Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He is also senior director of Project Zero, an educational research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education dedicated to understanding and enhancing learning and thinking. Dr. Gardner is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences, a critique of the notion that a single human intelligence exists that can be assessed by standard psychometric instruments, which he outlined in his breakthrough book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983). During the past three decades, Dr. Gardner has been heavily involved in school reform efforts in the United States. He and colleagues at Project Zero have been working on the design of performance-based assessments, education for understanding, and the use of multiple intelligences to achieve more personalized curricula, instruction, and assessment. Over the years, Project Zero has maintained a strong research commitment in the arts while gradually expanding its concerns to include education across all disciplines—not just for the individual, but for whole classrooms, schools, and other educational and cultural organizations. Much of his work takes place in American public schools, particularly those that serve disadvantaged populations.
In the mid-1990s, Dr. Gardner began conducting intensive case studies of exemplary creators and leaders. With psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon, he launched The Good Project, a group of initiatives that promote excellence, engagement, and ethics in education. Through research-based concepts, frameworks, and resources, the project helps students to reflect on the ethical dilemmas that arise in everyday life and gives them the tools to make thoughtful decisions, preparing them to be good citizens who contribute to the overall well-being of society. Dr. Gardner’s research with The Good Project has also focused on pre-college education in an era of globalization, and on the nature of interdisciplinary study and teaching.
Most recently, working with Project Zero, Dr. Gardner has undertaken a national study at ten institutions of higher learning, looking at how various campus constituencies—incoming and graduating students, faculty, administrators, parents, alumni, trustees, and job recruiters—think about the goals of college and the value of liberal arts study. The study aims to understand how these views may impact the college experience and ultimately seeks to provide suggestions of how best to deliver quality higher education in the twenty-first century.
Dr. Gardner is the author of dozens of books. His most recent books include The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in the Digital World, co-authored with Katie Davis (2013), and Multiple Intelligences around the World, edited with Jie-Qi Chen and Seana Moran (2009). Others include Five Minds for the Future (2006), Changing Minds (2004), Making Good (with W. Fischman, B. Solomon, and D. Greenspan, 2004), Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet (with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon, 2001), Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century (1999), and The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should Understand (1999), as well as several hundred articles. A festschrift entitled Mind, Work, and Life was edited in 2014 by Mindy L. Kornhaber and Ellen Winner in honor of Dr. Gardner’s 70th birthday.
Dr. Gardner received his PhD from Harvard University. He is winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2000); the Grawemeyer Award in Education (1990); and a MacArthur Prize Fellowship (1981). He has received honorary degrees from twenty-nine colleges and universities, including institutions in Ireland, Italy, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, and Hong Kong. In 2004 he was named an Honorary Professor at East China Normal University in Shanghai. In 2005 and 2008 he was selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. In 2008, Dr. Gardner was selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the five most sought-after thinkers in business and was named as one of the most influential people in business ethics by Ethisphere Magazine. He was listed as one of the top 30 leaders in business by the American Management Association in 2014.