I am at TESOL 2010 in Boston, an international conference of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. It is so energizing to be with the 7000 attendees that have come from all over the world. Tonight I attended Howard Gardner’s Opening Plenary on Five Minds of the Future with approximately 1500 other people. Dr. Gardner’s speech was so relevant to many of the topics that I have discussed on Twitter with educators in my PLN about the future of education.
Rather than tweet lines from his speech, I decided to put together a blog and outline his what he said.
There are several major changes in our culture that have occurred that have led to a transformation in how we view education.
·Globalization has resulted in mega cities all over the world. It is the reason that immigrant children are entering U.S. schools in unprecedented numbers. The emergence of global markets and knowledge-intensive economies are bypassing national borders.
·Biological revolution – The potential of brain science for education are indeed enormous Teachers today need to know about how the brain works. Educators and scientists need to cooperate so the educators know about brain science and scientist know about education
· Digital revolution – I won't go into all that Gardner mentions about the digital revolution but he specifically mentions the advent of social networking such as Twitter and the possibility of allowing students to use cell phones and other electronic devices in the classroom. Technology has changed the way we think about learning.
· Lifelong learners – people cannot go to school and then stop learning in today’s world. We must learn to think outside the box, to be flexible and learn beyond our disciplines.
The Five Minds for the Future are:
* The Disciplinary Mind: The goal of schools can no longer be the memorization of an assortment of facts. Students need to learn to think across many disciplines (historical, mathematic, artistic, scientific) and to become experts in one discipline. t
* The Synthesizing Mind: This is the ability to synthesize information has become more and more important. There is so much information available to students that is undigested and unevaluated. Students need to be able to synthesize the information that is available and communicate it to other.
The Creating Mind: This is the ability of a person to clarify new problems and come up with new solutions. The Creative Mind thinks outside the box and is not afraid to try new things and fail.
* The Respectful Mind is respectful of the differences among human beings. Diversity is a fact of life and we must go beyond mere tolerance to show our respect for others.
* The Ethical Mind demonstrates the ability to conceptualize oneself as a good worker and a good citizen. We must take our responsibilities in these two areas seriously.
So with this new book Five Minds for the Future, Howard Gardner goes beyond the cognitive realm and into the realm of getting along with other cultures and living up to our responsibilities to our community.