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

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  825 ratings  ·  27 reviews
The author of "Frames of Mind" and "The Mind's New Science" merges cognitive science with the educational agenda, beginning with a fascinating look at the young child's mind and concluding with a sweeping program for educational reform."An invaluable book for teachers, school administrators, parents and policy makers."--Vivian Gussin Paley, "New York Times Book Review"
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 2nd 1993 by Basic Books (first published 1991)
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3.95  · 
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 ·  825 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
Howard Gardner's idea of teaching students to understand rather then just briefly explaining a subject I do like. Also how he feels we need to form our schools like a museum based study to get the students mentally and physically involved in their learning. I do not particularly care for his ideas of national standard curriculum even then leading to a world-wide one. I feel that schools know their students best and should be able to decide how they teach them. Reading it for an argumentation pie ...more
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
More apprenticeship/exposure for kids to the real world at their earliest school-ages. Standardized testing compartmentalizes unique free beings...
Rory Foster
Apr 21, 2015 rated it liked it
The book starts with a nice summary of types of learning and the way that children of different ages learn differently. Discussion of the gap between schooled learning and "understanding" is also interesting, as are some of the author's ideas about harnessing apprenticeships and museum-like environments. However, I thought a lot of the reform discussion was pretty abstracted or over-simplified. Also, although the book is billed as useful for parents (and in many ways, I agree), the main target s ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
In the Unschooled Mind Howard Gardner proposes some progressive reforms to our education system with a focus on "genuine understanding" . It takes a look at how children form theories and beliefs about their world at an early age. These theories have strong foundations. Often times these theories clash with what they learn at school. And because the school education has become rote learning it hampers the proper understanding of subjects.
"In this book I contend that even when school appears to
Filipe Dias
Enjoyable and interesting. Brings questions to the role and purpose of Education, Teaching and Learning, in society and on a personal stance, bridging different points of view and outcomes and difficulties.
Yet, it seemed a bit vague and repetitive, feeling that points taken could be summed much quicker, opening space for related subjects that would back up the ideas portrayed.
In a sense, it's more based on ideology than on studies performed on the subjects addressed. Biological, sociological, hi
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the concepts presented in this book and the conclusions the author reached. However the author overly articulated his point and never gave consideration for homeschooling to be a possible venue to implement his ideas. If he had edited this down to 150 pages, this would have been a much better read. Still worth skimming if you are interested in outside the box ideas and concrete plans on how to bring them about as regards education.
Susan Striepe
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book should ideally be read with Piaget and Vygotsky. The three make a complementary trilogy. Gardner also introduces the idea that mental growth and development is not a uniform and regulated process. Although this book was written much later than his "Multiple Intelligences", it can expand one's understanding of multiple intelligences and "Multiple Intelligences" can in turn help explain why mental development is so irregular.
Jun 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Nice overview of educational policy and a few new reform ideas!
May 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The main key in here led my research for my thesis - we need to teach for genuine understanding.
Mar 12, 2009 marked it as to-read
Howard Gardener. As in: Multiple intelligences, who changed the way education is viewed. Can't wait to read this one.
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Gardner makes a solid case for reforming schools by breaking the traditional mold and starting from scratch following an 'unschooled' approach to learning. The problem is that most people don't give education more than a passing glance. Schools haven't really changed in a hundred plus years, and they aren't about to start now. Unfortunate for all the millions of of who pass through the system.

P 140 Educational researcher Linda McNeil has helped to elucidate the conflicts engendered by such a sys
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: homeschool
I think there are more accessible summaries of cognitive development: Brain Rules for Baby, A Thousand Days of Wonder
Diana Marlowe
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
While I believe that Howard Gardner has made some insightful contributions to the field of education, this book is not one of them. It is excessively wordy and would benefit from the removal of at least a third of the book. It's poorly edited and redundant, with a lot of self-promotion (instead of letting the ideas speak for themselves) and incomplete ideas. Don't waste your time.
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: education
I like his theory on bring back apprenticeships - beginning in late elementary school and middle school. I would love to see this implemented in a formal setting (as opposed to homeschooling and setting it up yourself). Not too keen on his favorable opinion of forgoing phonics for whole language, but we all make mistakes.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
I was expecting something else. Something well done. Yet this book is written like one of those nuts that generate bad logic to explain their medieval fears against the vaccines. Also, lots of "notorious" people have worked with the author to produce this unstructured list of remarks.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is what it is... and because the class I read it for I would only give one star, I fear that upon its completion I am sadly left only as a traditional learner of Gardner's great work and can only give it 3 stars.
Ullagummans Läsgodis
Intressant bok.
Crystal Milliken
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was short and simple. I don't agree with everything he says but presents a lot of good observations and ideas to think about.
Mike Murray
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 29, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a pretty dry read. The beginning was very slow, but there were a couple of take-aways later on.
Aug 02, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: own, homeschool
I don't think this book is about what I thought it was about...
Mark Melendez
May 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
great book for teachers or parents
I can't get into this one right now. I have found myself having to reread parts and I am still like "what?" Maybe once I put my "school" brain back in since it is currently in summertime mode.
May 15, 2008 added it
I've been reading this book and had to return it to the library - but it was really interesting - at some point I'm going to check it out again.
Jul 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Classic educational theory.
Teaching so that students truly understand a concept is difficult, and apparently not done as often as we think it is. In the artificial world of tests and grading, an "A" doesn't necessarily mean the student could explain, apply, and develop a concept in real life. Gardner spends a lot of time discussing an infant's mental development and how we develop commonsense ideas about the world that stubbornly resist later academic learning. Scientific concepts (this part went totally over my head), se ...more
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2014
Stacey Murray
rated it it was amazing
May 06, 2007
rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2011
Jennifer Lumsden
rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2008
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Howard Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also holds positions as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero. Among numerous honors, Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981. He has received honorary degrees from 26 colleges and univers ...more
“Nearly all cultures have evolved specific ideas about education, although only in modern times does education prove to be virtually coterminous with formal schooling. Ultimately, the natural paths and forms of development place many children in a difficult bind, as students begin to address the quite different agenda of the schoolroom and the particular structure of the scholastic domains.” 0 likes
“No less than human beings, human institutions exhibit constraints. Schools or factories or offices may be malleable, but they are not infinitely so. Economies of scale, vexations of human relations, bureaucratic histories, diverse and changing expectations, and pressures for accountability burden all significant human institutions. In the past, serving a smaller and less diverse clientele, schools faced certain problems; today, in a rapidly changing world, where the schools are expected to serve the multiple needs of every young individual, the limitations of this institution are sometimes overwhelming. If one wishes to bring about change in schools, it is important to understand their modes of operation no less than one understands the operations of individuals within them. Accordingly, following the investigation of constraints on human knowing, I consider some limits governing educational institutions, most especially schools. A focus on children and schools brings us face-to-face with a third dimension: the question of which knowledges and performances we value. If one considers school strictly as a place in which certain criteria are to be met (say, for the purpose of certification), it matters not what use one can subsequently make of the skills and knowledge acquired there. One could readily tolerate schools where understanding was considered irrelevant or even noxious. But if one wishes to argue that school should relate to a productive life in the community, or that certain kinds of understanding ought to be the desiderata of education, then the research results I have described are consequential.” 0 likes
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