Skip to content


authors@mit presents “The Real World of College” with Wendy Fischman & Howard Gardner

For The Real World of College, Wendy Fischman and Howard Gardner analyzed in-depth interviews with more than 2,000 students, alumni, faculty, administrators, parents, trustees, and others. Their findings challenged characterizations in the media: students are not preoccupied by political correctness, free speech, or even the cost of college. Instead, they are most concerned about their GPA and their resumes, and see jobs and earning potential as more important than learning. In Real World of College, Fischman and Gardner argue that higher education in the United States has lost sight of its principal reason for existing: to increase what they call “higher education capital”: to help students think well and broadly, express themselves clearly, explore new areas, and be open to possible transformations. Fischman and Gardner offer cogent recommendations for how every college can become a community of learners who are open to change as thinkers, citizens, and human beings.

About the authors: Wendy Fischman is a Project Director at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and lead author of Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work.Howard Gardner is John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the author of A Synthesizing Mind: A Memoir from the Creator of Multiple Intelligences Theory (MIT Press) and many other books.

About the moderator: Deb Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication. He is also a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.

This event is free but registration is required. MIT CovidPass or Tim Tickets with current attestation are required for admittance to this event. If you are not in the CovidPass system, please indicate that you are not a current MIT student or employee when you register and we will contact you with instructions. Masks are presently optional at MIT events. We are committed to making our events accessible; please email to request accommodations.

The authors@mit series is co-sponsored by the MIT Libraries, the MIT Press Bookstore, and MIT Press. Learn more about The Real World of College: What Higher Education Is and What It Can Be here.

  • Hosted By


  • Date

    April 6, 2022 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

  • Location

    700 Technology Square 5th Floor, Cambridge, MA, 02139, United States

  • Cost