The biggest mistake of past centuries in teaching has been to treat all students as if they were variants of the same individual and thus to feel justified in teaching them all the same subjects the same way.

— Howard Gardner

The most off-limits Howard Gardner quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

We should spend less time ranking children and more time helping them to identify their natural competencies and gifts and cultivate these. There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to succeed and many, many different abilities that will help you get there.


What we want... is for students to get more interested in things, more involved in them, more engaged in wanting to know; to have projects that they can get excited about and work on over long periods of time, to be stimulated to find things out on their own.


All human beings have all of the intelligences.

But we differ, for both genetic and experiential reasons, in our profile of intelligences at any moment.


Teachers must be encouraged - I almost said 'freed', to pursue an education that strives for depth of understanding.


If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of ignorance.


When a child is thriving, there is no reason to spend time assessing intelligences. But when a child is NOT thriving - in school or at home - that is the time to apply the lens of multiple intelligences and see whether one can find ways to help the child thrive in different environments.


Creativity begins with an affinity for something. It's like falling in love.


What is usually called 'intelligence' refers to the linguistic and logical capacities that are valued in certain kinds of school and for certain school-like tasks. It leaves little if any room for spatial intelligence, personal intelligences, musical intelligence, etc.


Being creative means first of all doing something unusual.

.. On the other hand, however unusual it may be, the idea also has to be reasonable for people to take it seriously.


Teaching which ignores the realities of children will be rejected as surely as any graft which attempts to ignore the body's immune system.


An individual understands a concept, skill, theory, or domain of knowledge to the extent that he or she can apply it appropriately in a new situation.


We've got to do fewer things in school.

The greatest enemy of understanding is coverage... You've got to take enough time to get kids deeply involved in something so they can think about it in lots of different ways and apply it.


About Howard Gardner

Quotes 82 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Psychologist
Birthday October 16

I believe that the brain has evolved over millions of years to be responsive to different kinds of content in the world. Language content, musical content, spatial content, numerical content, etc.


Our way of managing and leading, rewarding and judging people is totally out of tune with the fact that we are all individuals.


Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding is knowing who we are and what we can do... Ultimately, we must synthesize our understandings for ourselves.


If I know you're very good in music, I can predict with just about zero accuracy whether you're going to be good or bad in other things.


I need to add that my work on multiple intelligences received a huge boost in 1995 when Daniel Goleman published his book on emotional intelligence. I am often confused with Dan. Initially, though Dan and I are longtime friends, this confusion irritated me.


Kids go to school and college and get through, but they don't seem to really care about using their minds. School doesn't have the kind of long term positive impact that it should.


Any good teacher should become acquainted with relevant technologies.

But the technologies should not dictate an education goal. Rather, the teacher (or parent or student or policy maker) should ask: can technology help to achieve this goal, and which technologies are most likely to be helpful?


If we were to abandon concern for what is true, what is false, and what remains indeterminate, the world would be totally chaotic. Even those who deny the importance of truth, on the one hand, are quick to jump on anyone who is caught lying.


I align myself with almost all researchers in assuming that anything we do is a composite of whatever genetic limitations were given to us by our parents and whatever kinds of environmental opportunities are available.


One must exploit the asynchronies that have befallen one, link them to a promising issue or domain, reframe frustrations as opportunities, and, above all, persevere.


Well, if storytelling is important, then your narrative ability, or your ability to put into words or use what someone else has put into words effectively, is important too.


In roughly the last century, important experiments have been launched by such charismatic educators as Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, Shinichi Suzuki, John Dewey, and A. S. Neil. These approaches have enjoyed considerable success[...] Yet they have had relatively little impact on the mainstream of education throughout the contemporary world.


Twenty-five years ago, the notion was you could create a general problem-solver software that could solve problems in many different domains. That just turned out to be totally wrong.


Part of the maturity of the sciences is an appreciation of which questions are best left to other disciplinary approaches.


To ask "Where in your brain is intelligence?" is like asking "Where is the voice in the radio?"


I’d rather see the United States as a beacon of Good Work and Good Citizenship, rather than as #1 on some international educational measurement.


We are natural mind changing entities until we are 10 or so.

But as we get older...then it is very hard to change our minds


While I’ve worked on many topics and written many books, I have not abandoned my interest in multiple intelligences.


Hitler didn't travel. Stalin didn't travel. Saddam Hussein never traveled. They didn't want to have their orthodoxy challenged.


Fundamentalism is a kind of decision not to change your mind about something.

..Many of us are fundamentalists...because it worked pretty well for us.


The ability to solve problems or to create products that are valued within one or more cultural settings.


I think that I am strongest in linguistic and musical intelligence, and I continue to work on my interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence.


There is no single truth, but each of the scholarly disciplines has methods which lead one ever closer to the truth.


In order for me to 'endorse' an intelligence, I need to carry out lots of research.


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.


When speaking to parents, I encourage them to take their child(ren) to a children's museum and watch carefully what the child does, how she/she does it, what he/she returns to, where there is definite growth. Teachers could do the same or could set up 'play areas' which provide 'nutrition' for different intelligences... and watch carefully what happens and what does not happen with each child.


In the United States these days, 'diversity' is a big word and a buzzword.


As a planet, we are at risk of destruction (for example, gradually by the warming of the planet; or rapidly, by nuclear war or a pathogen that gets out of control). And these threats require us to work together, and not just to announce our diversity.


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


If one develops good habits and routines, it is possible to be a responsible educator most of the time; and to marshal the special energies and reflection for those times, when the correct course of action is not clear, or when one is weighing one wrong against another wrong.


Kids make their mark in life by doing what they can do, not what they can't.

.. School is important, but life is more important. Being happy is using your skills productively, no matter what they are.


Much of the material presented in schools strikes students as alien, if not pointless.


I don't think that it is necessary to rethink curricular goals.

But it is certainly worth thinking about whether these goals can be reached in multiple ways.


I think that any important educational goal can be realized via several routes.


No individual can be in full control of his fate-our strengths come significantly from our history, our experiences largely from the vagaries of chance. But by seizing the opportunity to leverage and frame these experiences, we gain agency over them. And this heightened agency, in turn, places us in a stronger position to deal with future experiences, even as it may alter our own sense of strengths and possibilities.


I reject the notion that human beings have a single intelligence, which can be drawn on for the full range of problem solving.


Intelligences are enhanced when a person is engaged in activities that involve the exercise of that intelligence. It helps to have good teachers, ample resources, and personal motivation. Anyone can improve any intelligence; but it is easier to improve the intelligence if those factors are available and if you have high potential in that intelligence.