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Howard Gardner
Scholar

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

Explain Precautions

So far, I've been pleased with the way that medical authorities and the media have handled this epidemic/possible pandemic. I'd call for two features that have not always been honored at earlier times:

l. In addition to making recommendations (e.g. "Don't go to the emergency room unless you have the following severe symptoms,") spell out the reasons why. And when there is a genuine disagreement (will wearing a mask on the street really make any difference?), give both sides of the argument;

2. Report on what is being done in other countries or regions and the reason(s) for those actions or non actions. As a citizen of New England, I find it instructive to know what is being done in New York, Kansas, California (to name three states) as well as regions of Canada, provinces in Mexico, and points south. These differing advices could be confusing but I think it helps one triangulate, with reference to one's own behavior as well as those of family and friends who live elsewhere.

Note that both of these suggestions are health-specific, and yet the implications pertain to other domains, ranging from the threat of terrorism to planning one's retirement portfolio.

By Howard Gardner

 |  April 27, 2009; 11:12 AM ET
Category:  Managing Crises Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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