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How Institutions Survive and Sometimes Thrive: A Challenge to Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Howard Gardner American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson famously declared, “Every institution is the shadow of one man.” Though this phrase may have sounded apt in the middle of the 19th century, it is clearly anachronistic today. One obvious point: women should be mentioned as well as men, or a neutral term like “person” should […]

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Lifelong Learning and Learned Societies

by Howard Gardner Even if you are involved in education, you may know very little about academic learned societies. Perhaps you have heard about the Royal Society (London), or the National Academy of Sciences (Washington). And you may even have heard of the American Academy of Arts and Science in Cambridge (to which I am […]

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On Securing Support for Research: Should One Hit The Pause Button?

Those of us who conduct research in psychology, education, and related fields are dependent on external support to cover our expenses. For half a century, my colleagues and I at Harvard Project Zero have been fortunate to receive funding from various sources. In most cases, the funding process has been smooth and unproblematic; but in […]

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Should We Require All Students to Take Philosophy?

In July 2018, I published an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Why We Should Require All Students to Take 2 Philosophy Courses,” in which I contended that all college students should be required to take two courses in philosophy—one during their freshman year, the second during their last year of college. This requirement would […]

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High School Writing: The Return of the Repressed

In my most recent blog, I reflected on my decidedly incomplete memories of my early life. In particular, I had believed that my intellectual life had in essence begun when, in the fall of 1961 at the age of 18, I had become a freshman at Harvard College. But in going through recently discovered old […]

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