Howard Gardner, fully Howard Earl Gardner

Gardner, fully Howard Earl Gardner

American Developmental Psychologist, Professor at Harvard School of Education

Author Quotes

After early childhood it is indeed appropriate to master literacies and the disciplines. However, even during periods of drill, it is vital to keep open alternative possibilities and to foreground the option of unfettered exploration.

From an early age, children develop stereotypes that seem to be especially flagrant in the area of sex roles and that prove quite resistant to change. Not surprisingly information that conforms to these stereotypes is readily assimilated, but where the stereotypes are countermanded, students may either miss the contrary clues or even deny their own perceptions.

If we were to abandon concern for what is true, what is false, and what remains indeterminate, the world would be totally chaotic. Even those who deny the importance of truth, on the one hand, are quick to jump on anyone who is caught lying.

Now intelligence seemed quantifiable. You could measure someone's actual or potential height, and now, it seemed, you could also measure someone's actual or potential intelligence. We had one dimension of mental ability along which we could array everyone... The whole concept has to be challenged; in fact, it has to be replaced.

The most important thing about assessment is knowing what it is that you should be able to do. And the best way for me to think about it is a child learning a sport or a child learning an art form, because it is completely un-mysterious what you have to be to be a quarterback or a figure skater or a violin player. You see it, you try it out, you're coached, you know when you're getting better, you know how you're doing compared to other kids.

When conceiving of issues in economics, statistics, and other social sciences, one is ? the na‹ve throes of mind constructed during early childhood continue to exert significant power.

Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences.

Here, in brief, is why most standardized measures of learning are of little use; they do not reveal whether the student can actually make use of the classroom material ? the subject matter ? once she steps outside the door.

If, on the other hand, somebody has carried out an experiment himself or herself, analyzed the data, made a prediction, and saw whether it came out correctly, if somebody is doing history and actually does some interviewing himself or herself -- oral histories -- then reads the documents, listens to it, goes back and asks further questions, writes up a paper. That's the kind of thing that's going to adhere, whereas if you simply memorize a bunch of names and a bunch of facts, even a bunch of definitions, there's nothing to hold on to.

One can judge a pattern of behavior as moral, amoral, or immoral only if one is informed about the context in which that thought or action takes place.

There is a risk for the individual who remains forever in training. At a certain moment, she must test her wings and risk flying solo in an often hostile environment.

While I've worked on many topics and written many books, I have not abandoned my interest in multiple intelligences.

Being fast and not very spatial doesn't make you any better in spatial kinds of things; you probably just get the wrong answer more quickly.

I align myself with almost all researchers in assuming that anything we do is a composite of whatever genetic limitations were given to us by our parents and whatever kinds of environmental opportunities are available.

I'm a writer and initially I had to have a lot of feedback from editors, including a lot of rejections, but over time I learned what was important. I learned to edit myself and now the feedback from editors is much less necessary. And I think anybody as an adult knows that as you get to be more expert in things you don't have to do so much external critiquing, you can do what we call self-assessment. And in school, assessment shouldn't be something that's done to you, it should be something where you are the most active agent.

One must exploit the asynchronies that have befallen one, link them to a promising issue or domain, reframe frustrations as opportunities, and, above all, persevere.

Third of all, I think we need to have assessment schemes that really convince everybody that this kind of education is working. And it's no good to have child-centered learning and then have the same, old multiple-choice tests that were used fifty or one-hundred years ago.

With dedicated colleagues, I began to work on the creation of new assessment measures that could be employed throughout the education system?. We soon learned that the conundrum of educational reform is far more complicated, that reform in fact depends equally upon four different nodes: assessment, curriculum, teacher education, and community support.

Broadly speaking, the milieus in which children spend their early years exert a very strong impact on the standards by which they subsequently judge the world around them? Closely related to standards? are an emerging set of beliefs about which behaviors are good and which values are to be cherished. In most cases, these standards initially reflect quite faithfully the value system encountered at home, at church, and at preschool or elementary school. Values with respect to behavior (you should not steal, you should salute the flag) and sets of beliefs (my country, right or wrong, all mommies are perfect, God is monitoring all you actions) often exert a very powerful effect on children?s actions and reactions? Even? when children are not conscious of the? controversy surrounding these beliefs and values, unfortunate clashes may occur when they meet others raised with a contrasting set of values. It is no accident that Lenin and the Jesuits agreed on one precept: Let me have a child until the age of seven, I will have that child for life.

I am knowledgeable enough about the world of prizes to realize that there is a large degree of luck - both for the recognitions that you receive and those that you did not.

In my own view, there are clear differences between child and adult artistic activity. While the child may be aware that he is doing things differently from others, he does not fully appreciate the rules and conventions of symbolic realms; his adventurousness holds little significance. In contrast, the adult artist is fully cognizant of the norms embraced by others; his willingness, his compulsion, to reject convention is purchased, at the very least, with full knowledge of what he is doing and often at considerable psychic cost to himself. As Picasso once remarked, "I used to draw like Raphael, but it has taken me a whole lifetime to learn to draw like a child.

One needs thick skin to withstand the scrutiny that attends almost every breakthrough.

Through a closer look at the young infant, we can best position ourselves to appreciate those constraints and opportunities that are built into the human genes. Initial predisposing factors? lay out the possibilities for the society that would?and perhaps must?educate its offspring.

With respect to the achievement of our goal of student understanding, progressive education may well come closer to the mark than its rivals?. It would be anachronistic to condemn progressive education for a failure to deal with student misconceptions and biases.

But if you really focus on science in that kind of way by the time you go to college -- or, if you don't go to college, by the time you go to the workplace -- you'll know the difference between a statement that is simply a matter of opinion or prejudice and one for which there's solid evidence.

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American Developmental Psychologist, Professor at Harvard School of Education