Howard Gardner

HOWARD GARDNER is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as Adjunct Professor of Psychology. Gardner has also worked for nearly five decades and continues to serve as Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero, an educational research group focused on the development of learning processes in children, adults and organizations. As a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of the human brain, he focused  much of his early research on the artistic development of those who had suffered traumatic brain injury.

His profound work in these areas became the foundation for his transformative theory of multiple intelligences and its implications for education. Having since examined the processes by which individuals change their minds as well as the specific kinds of minds that should be cultivated for the future in a globalized world, Gardner has also directed The Good Project in collaboration with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon to study work that is excellent, engaging, and ethical. Recognized for his distinguished contribution to educational research and scholarship, Gardner has been elected to the National Academy of Education and received numerous other awards and honors including a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981 and honorary degrees from 29 colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. Also selected in 2005 and 2008 by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of the 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world, Gardner’s extensive publishing career includes more than 25 books translated into 32 languages and several hundred articles. In his book Multiple Intelligences around the World (2009), 42 authors from 15 countries on five continents wrote about how they had applied the theory of multiple intelligences. Gardner’s most recent publications include: Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons (2006); Five Minds for the Future (2007); and Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the 21st Century (2011).

For more information, visit Howard Gardner’s Website. To learn more about Howard Gardner from his family and friends, visit his Reflections. To view photographs from Howard Gardner’s personal collection, visit his Photo Gallery.


Visit the video below to watch a short overview of the interview with Howard Gardner. Otherwise, see all four of the full interviews with Howard Gardner below.

Video Interviews with Howard Gardner:

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As the devoted son of Jewish immigrants who had escaped Nazi Germany in the late 1930s, Dr. Howard Gardner recalls his quiet childhood in Scranton, Pennsylvania with a small circle of good friends. Both a talented student and serious pianist, he was the first in his extended family to attend college and thoroughly enjoyed his experiences at Harvard College, often taking additional courses just to learn more about topics of interest. Although he may have been expected to study law or medicine, Gardner developed a keen interest in psychology and relished the opportunity to work with a world-renowned scholar in the field, Dr. Jerome Bruner. Describing the profound personal and professional impact of Bruner and others on his career trajectory, Gardner would devote much of his early research to interdisciplinary study of the human brain. Watch this clip to learn more about Dr. Gardner’s first “real job” teaching and conducting research at Harvard—work that would become the foundation for his theory of multiple intelligences.

Describing a fundamental shift in his work after devoting more than three decades to descriptive research, Dr. Howard Gardner had become increasingly concerned about the trajectory of society as a whole. His pioneering scholarship, conducted in collaboration with colleagues through The Good Project, has examined various ethical dilemmas facing professionals and citizens in a changing world. Gardner further explains the important role of the teacher—often the first professional encountered by students. Perhaps most widely recognized for the application of his transformative theory of multiple intelligences to education, Gardner also addresses the persistent myths, misconceptions, and misuses of the theory. In this clip, hear more from Dr. Gardner about current education policy and enjoy the humorous stories his wife and children remember best.

While highly regarded by many around the world for his educational research and scholarship, Dr. Howard Gardner graciously acknowledges critics who have carefully read his work and always appreciates feedback from his students. Reflecting on his own experiences as a teacher, Gardner cites the need to give serious answers to serious questions and to have an understanding of world events, adding that he reads the newspaper every morning to further this activity. Describing his close relationship with his mother (101 years of age), Gardner also shares his appreciation for his wife Ellen, four grown children, and two grandchildren, recalling memories made while traveling the world together as a family. Watch this clip to learn more from Dr. Gardner about his dedication to Project Zero and plans for future research.

Recognizing the importance of building on the research and scholarship of others, Dr. Howard Gardner notes that in his office, rather than diplomas or awards, he keeps personal letters from those who have profoundly influenced his thinking, namely Jean Piaget and Claude Lévi-Strauss. Also describing his disdain for “banality” and the value of time well spent, Gardner cites the artists and writers whose work he enjoys most. Although uninterested in a career in business, Gardner is a self-described “Serial Ideas Entrepreneur” whose favorite word “yet” allows him to put forth the other point of view. In this clip, share Dr. Gardner’s passion for good work and policy vision for the next generation.

How to cite: Amrein-Beardsley, A. (2013, March 16). Inside the Academy video interviews with Dr. Howard Gardner [Video files]. Retrieved from http://insidetheacademy.asu.edu/howard-gardner