Five Minds For The Future

Five Minds For The Future

This week’s reading from Howard Gardner explores future thinking, and ways in which our education in both the formal sense and within workplaces, must shift in order to flourish in the new world.

Gardner breaks this down to five types of minds; disciplined, synthesising, creating, respectful and ethical. This was a useful tool for understanding how we might approach specific work skills, problem-solving and innovation. I also thought the inclusion of respectful and ethical minds to be an important one that is often overlooked. We put so much emphasis on success being dependent on passion or skill, and we forget the significance of conducting oneself with understanding and morals.

I found Gardner’s explanation of the synthesising mind to be particularly pertinent, having just spent the last few weeks writing a research report which required me to do just that. Sifting through the vast vast array of information, research papers, scholarly articles and varied opinions readily available on the internet was overwhelming to say the least. How we then synthesise this information into some kind of coherent and enlightening report therein lies the challenge, a good exercise in practicing these skills. I feel the synthesising mind will be one in particular that will be utilised a lot throughout our media careers.

The emphasis on science and technology also felt like it hit home a bit given my recent work on the research report, which explored the changing media environments through the advent of different technological advances. And I have to agree with the importance of being able to think scientifically and to be literate in technology. Yet Gardner does well to ensure that this doesn’t come at the cost of humanities and the arts either.

Lastly, the article explores notions of globalisation and our present education system. Gardner states; “I believe that current formal education still prepares students primarily for the world of the past, rather than for possible worlds of the future” (p. 17). This is truly staggering in its honesty and truth; why we have not realigned learning outcomes and ways of teaching to better coincide with our changing world is kind of mind boggling. A well educated population is the only way in which we can hope to progress and evolve on this planet.