Quotes and Excerpts

Notes from


How Children Think & How Schools Should Teach


by Howard Gardner, author of

Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiple Intelligences

(New York: BasicBooks, 1991) Endorsed by Diane Ravitch and Theodore Sizer

See also Multiple Intelligence and "Moral Intelligence"

[The comments below help show why the state demands control child rearing. Early child “development” is key to education reform and the envisioned solidarity.  The comments in bracketed, blue, italicized letters are all mine.

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"Through a closer look at the young infant, we can best position ourselves to appreciate those constraints and opportunities that are built into the human genes. Initial predisposing factors… lay out the possibilities for the society that would—and perhaps must—educate its offspring." 41

"Contrasting cultural practices and expectations accumulate over time to yield children and adults who are characteristic of their own culture and who may appear dysfunctional in a culture that embraces a divergent or opposing set of assumptions." 53

"By the age of five or six, children have developed robust senses of three overlapping realms: theory of matter… theory of life, ... a theory of the self." 85


"Early understandings of mind and matter are a crucial part of the mental equipment that children bring to school…. They represent the ways in which children think about scholastic topics unless deliberately instructed to conceptualize them in a different manner." 98

"...to the extent that newly encountered sequences of events clash with well-entrenched scripts, children may distort them or have difficulty in assimilating them." 99

"From an early age, children develop stereotypes that seem to be especially flagrant in the area of sex roles and that prove quite resistant to change. Not surprisingly information that conforms to these stereotypes is readily assimilated, but where the stereotypes are countermanded, students may either miss the contrary clues or even deny their own perceptions." 99-100

"Broadly speaking, the milieus in which children spend their early years exert a very strong impact on the standards by which they subsequently judge the world around them. … [Therefore we need base their thinking on facts and truth -- those "understandings" that Gardner and other change agents so despise] 
     "Closely related to standards.. are an emerging set of beliefs about which behaviors are good and which values are to be cherished. In most cases, these standards initially reflect quite faithfully the value system encountered at home, at church, and at preschool or elementary school. Values with respect to behavior (you should not steal, you should salute the flag) and sets of beliefs (my country, right or wrong, all mommies are perfect, God is monitoring all you actions) often exert a very powerful effect on children’s actions and reactions. … Even… when children are not conscious of the… controversy surrounding these beliefs and values, unfortunate clashes may occur when they meet others raised with a contrasting set of values. It is no accident that Lenin and the Jesuits agreed on one precept: Let me have a child until the age of seven, I will have that child for life.” 101


"A wide range of factors … constitute the world view of the young child. There are her… theories of mind, matter, life and self; the various scripts and stereotypes that she has absorbed, and the aspects of esthetic standards, values, personality, and temperament… For the purposes of summary, I find it useful to consider all these factors as constraints or biases, which influence, guide, or restrict the child in any kind of subsequent educational experience.

"Recent insights into the process, reveal how difficult it is for most children to master the agenda of school, particularly to the extent that its mode of operation clashes with... the biases and constraints that have emerged during the first half decade of life." 104

"When conceiving of issues in economics, statistics, and other social sciences, one is … the naïve throes of mind constructed during early childhood continue to exert significant power."171

"A major biasing factor stems from the simple schemes about human behavior that were developed in early childhood on the basis of interactions with others in the environment."

[All people have biases based on world view or paradigm perspective – these are good or bad based on points of views. Marxist economics and earth-centered religions are good to globalist who envision a global society based on redistribution of all resources. It is bad to those who treasure American freedoms. See paradigm charts in article on Zero Tolerance and p. 27 in  Brave New Schools]

"Understanding is a complex process…. It… does not and cannot occur unless the relations among different… representations come to be appreciated, and unless these formal expressions can be mapped onto more intuitive forms of knowing….  Because those interfering habits of the mind have not even begun to be understood until recent years… teachers in the past have produced… students who do not understand the material they are studying in the way that convinced readers of this book might desire." 179-180

[Understanding = understanding from a global paradigm perspective. It must agree with Gardner’s beliefs and values; just as UNESCO's Declaration on Tolerance definition for tolerance demands tolerance for what globalist embrace and intolerance for Christian beliefs and values. The accepted paradigm is the key]

"Most of the international comparisons of student achievement simply do not assess for understanding but rather for much simpler forms of imitation, rote learning, or well-rehearsed performance. College students or graduate students from other countries who come to the United States still require considerable training before they can evince genuine understanding in their research and writing. 180 (more on this page)

[The above comment sheds light on the appalling performance of high achieving students on the new state/national/international assessments. They are being tested for conformity to the new standard for global “understanding” or values, not traditional academic knowledge or understanding. A prime example was the recent controversy in Michigan where a National Merit Scholar admitted to MIT and other prestigious universities failed the new state/national “proficiency” test. He had “never failed a test” in his life. Of course, the test is not returned nor explained to the students. He may never be told why he failed.]

