Introduction to “Life-Long Learning: A Blog in Education”

Like many of my friends and colleagues, I have spent my entire life in education. Indeed, from the time that I went to preschool at the home of “Aunt Eunice and Uncle Gar” (not relatives) in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the late 1940s, I’ve been in school: K-12, college, doctoral, and postdoctoral studies, then teaching and professing over the last decades.

My relation to education has been unusual. When I was a child, I imagined that as an adult, I would be a teacher and would teach each of the grades from kindergarten through high school. (I doubt that this fantasy is common!) In high school, college, and graduate school, I gave piano lessons from time to time. When a doctoral student in developmental psychology, I took the unusual step of teaching a K-2 class in the Newton, Massachusetts, public school system (I was not very good). Even though my scholarly identity has been chiefly as a social scientist, I’ve been affiliated for fifty years with the Graduate School of Education (GSE) at Harvard—beginning as a founding member of Harvard Project Zero (which is currently celebrating its 50th year), co-directing Project Zero for nearly thirty years, and then, since the middle 1980s, serving as a member of the GSE senior faculty.

All that said, I did not begin to focus on education as a topic of study until the publication in 1983 of my book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Having directed that book to my fellow developmental and cognitive psychologists, I had not anticipated the enormous interest on the part of educators, particularly those involved in K-12 education. (By coincidence, 1983 was also the date of the publication of A Nation at Risk, probably the most influential white paper in education ever issued in the United States. For the first time in decades, K-12 education moved to the fore of American policy discussions, where it has remained ever since). Both of those events nudged me toward a greater focus in my research and teaching on education—and that, too, has remained over the years.

In this new blog, titled “Life-Long Learning: A Blog in Education,” I want to step back—and venture forward—to consider various issues of education and life-long learning. As with my previous blog “The Professional Ethicist,” I hope to engage colleagues in discussions, and I invite readers and colleagues to submit blogs as well.

Since 2013, with Wendy Fischman, Richard Light, and other colleagues, I’ve been engaged in a national study of higher education. As the collection of data draws to a close in the coming months, and we begin to analyze the data, we will post blogs in which we discuss both concepts and findings. At least for a while, this blog will focus on higher education in the United States.

But throughout, I would like this blog to range widely. And so, to start it off, I am devoting the first two blogs to books that I read in recent months—works that have had a large effect on my thinking.

My first post in this series, titled “Mind-Changing Books: Paideia,” is available by clicking here. The blog will be posted on this website under the category “Life-Long Learning: A Blog in Education.” Announcements of new blogs will be made on my Twitter @DrHowardGardner.

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4 Comments on “Introduction to “Life-Long Learning: A Blog in Education””

  1. ksbeth May 23, 2017 at 7:45 am #

    looking forward to it –

  2. Presidents Race Fan May 23, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

    Exciting!

  3. Imran Ali Abro May 23, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

    That’s great, I’m waiting for it passionately.

  4. S M Rayhanul Islam May 23, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

    Great !!

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