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Howard Gardner Receives 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences


Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner

In naming educational innovator Howard Gardner ’65, Ph.D. ’71, the recipient of the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, the Fundación Príncipe de Asturias declared of the Hobbs professor of cognition and education:

Internationally recognised for his theory of multiple intelligences, which has revealed the diverse manifestations of the human intellect, his research has been decisive in the evolution of the education system by taking into consideration the innate potentialities of each individual.

Gardner, who is also an adjunct professor of psychology, has been since 1972 the co-director and chair of the steering committee of Project Zero, based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which studies learning processes in children and adults. In responding to the announcement of the award, he said he was

thrilled and humbled to receive this prestigious award.   While my training is primarily in psychology,  I have always considered myself a social scientist, and I feel that much of the best work about human nature and human society draws on a range of social scientific disciplines.  Also, at this time the accent in Anglo-American social science falls almost entirely on quantitative work.  I am pleased that this award can recognize the strand of social science which involves qualitative analyses and broad syntheses of knowledge. 

Gardner will receive the award, which includes a Joan Miró sculpture and a cash prize of 50,000 euros, in Oviedo, Spain, this autumn at a formal ceremony chaired by His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne.

For more on Gardner, see these articles from this magazine's archives:

"Harvard Portrait: Howard Gardner"

"Pliable Paradigms" (on his book Changing Minds)

"Work at Its Best" (on research into the possibility of doing good work that also counts as "good work")

A review by Harvard Law School’s David Wilkins of Good Work: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work, written by Gardner and three coauthors

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