Tuesday Is the Cultural Capital! — Howard Gardner, Seth Godin, and the Idea/Practice of Learning

This one’s a three-parter for you.

Part I

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First off, watch the above little clip. (If you’ve got headphones, you can do it in class. If not, you can do it at home.) It’s a short interview with Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychology professor who pioneered the concept of “Multiple Intelligences.”

Here’s a link to an overview of the theory, but basically Gardner believes there are nine different kinds of intelligence, two of which — Linguistic and Logical-Mathematical — are privileged over the others in most conventional educational settings. Gardner believes that  — the 2/9ths-ness of it — is a pretty major shortcoming in the way we understand and approach teaching and learning.

In other words, according to Gardner, it’s not so much if you’re smart or not and whether there’s a single standardized test that can measure how smart you really are. It’s more about how you are smart and how the different ways of understanding the world interact and intersect, both within and between individuals.

Part II

Then, below, you’ll find a longer video of Gardner talking about a more recent concept he’s been working on: Five Minds for the Future. Here’s a complementary interview in which Gardner discusses the concept and its implications for teaching and learning. Both the interview and the talk are really interesting (to me, anyway).

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Part III

And then there’s this:

Read these two blog posts, written by Seth Godin (someone I’ve mentioned in passing before), about what he thinks about teaching and learning:

We’ll talk about all of this next Tuesday (which, if you’re scoring at home, is one week from this very day.) I’d like for you to think about two larger questions as you watch and read and consider:

  • Where do you fit yourself in all this? (That is: what are your intelligences? Which “frame(s) of mind” are you drawn to? Are you better at obedience or self-control (or none of the above)?)
  • How do these ideas influence your approach to teaching and learning? (And/or if they don’t influence your approach to teaching/learning now, do you think they will in the future? How/why/why not?)

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