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5 Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner

Why Does Professor Gardner believe our future requires these 5 minds?

Video: 5 Minds For The Future by Howard Gardner

Individuals without one or more disciplines will not be able to succeed at any demanding workplace and will be restricted to menial tasks.

Individuals without creating capabilities will be replaced by computers and will drive away those who do have the creative spark.

Individuals without ethics will yield a world devoid of decent workers And responsible citizens none of us will want to live on the desolute planet.

Individuals without synthesizing capabilities will be overwhelmed by information and unable to make judicious decisions about personal or professional matters.

Individuals without respect will not be worthy of respect by others and will poison the workplace and the commons.

The Disciplinary Mind

“Mastery of at least one way of thinking a distinctive mode of cognition that characterizes a specific scholarly discipline, craft, or profession.” (Gardner, pg.3)

Confirmed by numerous studies, to master a discipline requires at least 10 years of study and practice.
Confirmed by numerous studies, to master a requires at least 10 years of study “Students discipline must see information not as an end and practice.

in itself or as a stepping stone to more advanced types of information, but rather a information means tonot a better practice.” “Students must see as an end in itself or as a stepping stone to more (Gardner, pg. 30) A vital reason for work in disciplinary knowledge is as A vital reason for work in disciplinary the desire to the learner gains more understanding, knowledge is as the learner gains more learn more becomes athe yearning. Confirmed by understanding, desire to learn more numerousbecomes studies, to master a discipline requires at a yearning. least 10 years of study and practice.
advanced types of information, but rather a means to a better practice.” (Gardner, pg. 30)

4 Essential Steps to a Disciplined Mind

“Identify truly important topics or concepts within the discipline

Spend a significant amount of time on this topic.”

“Approach the topic in a number of ways.” (This is where this mind encounters Gardener’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences)

“Most important, set up ‘performances of under-standing’ and give students opportunities to perform their under-standings under a variety of conditions.

(Gardner, Pgs 32-34)

The Other Kind of Discipline
“An individual is disciplined to the extent that she has acquired the habits that allow her to make steady and essentially unending progress to the mastery of a skill.” (Gardner, pg. 40)

Extraordinary Examples of the Disciplinary Minds:
Marie Curie
• Famous for her work with radioactivity • Discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium • 1st person to be a recipient of 2 Nobel Prizes (1903 &1911) in Physics and in Chemistry

The Synthesizing Mind

“Takes information from disparate sources, understands and evaluates that information objectively, and puts it together in ways that make sense to the synthesizer and also to other persons.” (Gardner, pg.3)

Kinds of Synthesis


Extraordinary Examples of the Synthesizing Minds:
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

•German poet, dramatist, novelist, politician, and scientist •Considered Germany’s first “Public Intellectual”

The Creating Mind

“It brings forth new ideas, poses unfamiliar questions, conjures up fresh ways of thinking, arrives at unexpected answers.” (pg.3)

Extraordinary Examples of the Creating Minds:

Martha Graham
(1894-1991) American dancer, choreographer,

and teacher, was a world leading innovator of modern dance. Founder of: Dance Repertory Theater in New York; Bennington School of Arts at Bennington College in Vermont, and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York

Bill Gates
Co-founder of Microsoft Software Company Philanthropist in areas of global health and learning Self-made billionaire.

The Respectful Mind

“Responding sympathetically and constructively to differences among groups; seeking to understand and work with those who are different; extending beyond mere tolerance and political correctness.” (Gardner, pg.157)

“Messages of respect or disrespect, tolerance or intolerance are signaled throughout a society.” (Gardner, pg. 111)

Extraordinary Examples of the Respectful Mind:

Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project “I have always been more curious as to what joins people together rather than what seperates them.” -Yo Yo Ma

The Ethical Mind

“Abstracting crucial features of one’s role at work and one’s role as a citizen and acting consistently with those conceptualizations; striving toward good work and good citizenship.” (pg.158)

We as educators cannot guide children to good work because the children do not know what work they will be doing in the future. But as role models we can provide the examples to grow to the ethical mind of good work.

A good worker sets doctrine and guidelines that she can state clearly and thinks about them incessantly as she works. She checks with others to make sure she is following them and makes corrections if necessary. Work is done out in the open for review and the worker avoids hypocrisy by following the guidelines throughout.

Timeline for 5 Minds in Formal Education


“Creativity goes hand in glove with disciplinary thinking.” (Gardner Pg. 162)

Ellis, K. (Director). (2007). A Night In the Global Village: Heifer Ranch [Online video]. George Lucus Education Foundation. Retrieved June 18, 2009, from Forehand, M. (2005). Bloom’s taxonomy: Original and Revised. In M.Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology, Retrieved on June 6, 2009, from

Gardner, H. (2008). 5 Minds for the Future. Boston: Harvard Business Press.
Gardner, H. (Director). (2009). 5 Minds for the Future [Online video]. Usable Knowledge Harvard Graduate School. Retrieved June 16, 2009,from Ma, Y. (2009). Silk Road Project. Retrieved June 16, 2009, from