Lecture Notes: Howard Gardner on Goodness Reformed

Purpose of education is to discern what’s
– truth: science, math
– beauty: arts, lit, nature
– goodness: moral, ethics

Threat to goodness: postmodernism
– Postmodernistic perspective: Whose story? Who decides what’s true, what’s good? Does that change? Beauty is of the past
– Truth is whatever we create
– Technological challenges: tech is fast changing yet oddly permanent (Wikipedia changes daily [truth]; photo manipulation [beauty]; authorship; privacy; identity [goodness])

Definitions
– Truth is about accuracy of statements, propositions
– Beauty is about experiences, of nature/arts
– Good is about quality of relations among human beings

Truth (CONVERGENT: better understanding the more you learn)
– encountered often in schools
– science, history, math, economics, psych –> each discipline has its own methods for determining truth/falsehood
– truths of the workplace (descriptions of roles) –> each profession has its own methods for ascertaining and revising practical truths
– educator’s solution: at a time when all info is available at a click, we need a focus on methods
– chances of figuring out what’s true now is greatest in history

Beauty (DIVERGENT: know what you value over time; can be sporadic)
– New formulation of beautiful experiences:
~ interesting
~ memorable form
~ disposition to revisit (want to revisit again)
~ a pleasant tingle, tickle
– educator’s solution: encourage creation of individualized portfolio that record changing tastes and discrimination of differences

Good
– good person
– good worker
– good citizen
Goodworks Framework: Excellent, Personally-engaging, carried out in ethical manner, excellent
– Cyber-world: keepĀ  identity, privacy, ownership/authors, truthworthiness/credibility

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