Renowned Developmental and Cognitive Psychologist
Father of Multiple Intelligences Theory
Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Co-director, The Good Project
Author, A Synthesizing Mind
Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also an adjunct professor of psychology at Harvard University and senior director of Harvard Project Zero. Among numerous honors, Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship and a Fellowship from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1981 and 2000, respectively. In 2020, he received the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award, the premier honor from the American Educational Research Association. In 1990, he was the first American to receive the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award in Education. In recognition of his contributions to both academic theory and public policy, he has received honorary degrees from thirty-one colleges and universities, including institutions in Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, South Korea, and Spain. He has twice been selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. In 2011, Gardner received the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, and in 2015, he was chosen as the recipient of the Brock International Prize in Education. He has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Education, and the London-based Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce. He serves on a number of boards, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the American Philosophical Society.
The author of thirty books translated into thirty-two languages, and several hundred articles, Gardner is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences, a critique of the notion that there exists but a single human intelligence that can be assessed by standard psychometric instruments (please see https://www.multipleintelligencesoasis.org/). Since the middle 1990s, Gardner has directed The Good Project, a group of initiatives, founded in collaboration with psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon, that promotes excellence, engagement, and ethics in education, preparing students to become good workers and good citizens who contribute to the overall well-being of society. Through research-based concepts, frameworks, and resources, the Project seeks to help students reflect upon the ethical dilemmas that arise in everyday life and give them the tools to make thoughtful decisions.
His most recent research undertaking, conducted with Wendy Fischman, is a large-scale national study documenting how different groups think about the goals of college and the value of a course of study emphasizing liberal arts and sciences. The study seeks to understand how the chief constituencies on campuses (incoming students, graduating students, faculty, senior administrators, parents, alumni/ae, trustees and job recruiters) think about these changes and how they may impact the college experience in our time. Ultimately, the study aims to provide valuable suggestions of how best to provide quality, non-professional higher education in the 21st century. He is also directing an international study of United World Colleges, a network of secondary schools. In 2020, Gardner’s memoir, A Synthesizing Mind will be published by MIT Press.