Howard Gardner

Five Minds for the Future Publication date : January 15, 2009

The future will demand qualities and mental capacities that have not always been greatly valued in the past.

We live in a time of vast changes that include globalisation, the accelerating spread of ever-greater quantities of information, the growing hegemony of science and technology in daily life, and new types of conflict. Those changes call for new ways of learning in school and of thinking in the workplace.

The eminent psychologist Howard Gardner is known for his innovative, detailed theory of multiple intelligences that he developed more than 25 years ago. In the present book he defines the cognitive abilities that will play an increasingly decisive role in the years ahead: the ability to master an area of knowledge, the capacity to synthesise ideas, creativity, respect of others and an ethical sense. Armed with these skills a person will be equipped to deal with the challenges of the modern era. But what do these skills consist in? And how can they be developed and sharpened, so that we can get the most out of them?

This is the latest contribution by Howard Gardner, “the man who changed our notion of what it means to be clever”, according to the Financial Times, and who gave us a broader vision of intelligence in all areas, including the most practical.

Modernity does not just mean a break with the past. It also affords an occasion for the mind to further develop its potential. Not only will our lives be different in the future, we will also think and behave differently. The author explains why and describes the qualities that will be most valued.

Diverging from the voices of doom that see the present as a time characterised by the decline of intelligence, Gardner argues that our era carries within it the seeds of great intellectual development — in a number of rather unexpected directions.

Howard Gardner acquired international fame with the publication of Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (translated into French as Les Formes de l‘intelligence, new edition 2006)). He is a Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard and the Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

His works include Extraordinary Minds, Creating Minds and Changing Minds, published in French by Editions Odile Jacob as, respectively, Les Personnalités exceptionnelles (1999), Les Formes de la créativité (2001) and Faire évoluer les esprits (2007).