Howard Gardner

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Howard Earl Gardner (born July 11, 1943) is an American developmental psychologist and the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.


  • I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place.
    • Howard Gardner (1983), "Multiple approaches to understanding," in: Charles M. Reigeluth (ed.) Instructional-design Theories and Models: A new paradigm of ..., Volume 2. p. 69-90
  • The biggest mistake of past centuries in teaching has been to treat all children as if they were variants of the same individual, and thus to feel justified in teaching them the same subjects in the same ways.
    • Howard Gardner (in Siegel & Shaughnessy, 1994), quoted in: Cara F. Shores (2011), The Best of Corwin: Response to Intervention, p. 51
  • If you are not prepared to resign or be fired for what you believe in, then you are not a worker, let alone a professional. You are a slave.
    • Howard Gardner, "The Ethical Mind," in: Harvard Business Review, March 2007.
  • Both science and history are moving targets. Scholars in the twenty-first century are much more aware than those of earlier generations that scientists operate under the influence of powerful metaphors (science as exploration, discovery, documentation, thrust and counterthrust), and that both the scope and the tools of history undergo continual changes. Still, most scientists and most historians would concur that the broad strokes I've sketched, when viewed from sufficient distance, are accurately rendered—that is, that science and history are each in pursuit of statements that represent the truths ascertained by their respective disciplines
    • Howard Gardner (2011), Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Age of Truthiness and Twitter, p. 26-27
  • Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader's arsenal.
    • Howard Gardner, cited in: Richard L. Daft (2014), The Leadership Experience, p. 273
  • Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences.
    • Howard Gardner, cited in: Laurie Myers, ‎Joseph Will (2015), Whole Family Learning: Experiences Living and Teaching In China. p. 16

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences., 1983


Howard Gardner, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,

  • There is very little dispute about the principal constituent elements of music, though experts will differ on the precise definitions of each aspect. Most central are 'pitch' (or melody) and 'rhythm'... next in importance only to pitch and rhythm is 'timbre', the characteristic qualities of tone.
    • p.104

Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century, 1999


Howard Gardner (1999) Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York, New York: Basic Books.

  • An a priori decision to eliminate spiritual intelligence from consideration is no more justifiable than a decision to admit it by fiat or on faith. After all, once one includes the understanding of the personal realm within a study of intelligence, such human proclivities as the spiritual must legitimately be considered. There certainly are no easy grounds for a decision, but several other intelligences deal with phenomena other than sheer physical matter. If the abstract realm of mathematics constitutes a reasonable area of intelligence (and few would challenge that judgment), why not the abstract realm of the spiritual?
    • p. 51

Quotes about Howard Gardner

  • Gardner (1999) notes three distinct senses of spiritual intelligence: (1) Spiritual as concerns with cosmic or existential issues; (2) Spiritual as achievement of a state of being; (3) Spiritual as effect on others. Gardner goes on to make an argument that spiritual intelligence would be best served by being called existential intelligence.
    • Charles E. Bonner (2009) From Coercive to Spiritual: What Style of Leadership is Prevalent in K--12 Public Schools? Drexel University. p. 66-67
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