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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Gardner's 5 Minds for the Future (and the Question)

In order to pursue post graduate study you need a project, which demands a question. Formulating a research question is central. I wonder however whether there remains a bias - hard sciences vs humanities (and triangulation) - towards a class of questions that are closed and so can be answered in X-words : Y-time : with Z-funding? Thereby passing through the necessary academic hoops. Of course I realise that if there are no constraints then chaos would ensue. I just wonder if the journey (creativity, discovery ...) might be lost for the sake of assuring the end product?

My questions (apart from 'beware reflex moves') tend to be framed in broad terms. You could say that as yet I am not disciplined (specific) enough to come up with a question that passes "GO!"

In Howard Gardner's Five Minds for the Future the issue of educational programmes is raised and I read the following:

The second antidote entails the creation of educational programs directed specifically at certain individuals of promise - for example, leaders of tomorrow. Chief executives and general managers are expected to be able to see the big picture - to look beyond their own background and specialization; to understand the various components in their organization or constituency; to think systematically about what is working, what is not working, and how goals can be more effectively achieved. ...

Other individuals - for example, those exhibiting a "searchlight" or "bricoleur" intelligence - might be attracted to such programs as well. They would make use of their enhanced skills even if they do not occupy explicit leadership roles. Perhaps, as educator Vartan Gregorian has suggested, we need a specialization in becoming a generalist. p.75.
Gardner, H. (2008) Five Minds for the Future, Harvard University Press.

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