The GWT Blog

Blog Category: Purpose

Summer Reading, Summer Experience, Summer Learning

July 14, 2011

By Peter Gow, Director of College Counseling and Special Programs, Beaver Country Day School
But I think there may be an approach to the summer “reading” issue that could offer, if not an alternative, but a kind of complement to summer reading lists. While my own school did not pursue this idea after a couple of years’ experimentation, I believe that it could go a long way toward adding an authentic, experiential learning element to students’ summer lives.

Needed: A Reversal of Figure/Ground

April 20, 2011

By Howard Gardner
In considering education in the United States today, what's wrong with the picture? In a word, we've focused so exclusively on one figure--performance on a certain kind of standardized test instrument--that all other considerations are obscure or absent. I recommend a dramatic reversal of figure and ground. At the center of the image called American Education, I propose three dominant figures: the kinds of Persons we value; the kinds of Workers we cherish; the kinds of local, national, and global Citizens that we need.

Educating for Today and Tomorrow

November 22, 2010

By Lynn Barendsen
Last week, along with several colleagues from Project Zero, I participated in a conference in Washington DC. Our hosts were CASIE (Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education) and WIS (the Washington International School).

News from India

November 09, 2010

By Lynn Barendsen
Our colleague and inspired educator Kiran Sethi has sent us news about the Design for Change (DFC) initiative. The DFC Contest is an international contest encouraging children to make positive change happen in their communities.

The First Rule of Teaching: Do No Harm

October 25, 2010

By Holly Robinson, writer and former teacher
What makes a teacher brilliant? It's not easy for me to say, despite the fact that I've ushered three children and two stepchildren through school and into college. Along the way, I've attended countless parent-teacher conferences and PTO meetings. I've been a school volunteer. But it was only at that moment, with Jennifer and my son, that I really considered what makes a teacher brilliant and not just okay, or downright evil.

Educating for Failure, Seeking Success

September 24, 2010

By Yael Karakowsky, Preschool Teacher, Mexico City
Educating for Failure, Seeking Success seeks to involve parents actively in their children’s education. How? By providing children with real stories, life experiences through which parents become “humanized” and are much more than “perfect” images. Through this project, each parent is invited to write about a personal encounter with failure, pain or difficulty that can be used to teach and be an example of a learning experience.

Announcing Shelter - a new book by one of our GW Alumni

September 16, 2010

By Scott Seider
Every winter night the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter brings together society's most privileged and marginalized groups under one roof: Harvard students and the homeless. What makes the Harvard Square Shelter unique is that it is operated entirely by Harvard College students. It is the only student-run homeless shelter in the United States.

My Summer Job

August 16, 2010

By Lucy Curran, Undergraduate at Harvard University and Summer Intern on the GoodWork Project.
I have come to understand that when I find work that truly engages me, I cannot wait to get out of bed in the morning. Instead of waking up with a sense of dread and hitting the snooze button, I am excited to start the day. This does not have to be true every day; but it ought to be the trend.

Thoughts about the Summer Institute

August 03, 2010

By Wendy Fischman
We have just wrapped up our Project Zero annual Summer Institute—when hundreds of educators from all over the world come to Cambridge to learn about Project Zero research and practice methods. It is always an energizing experience for us researchers—it is a reminder for many of us that we are fortunate to do work that is engaging and stimulating, and attendees always make us feel as though it is important and helpful to their own work‚ which is rewarding for us to hear.

Children and Good Work

June 28, 2010

By Susan Larson
Very young children appear to embrace Good Work with greater enthusiasm than their older classmates. For nine years in elementary and middle school, we teach our students about numbers and dates and places. Then on weekends some of the students go to church, temple or synagogue to address their spiritual selves. The twain rarely meet. This project sought to join the two worlds, to help children get in touch with their better angels, to open their lives to the possibility of wonder.

Google and Goldman

June 27, 2010

By Howard Gardner
At least until the spring of 2010, two lines of work have been particularly seductive for 'the best and the brightest'—the graduates of our leading colleges and universities. One professional option has entailed work at the cutting edge of the technology sector—for Facebook, Apple or Google. Complementing Silicon Valley, the other option has been to work on "The Street"—in investment banking, hedge funds, or some other branch of the financial industry.

