Five Minds For the Future proposes a new approach to understanding the human intellect is needed if society is to ‘thrive in the world during the eras to come’. Gardner labels each of the following mindsets as; ‘disciplined, synthesizing, creating, respectful and ethical’, a collection of mindsets in which combine human intelligence based on knowledge, data and skill absorption and consideration of human values. Applying these mindsets to the digitally enhanced social and economic landscapes of today, this chapter addresses the outdated nature of today’s educational systems. Gardner discusses the idea of injecting these ‘five minds’ into modern education systems to enable our future leaders to ‘thrive in a world different from one ever known or even imagined before’.
Despite Gardner’s extensive experience in cognitive and neuro sciences providing a quantified scientific and scholarly spin on what is posed as ‘critical’ in the continuation global development, the ‘five minds’ outlined in this chapter sound more like embellished re-labeling of ordinary self-development goals than revolutionary tools for the future. Whilst I agree that an education system focused too heavily on science and technology could present harmful outcomes, I can confidently say Gardner has been unsuccessfully in converting me to the ‘5 minds’ approach.
Due to the rapid improvements in digital technology we have experienced in the past decade and are continuing to experience today, technology has become engrained in our personal lives, consumerist behavior, health and education and employment opportunities. As a result of this, it is essential that educational programs be continually being redeveloped to incorporate the demands for digital literacy outside of the schoolyard. Undoubtedly the ‘5 five minds’ proposed in this chapter are applicable and would be highly advantageous throughout the development of digital literacy and within digital environments, yet I feel unconvinced these concepts have not been applicable all along.