guy doesn’t exactly need help in simplify his work for a lay audience – he writes, at least in this collection – clearly and to the point. There really is no need for someone to ‘explain’ his work, he does this himself with aplomb and flair. The first part of this book is a selection of essays on Gardner’s heroes – particularly interesting is the essay on Piaget, whom Gardner sees as one of the greatest thinkers ever to have concerned themselves with the problem of education, even if Gardner has striking differences of opinion with him – which, of course, is the highest compliment you can pay another thinker in may ways. There is a tradition in education theory that perhaps started with Plato, but certainly with Rousseau and his Emile that runs through Dewey to Piaget and Vygotski and then on to Gardner that sees the point of education as the need to focus on the child and their needs and individual learning styles. It is the view that in trying to teach you need to focus on where the child is at and how best to frame what the child is to learn so that they can most readily understand. Gardner is particularly interested in this notion. For Gardner, the child is an individual and tailoring the learning situation to fit the child’s needs is the primary role of educators. As he is frequently at pains to point out, his theories are reacting to notions of ‘general intelligence’. That is, that children are born with a more or less fixed quantity of intelligence. Intelligence is something that is very hard to define, but it often gets defined (if somewhat cynically) as ‘that which intelligence tests measure’. There are many racist, sexist and classist assumptions that end up getting associated with this idea of general and fixed intelligences. It is not too hard to see that if you want to present our grossly inequitable society as being just and a meritocracy, then having some notion of ‘intelligence’ that is fixed in all those sections of society that do so badly out of the system, presents a pretty convenient explanation for why gross inequality is a natural outcome of ‘merit’. That is, the losers and the winners are only getting their just deserts. Gardner’s view is that our society, and the education system in particular, privileges particular kinds of intelligence– logical, mathematical, linguistic. But there are clearly other kinds of intelligence that don’t really get a look in when these are the only intelligences considered important. Gardner’s major categories of intelligence are eightfold: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. He argues there could be even more of these intelligences, his point is that each intelligence needs to be more or less independent of the others and that there needs to be a good evolutionary reason for them being part of the human armory. So, really he doesn’t have an upper limit on how many intelligences there has to be – rather he is arguing against the idea of a single intelligence and therefore, and more importantly, a single way of learning. What IQ tests illuminate is, as I said above, linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. It could be that this is the most easily tested – so that what we have taken for ‘intelligence’ up until now has been defined as ‘that which is particularly easy to test’. Gardner’s point is that even as a society we don’t merely reward a single ‘intelligence’ – many sports people (with an abundance of his bodily-kinesthetic intelligence) earn much more than most physicists, which is also probably true of most pop stars (rich in his musical intelligence) – so, limiting intelligence to what IQ tests test doesn’t even make a lot of sense. There are, naturally enough, many problematic readings of Gardner’s research. Not least is the idea that people have only ever one of these ‘intelligences’ and that they learn best be having that appealed to. Gardner is very specific about this – he says someone that only had one of these intelligences would be a freak, no matter which intelligence it was – think of how Sherlock Holmes or Dr Spock in Star Trek are portrayed. Gardner is keenly aware that he is not a teacher (in fact, the book that made him famous ‘Frames of Mind’ was not really written for educators and he was surprised when it became quite so popular among teachers) – but if his ideas are about anything, they are about stressing the individual nature and thus the situatedness of the learning experience. He really isn’t presenting a set of rules – a ‘method’ – but rather is giving us almost a call to differentiate teaching and learning with reference to the students and their skills and abilities so that teaching best meets the needs of those being taught. As he points out repeatedly, many teachers believe that because they have taught a really brilliant lesson there has been equally brilliant learning going on too. But, as he says, for each of kids that are nodding, just as many might have been nodding off. Gardner is particularly concerned with what he sees as the ‘pact’ that exists between teachers and students – that is, I’ll teach you stuff, then I’ll ask you questions in a particularly standardised way so that you will be able to respond by following a kind of algorithm that I have taught according to. If you get the right answer, I will say you have understood and everyone will be happy. The problem is, as he points out, that you can ask physics students questions like ‘explain the forces acting on a tossed coin’ or ‘why is it hotter in summer than in winter?’ and they are likely to answer like a five year old – a force acts on the coin until that force basically runs out – right at the top of its flight path – and then, exhausted, it falls to the ground or to explain summer, it is hotter in the summertime because the earth is closer to the sun. Both of these answers are completely wrong – the only force acting on the coin after you flick it is gravity, and it is contantly pulling it towards the earth. And summer isn’t warmer than winter because the earth isn’t closer to the sun then – because when it is summertime in one part of the world it is wintertime in another, which would mean the earth would need to be both closer and further way from the sun at the same time. Rather, it is the fact that the earth is tilted in such a way that it shows more of one hemisphere at one part of the year than another times that explains the seasons. The point is, our education system doesn’t encourage deep learning or understanding about what is taught – rather it encourages students to provide ‘correct’ answers. This is a similar point to that made by Hegel when he differentiated between the true and the correct. The correct is pretty much what you get once you have rote learnt something – 7x7=49 say. If you were like me and learnt your multiplication tables as a chant, then it is hard to say you really ‘knew’ these answers as true. However, when someone asks you, ‘what does seven times seven equal?’ you are able to recite the correct answer. Much of school is about this kind of ‘knowing’. However, it is very hard to apply this kind of ‘knowing’ in new and novel ways. For that you really need a deep understanding of why something is the right answer, not just what the answer is. It is not enough to be ‘correct’ you need to know why something is ‘true’. Schools, particularly now that education is obsessively assessed by standardized testing practices and when they have a very crowded curriculum, rarely teaches for deep learning. So, it is focused much more on the ‘correct’ rather than the ‘true’. Is it any wonder schools in the US spend months, particularly in poorer areas, forcing kids to repeatedly practice multiple choice tests? A skill, of course, they will never again use once they leave school. The book ends with suggestions on how assessment can be done (should be done) better than this and that means, all of the time. However, the assessment Gardner is referring to means something quite different to the high stakes tests that are cheap and terrifying and currently dominating many parts of the ‘Anglo-sphere’. Rather, assessment should be – to use another teaching cliché – assessment for learning, assessment as learning and assessment of learning, that is, assessment that focuses on how well children are learning and therefore how best to teach them to continue their learning. In the very last chapter he talks about an instance where his theory was distorted beyond recognition in a set of teaching materials supposedly based on his theories that was released in Australia that grouped various ethnic groups here according to their supposed stereotypical intelligences and preferences. As I said at the start of this, it is all too easy to overly simplify anyone’s ideas, but the point made by Gardner is not that one ought to force people into 8 boxes (much like the Myers Briggs model) rather than the original two boxes IQ tests dump people into – where you either have a decent IQ and can be happy or you don’t and then, well, bad luck. Rather we need to be aware of how people go about learning in classrooms and that if we want to ensure we are getting through to as many of those students as possible we ought to find ways to make what we are saying as clear to as many of them as we can. Having a kind of checklist of different ways that people learn can’t hurt in making our lessons maximally interesting to everyone. This was much more interesting than I thought it was going to be.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nina Wainiqolo

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lucia Capece

  6. 4 out of 5

    John

  7. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Seefchak

  8. 4 out of 5

    tx

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie Goheen

  10. 4 out of 5

    Silvian Iacob

  11. 4 out of 5

    Donna Parker

  12. 4 out of 5

    Salvatore

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dave Barker

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    Simona

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    Elisabetta

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    Marla Singer

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    Liesl

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Rear

  19. 5 out of 5

    Malisha

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Kendrick

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    Jim Dyer

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

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    John Humphrey

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    Altaf Hussain

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

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    Andrea

  27. 5 out of 5

    James

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ma.vianney M.morales

  29. 5 out of 5

    Myrtede Alfred

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shane Stone

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kitt

  32. 4 out of 5

    Muneera

  33. 5 out of 5

    Nidhi

  34. 4 out of 5

    أسماء ربيع

  35. 4 out of 5

    Gillian Bourassa

  36. 5 out of 5

    Azat Sultanov

  37. 5 out of 5

    Emilia von Turtle

  38. 4 out of 5

    Fredrik Lunde

  39. 5 out of 5

    Rinat Farukshin

  40. 4 out of 5

    Pao

  41. 5 out of 5

    Gary

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