The brilliant educator who revolutionized our thinking with his theory of multiple intelligences now offers a far-reaching work on the goals of education.
Howard Gardner's concept of multiple intelligences has been hailed as perhaps the most profound insight into education since the work of Jerome Bruner, Jean Piaget, and, even earlier, John Dewey. Now in The Disciplined Mind, Gardner pulls together the threads of his previous works in a major new synthesis aimed at parents, educators, and the general public alike. The Disciplined Mind looks beyond such parochial issues as charters, vouchers, unions, and affirmative action in order to explore the larger questions of what an educated person should be and how such an education can be achieved for all students. Gardner eloquently argues that the purpose of K-12 education should be to enhance students' deep understanding of truth (and falsity), beauty (and ugliness), and goodness (and evil) as defined by their various cultures. With this stance, Gardner transforms the tired debate between "traditionalists" and "progressives."
In The Disciplined Mind, Gardner explores the theory of evolution, the music of Mozart, and the lessons of the Holocaust as a revealing set of examples that illuminates the nature of truth, beauty, and morality. His ultimate goal is an educated citizenry that understands the physical world, the biological world, and the social world -- in a personal context as well as from a broader social and cultural perspective. Light-years away from the fact-based, standardized-test mentality that has gripped the public and the policy makers, the education Gardner envisions will help younger generations rise to the challenges of the future -- while preserving the traditional goals of a "humane" education.
Even as he persuasively argues the merits of his educational approach, Gardner recognizes the difficulty of ever developing one universal ideal form of education. In an effort to reconcile conflicting educational viewpoints, he proposes the creation of six different educational pathways that, when taken together, could satisfy people's concern for student learning and their widely divergent views of what knowledge and understanding should be.