Image result for five minds for the futureBy Howard Gardner

Harvard Business School Press, RRP $61.99

Five Minds is structured in five different parts, each representing a different “mind” that will “command a premium” in the years ahead. Each of these different minds will enable people to cope with the increasingly globalised and knowledge based society.

  • The disciplined mind diligently employs the way of thinking associated with major scholarly disciplines, professions, and trades.
  • The synthesising mind is one that is able to select crucial information and put it together in ways that make sense both to themselves and to others.
  • The creating mind is able to go beyond the known, ask bold new questions, and model innovative new approaches.
  • The respectful mind looks at how we relate, how we think about difference, and truly values diversity, beyond tolerance or political correctness.
  • Finally, the ethical mind fulfills responsibility by striving simultaneously toward good work and good citizenship.

In suggesting how we are able to develop these minds, Gardner highlights the educational directions he believes are necessary. For example, it is schools which are charged with the responsibility of creating the “respectful mind”. The book is based around decades of research and draws upon a wealth of diverse examples to illustrate the resulting ideas. It also includes personal reflections from Gardner’s career that make the book funny and interesting to read.

Reviewed by Sarah Wilson and Willow Henderson, May 2008