Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Howard Gardner at Global Ed - Keynote

This was a first: Howard Gardner was interviewed by his son Andrew, for the Global Education conference keynote. There was a nice relaxed relationship between them - but son was asking the questions his dad was wanting to answer - could a more incisive moderator have got more?

Andrew started by asking dad about the distinction between Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences (MI), an issue that was obviously a Gardner hang-up. Originally, MI was NOT an educational theory and he talked about standing back to see where the educators would take MI. He described it as the different things the brain computer did. Learning Styles, however, was a different concept and to him was a particular style, preference or tendency and may cross different Multiple Intelligences. So - LS and MI are not to be confused.

An unkind person would say that as an author-thinker, Gardner did the inevitable promotion of his books, but there were web plugs too, for Project Zero, for example.
He talked about his motivation for working in different areas, and how market forces were taking over as the raison d'etre, how owners of "for-profits cook the books" with little incentive to teach the arts or humanities and other "soft" areas.
He also talked about the Good Work project and which composed of the following
  • Technically excellent
  • Personally engaging
  • Carried out in an ethical way.
Digital age questions that Gardner raised:
  • What does identity mean online?
  • What about privacy?
  • Ownership of authorship?
  • How do you determine trustworthyness and credibility?
  • What does it mean in the digital era to participate in the community?
Common Sense Media was a curriculum based upon the five points above, and the ethical guidebook from the Good Play project called OurSpace.

Quotation: People have always been greedy but there has not been so many ways to be greedy. Alan Greenspan

And from his book Five Minds for the Future:
  • The Disciplinary Mind
  • The Synthesizing Mind
  • The Creating Mind
  • The Respectful Mind
  • The Ethical Mind
Spoke about the Tea Party and Occuply Wall Street groups as what happens when large group of population feel that they are not being listened to. But these two groups are not forming a conversation, just extremes.

So, although intersting, nothing particularly new.

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