Howard Gardner, "A Synthesizing Mind: A Memoir from the Creator of Multiple Intelligences Theory" (MIT Press, 2021)


The synthesizing mind is one that identifies a program or asks a question, pulls together information from across disciplines or creates new data through experimentation, and integrates everything into a novel solution or answer. Some of history’s most revolutionary thinkers – like Aristotle or Darwin – were synthesizers. But what do synthesizing minds actually do?

Howard Gardner, the Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Senior Director of Harvard’s Zero Project, and author of over thirty books joins New Books in Education to talk about his latest book: A Synthesizing Mind: A Memoir from the Creator of Multiple Intelligences Theory (MIT Press, 2021).

In this unique memoir, Dr. Gardner analyzes clues from his own life that helped him realize his mind worked in unique ways that are vital in today’s rapidly changing world. In this wide-ranging discussion, Gardner talks about his work creating Multiple Intelligence Theory and more recent work in ethics, as well as exploring the nature and roles of different kinds of minds.

Jonathan Haber is an educational researcher and consultant working at the intersection of pedagogy, technology, and educational policy. His books include MOOCS and Critical Thinking from MIT Press and his LogicCheck project analyzes the reasoning behind the news of the day. You can read more about Jonathan’s work at

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