In this week’s reading, Howard Gardner talks about how, people as consumers, as readers, as thinkers, as creators, how they’ll be able to adapt and survive the upcoming era’s – especially in the digital landscape, and what they must do for them to do so. As a trained psychologist, and with a background in cognitive science and neuroscience, he used five dramatis personae in order to equip a person how to deal with what is expected, and what is anticipated.
These five persona’s are: the disciplined mind, knows how to work steadily over time to improve skill and understanding; the synthesizing mind, takes information from disparate sources. understands and evaluates that information objectively, and puts it together in a way that makes sense to the synthesizer and also to other persons; the creating mind, putting forward new ideas, posing unfamiliar questions, conjuring up fresh ways of thinking, and arriving at unexpected answers; the respectful mind, notes and welcomes the differences between human groups, and tries to understand these “others”, and seeks to work effectively with them; and the ethical mind, ponders the nature of one’s work and the needs and desires of the society in which one lives.
According to Gardner, these five minds exceed that of the cognitive spectrum, “in a sense that they are comprehensive, global.”
Education is inherently and inevitably an issue of human goals and human values.
Gardner also talked about the limits of science and technology, and how “one cannot begin to develop an educational system unless one has in mind the knowledge and skills that one values, and the kind of individuals one hopes will emerge at the end of the day.” He mentions that it is not an uneasy thing to do to state educational goals in this day and age, and hence why he came up with two caveats for these.
First: science can never constitute a sufficient education. He says that science and technology does not have a built-in value system in that, science cannot tell you what to do in the workplace or in class.
Second: science – even with engineering, technology, and mathematics thrown in – is not the only, and not even the important, are of knowledge. Other areas of discipline and study – social science, humanities, arts, ethics, health, civility, civics, training of one’s body – also need to have an equal amount of hours within the educational curriculum.