[ Editor's Note: On March 9, 2016, Edge published a conversation with Howard Gardner called "Liberal Arts and Sciences in the 21st Century." The reaction from The Reality Club was immediate, strong, and engaging, with responses from Douglas Rushkoff, Patricia Churchland, Mark Pagel, Roger Schank, Neil Gershenfeld, Cristine Legare, and David Myers. Now, Gardner responds. . . . ]
Just as readers of Edge base our thoughts about higher education significantly on our own experiences, we also draw on our own more recent experiences as teachers—formal or informal—as scholars, and as human beings who continue to learn, engage, enjoy, and debate. There is no one best or one right way to engage in liberal arts learning: some benefit more from reading and writing, some from debating, some from lectures or Socratic seminars, some from travel and reflection, some from carrying out projects or tackling overwhelming challenges or creating works of art. Indeed, in my ideal school students would be exposed to several different pedagogical philosophies and practices. Not only would they benefit from this diversity, students would also have the chance to determine what works best for them and how they might optimally share with others what they’ve learned and what they can do.
HOWARD GARDNER is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Gardner also directs the Good Project. Howard Gardner's Edge Bio Page