Lay It on the Table

May 26, 2010

By Bill Bussey, Provost, Ombudsman, English Teacher at Noble and Greenough School
The end of the year for graduates is understandably pretty much all about them, but to be honest, sometimes we all can lose perspective down the final stretch.

Inspiring for Change: GoodWork for Mexico's Children

April 28, 2010

By Yael Karakowsky, Preschool Teacher, Mexico City
My name is Yael Karakowsky; I am from Mexico and have been a preschool teacher for the last 3 years. I often ask myself how many "dreamers" are out there … doing everything they can, walking that extra mile, never missing a chance and always seeking to do a little bit more. I consider myself a fighter, a dreamer and sometimes … a person that expects more than what is actually possible...

Inspirando al cambio: GoodWork para los niños de México

April 27, 2010

By Yael Karakowsky, Preschool Teacher, Mexico City
Mi nombre es Yael Karakowsky. Soy mexicana y he trabajado como maestra de preescolar durante los últimos tres años. Constantemente me pregunto ¿cuántos soñadores hay allá afuera?... personas que salen de la norma, que no descansan hasta dar ese paso extra, intentando no perder oportunidades y siempre buscando hacer un poco más. Me considero una de estas personas; una luchadora, una soñadora y en ocasiones… una persona que podría esperar más de lo que es realmente posible.

Success in Teaching

February 26, 2010

By Wendy Fischman
Today is the second day of the Expeditionary Learning (EL) National Conference 2010, in Kansas City (where the temperature outside seems to be "warming up" to a whopping 30 degrees!). The conference has been inspiring and powerful thus far, and even more so for us on the GoodWork Project because of its focus on "good work."

Digital Media and American Youth

February 22, 2010

By Katie Davis
Have the digital media changed American youth? That's the question that a group of researchers, including members of Howard Gardner's research team at Project Zero, met to discuss last December in Princeton, New Jersey.

Surface Manifestations of Leadership

February 12, 2010

By Howard Gardner
With President's Day around the corner, it seems a good time to reflect on the nature of leadership. Below, we share Howard Gardner's responses to some questions recently posed by an Italian journalist.

Howard Gardner in Mexico City

February 01, 2010

By Mayus Chavez, Jules Verne School
Last October, Mexico City had the pleasure of receiving Dr. Howard Gardner. Banamex, one of the most important Mexican Financial Groups, invited him to their " 2009-3rd Encuentro de Educación Financiera "Respuestas de Pe$o" Ser, conocer y hacer para vivir juntos". Dr. Garder's lecture "Five Minds of the Future" gave participants new alternatives to develop strategies within ourselves, and everyone who is devoted to education in a formal or informal way.

The Ministers' Misconceptions

January 11, 2010

By Howard Gardner
Of all the findings from cognitive psychology that are relevant for education, one stands out. That is the repeated demonstration, across a number of disciplines, of the prevalence of misconceptions and the difficulty of getting rid of them and replacing them with more powerful and more veridical conceptions.

A Choice with Real Value

October 27, 2009

By Kathleen Kury Farrell
Choice and opportunity are emblems of freedom. But researchers tell us that the myriad options available to us are no longer liberating but quite oppressive. Studies indicate that the number of decisions we make every day – in the cereal aisle, at the espresso stand, on our cable TVs - are literally exhausting us. Perhaps more significant is the implication that the constant stream of relatively minor decisions we make may lead us to make poorer choices across all areas of our lives.

The Road to Hell?

September 26, 2009

By Howard Gardner
If the proverbial inter-planetary visitor observed educational policymakers around the world, she would soon infer their single preoccupation: “How to raise scores on international comparisons like the TIMMS or the PISA tests.” This mentality also dominates the United States. A focus on standardized tests, how to raise scores, and what consequences follow ...

Looking for Good Work

September 25, 2009

By Amy Quon
A year ago, I was content in California—finishing up graduate school coursework and working in educational program assessment. Based on what I hear from everyone who’s ever spent a winter in New England, I probably should have appreciated the sunshine and cool breezes back home (read: the opposite of gray skies and icy wind) a bit more.
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