Justin Davis and I were asked to pose a question or two about Gardner’s 5 Minds for the Future, to give us something to think about as we read and prepare for our next meeting (April 25th). I’ll get us started:
What should a list of different ‘minds’ include?
Are there 5?
Does Gardner make the right choices?
In his own words: “Why these five particular minds? Could the list be readily changed or extended?” (p3)
Edit: Reading Assignment
Just a reminder of the reading assignment for our meeting 3/25/11:
Select one of the ‘five minds’ and read that one chapter in depth, choose one point that you found most valuable and be prepared to share with the group.
Like author of 5 Minds for the Future Howard Gardner, I’m not sure any of us would have become educators if we didn’t recognize the value learning, or the power of an education. In his book, Gardner proposes 5 minds that should be cultivated; he argues those minds should be disciplined, synthesizing, creating, respectful, and ethical.
In preparation for our discussion on the text next week, we thought we’d open this space for you to post both questions and responses about the book. As Jonas mentioned, I suppose one question to posit might be: “What other minds might there be?”
Aside from specific minds, I was left with the sense that Gardner spent more time identifying issues with the “early education” system than with education at the collegiate level. I’m wondering if anyone else was shared this reading of Gardner’s book. If most of his issues lie in early education or, to rephrase, if it’s early education that “breaks” incoming college students, then I wonder 1) can we fix 12 years of misdirection in 2-4 years, and 2) how do we do it? My sense is that part of our charge as Title 5 fellows is to address these issues.
I also wonder about our own student body. It’s one thing to talk in esoteric and broad strokes about what we need to do to cultivate eager, hungry, and eternally inquisitive minds. It’s another thing entirely to apply this theoretical generality to our students at NYCCT. I’m not suggesting that our students are incapable of becoming the renaissance people that Gardner idealizes. I hope our students do realize that potential. We should all be so lucky. The reality, however, is that some of our students face enormous obstacles–some students share those stories and some do not.
How do we address issues of a changing world for our students? How do we provide them with meaningful contexts? How do we provide them with both formal and informal learning opportunities? How do we get them to recognize that learning should be something that never ends and can be, dare I say, fun?!?!?! How do we teach them that perspectives, like light bulbs, have the potential to simultaneously illuminate certain areas or questions, while keeping others in the shadows? How do we model intellectual curiosity, academic rigor, and professionalism for our students? And for our students, how do we foster a safe space for them to focus, when they may be dealing with situations in their personal lives that are unknown, inconceivable, or foreign to us?
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