"With respect to the achievement of our goal of student understanding, progressive education may well come closer to the mark than its rivals…. It would be anachronistic to condemn progressive education for a failure to deal with student misconceptions and biases."198

"The attainment of literacies, whether alphabetic or cultural, assumes little significance in the absence of uses and contexts in which these literacies can be exploited. "198 [See Redefining "Literacy" for a New World Order]


"The fundamental idea of whole-language programs is to immerse children as early as possible in the world of text and to allow them to become meaningful apprentices to competent literate individuals. … They tell stories… they make their own storybooks out of a combination of pictures, invented spelling…. Such a program can work only if teachers embody these approaches and these values in their own lives. 211

"Early science education need not directly address the students’ misconceptions…. It should await the time when the child has been thoroughly immersed in the phenomena that science addresses…" 213 [This mental immersion into politically correct pseudo-science and corresponding philosophies, agendas, and beliefs based on new “scientific data” will effectively establish the global paradigm in the minds of students not hindered by contrary -- especially Christian -- beliefs and biases.
See Establishing a Global Spirituality and Charts: Paradigm Shift]

"… with dedicated colleagues, I began to work on the creation of new assessment measures that could be employed throughout the education system…. We soon learned that the conundrum of educational reform is far more complicated, that reform in fact depends equally upon four different nodes: assessment, curriculum, teacher education, and community support." 254

[The latter brings parents, senior citizens, "mental health" professionals and many others into the web of life-long learning through mandated parental participation, training and mentoring of volunteers, the massive web of community partnerships. See The UN Plan for Your Mental Health]

Short biography of Howard Gardner: "Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor in Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also holds positions as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Adjunct Professor of Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine, and Chairman of the Steering Committee of Harvard Project Zero. Among numerous honors, Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981. He has been awarded eighteen honorary degrees—including degrees from Princeton University, McGill University and Tel Aviv University...

"The author of eighteen books 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. During the past fifteen years, he and colleagues at Project Zero have been working on the design of performance-based assessments, education for understanding, and the use of multiple intelligences to achieve more personalized curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Most recently, Gardner and his colleagues have launched the GoodWorkProjec.

AN EDUCATION FOR THE FUTURE: The Foundation of Science and ValuesHoward Gardner: "Paper presented to The Royal Symposium Convened by Her Majesty, Queen Beatrix Amsterdam, March 13, 2001 © Howard Gardner, 2001....

"As human beings we have many different ways of representing meaning, many kinds of intelligence. Since the beginning of the last century, psychologists have spoken about a Single Intelligence that can be measured by an IQ test; my research has defined 8 or 9 human intelligences (linguistic; logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist, possibly an existential intelligence). We all possess these several intelligences, but no two of us -- not even identical twins -- possess the same profile of intelligences at the same moment.

"In most countries throughout history, school has focused almost exclusively on language and logic. Formal education has virtually ignored other forms of mental representation--artistic forms (musical), athletic (bodily), personal (knowledge of others and self); knowledge of natural world; knowledge of big questions. All of these "Frames of Mind" are there to be mobilized....

"When children are young, without help from others, they develop powerful theories about the world. (...to choose another biological example, all animals were created at the same prehistoric moment and none has evolved since)....  We must help students to eradicate the wrong theories and gradually replace them with more adequate disciplinary ways of thinking.... Many of the theories espoused by young children are wonderful; some are charming; but as you have just heard, some of them are Dead Wrong.... And then gradually we must help children adopt - a more accurate work is 'construct'--better theories, such as the scientific theories used by contemporary biologists or physicists, many of which go directly against common sense. It does not seem sensible that human beings evolved from earlier primates;...but each of these statements happen to be true. "

"I believe that students are most likely to develop disciplinary understanding if they investigate a limited number of topics in great depth; that is, if they give up the false dream of 'coverage' in favor of intimate knowledge of a limited number of really important issues--for example, the theory of evolution in biology, or the meanings of political revolution in history....

"The capacity to think intelligently is very different from knowing lots of information. ... And here at last is where our multiple intelligences can make their contribution. ...  Instead we can learn about it in many different ways, using our multiple intelligences, and that concept or topic is much more likely to remain with us, embedded in our neural networks, and to be usable in flexible and innovative ways....

"You can't understand the theory of evolution by simply memorizing a definition. Instead you can build mastery of the theory by being exposed to definitions (evolution is...); AND stories (the story of Darwin's voyage on the Beagle or the story of a particular contemporary species, be it mouse or man)....  Each of these 'entry points,' stimulating different intelligences....

"There will be experiments in cloning organs or whole human beings, and there will be attempts to merge humans and robots, for example, through the implanting of silicon chips in our brains; some will even hope to achieve immortality in that way....

V. Two Crucial Values "I want to emphasize the enduring importance of two values: the Assumption of Responsibility; and a Respect for Humanity....

"We must use the ancient arts and crafts of education to prepare youngsters for a world that natural evolution could not anticipate and which even we ourselves as conscious beings cannot fully envision either."

Habits of Mind Student Book Lists: "The following comprehensive list of books for students complements ASCD's Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series, which was edited by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick....

See also: A National Information System - EO 13011

The State of the World according to Gorbachev

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