Week 6: Howard Gardner – Minds Viewed Globally: A Personal Introduction

The final reading for this subject functions as a nice bookend to the exploration of the potential future landscape of the media industry. Throughout ‘Mind Viewed Globally’ in Five Minds For The Future, Howard Gardner more broadly presents an analysis of the future environment not specific to the media industry, but rather the human race. As the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Howard Gardner writes this text from the perspective of a psychologist trained in cognitive science and neuroscience. Gardner hypothesises about the mental traits that humans will need to obtain in order to combat the onslaught of technology and in turn survive as a species. Gardner denotes five different encompassing groups of such traits, which he refers to as brains (ways of thinking). The first is the disciplinary mind, which refers to the mastery of schools of thought. Secondly, the synthesizing mind refers to the ability to being together ideas from different places. Thirdly, the creating mind is the ability to break new ground. Furthermore, the respectful mind dictates the inclination to appreciate differences between people. Finally, the ethical mind refers to the drive to identify, as well as fulfil individual responsibilities.

Although confusing at first, I understand the purpose of this text as to identify the areas to focus on in relation to the development of the brains of our potential future leaders. This text is therefore designed for the use of teachers, parents, trainers, politicians, etc. so that by ensuring the aforementioned aspects are integrated within the development and education of the world’s young minds, we as a species will be able to provide something greater than the machines and robots of the future. Since our group research topic is exploring human agency amongst the onslaught of technology, this reading becomes useful in the way of speculating how the human race could ensure human agency prevails against technology – by educating the collective with regard to Gardner’s ‘five minds’. For further information demonstrating the prevalence of discussion surrounding survival of the human race against technology, as well as ideas of the contrary, see this Daily Mail article, where Stephen Hawking discusses the extinction of the human race at the mercy of technology.

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