The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach

Howard E. Gardner, Author Basic Books $23 (320p) ISBN 978-0-465-08895-9
The failings of schools have been discussed and analyzed from a dazzling array of perspectives. In this study, the author, a professor at the Harvard School of Education and a practitioner of cognitive science based on a theory of multiple intelligences, adopts a credibly innovative approach, contending that even when a school appears to succeed, ``it typically fails to achieve its most important missions.'' The root flaw, as he views it, is a lack of ``genuine understanding''--as opposed to ``acceptable mastery''--on the student's part. Gardner sees access to better education in the alliance of three potential teammates: the intuitive preschooler, the traditional older child working through a curriculum, and an expert/teacher capable of extending skills and understandings in new ways. One answer to why so many students lose their enthusiasm for school is found here, as well as promising proposals for school reform, like museum collaborations and apprenticeship projects. Gardner's study offers a wealth of material for significant school restructuring. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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