Howard Gardner: Teach Students How to ‘Synthesise’, Not Analyse

Dec 1, 2020 en-news

Father of multiple intelligences theory says pursuit of deep inquiry is ‘a foolish investment’ in today’s AI-driven world

Source: Times Higher Education

Universities should train students to understand “the bigger picture”, according to a leading US psychologist who claimed that higher education institutions should reorient their teaching to combine professional training and the liberal arts.

In his memoir, A Synthesizing Mind, which was published in September, he argues that the ability to survey experiences and data across a wide range of disciplines and perspectives is a particularly valuable, but underappreciated, attribute in today’s world.

“There is tremendous pressure now in all of the developed world to be able to do things with great precision on one topic. That’s a foolish investment, because that’s exactly what’s going to get replaced by machinery” he said in an interview with Times Higher Education.

As a result, he added, academics needed to pay more attention not only to what they teach but how they teach it and to what extent they offer a broader context to students.

“Even if you’re teaching something that’s quite circumscribed, if you’re the kind of person and the kind of educator that wants to give the bigger picture and relate the subject to larger themes, then that becomes a very powerful educational tool,” he said.

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