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What is Good Work?

Apr.1, 2008 – Most Americans learn at a young age that they live in a performance-based society. From the first gold star, to the first letter grade in school, “good work” has been equated more with meeting standards than making connections.

Howard Gardner, professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of Multiple Intelligences, redefines “good work” as work that is excellent in quality, personally meaningful and performed in an ethical manner. Founder of the GoodWork Project, Gardner looks at professional fields such as journalism, law, science and medicine and seeks to determine what is good as opposed to ethically compromised work. His research has also yielded a disturbing picture of the difficulties involved in achieving good work at the start of the 21st century.

Gardner will present his work at the 2008 Tanner Lecture on Human Values on Apr. 9, 10 and 11 in the Dumke Auditorium at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in the John and Marcia Price Museum Building. All events are free and open to the public.

Bob Goldberg, professor of history and director of the Tanner Humanities Center, remarked that, “Howard Gardner’s work on multiple intelligences has fundamentally shaped our approach to educating young people. His new project on GoodWork-the merging of quality, personal meaning and ethics-promises a similar rethinking of our efforts to mold the coming generation.”

Gardner’s primary lecture, “What is Good Work?” will be held on April 9 at 7 p.m. In conjunction with this lecture, a panel of experts will hold a roundtable discussion on April 10 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Gardner will present a follow-up lecture titled “Achieving Good Work in Turbulent Times” on April 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. This lecture will address how to cultivate good work among youth. A roundtable discussion of this lecture will be held on April 11 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

For detailed event information contact Melanie Ward at 801-581-3732, or visit Advance interviews with Gardner, the panelists or Bob Goldberg can be arranged through the Tanner Center.