Week 6 Reading Response

Howard Gardner, the author of ‘Five Minds For The Future’ (2007), is a researcher in psychology, who, in this book, looks forward to the future, in order to predict the ways our brains may need to develop. In his chapter ‘Minds Viewed Globally’, he introduces his ‘five minds’. They are:

  • The disciplined mind: which ‘knows how to work steadily over time to improve skill and understanding’.
  • The synthesising mind: that gathers material or information from various places and sources and collates these findings.
  • The creating mind: which breaks new ground in innovation.
  • The respectful mind: that ‘notes and welcomes differences between human individuals’, and,
  • The ethical mind: which analyses the ways that humans may be able to better the world.

Gardner’s concern is ‘to convince [readers] of the need to cultivate these minds and illustrate the best ways to do so…’, in order for people to stay current and thrive in the future. He believes that education is at the root of preparing people for their futures and thus, the education system should be doing more to include these ‘five minds’ into their curriculum. I agree with Gardner in that primary and secondary school teachers have been doing the same thing for a long time…too long. For example, recitation is a very simple way to learn and has been common practice for educational institutions for centuries, however, studies have shown that students cannot retain information through that process for much longer than a few days. Gardner comments that: ‘at the start of the third millennium, we live at a time of vast changes’. Hence, I think that education needs to change with the times and educators should not be afraid of these changes. They need to adopt new technologies into their teaching practices, so that their students do not fall behind in the future.

When hiring, Gardner asserts that employers will/should be basing their decisions on the ‘five minds’ and will/should be searching for individuals who have cultivated all five of them. Thus, teachers need to be helping students to grow these five minds, so that they will be eligible for the jobs of the future.


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