Educational practices - understanding the development of intellect

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In this booklet the authors outline how the sciences of the learning view intelligence and suggest a programme for instruction that may build upon its various processes.

To understand human intelligence, psychological and cognitive sciences try to specify what cognitive processes are involved in dealing with the below -mentioned tasks, how these processes change during learning, why individuals have different capacities, and how biology and culture may influence them. Any systematic attempt to improve intelligence through education would have to build on the knowledge assembled by research since the end of the nineteenth century.

Children at school learn new concepts every day. Reading, arithmetic or science are very demanding for them. To learn, children must hold information in their heads, use previously acquired concepts to interpret new information and then change their understanding as required. These tasks are possible because we can focus on information and process it before it disappears, alternate between stimuli or concepts according goals, and make decisions based on an understanding and evaluation of information through reasoning. At the same time, we adjust our strategies according to what we already know or depending on our strengths and weaknesses.



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