Learning Intelligence: Cognitive Acceleration across the Curriculum from 5 To 15 Years

Learning Intelligence: Cognitive Acceleration across the Curriculum from 5 To 15 Years

Learning Intelligence: Cognitive Acceleration across the Curriculum from 5 To 15 Years

Learning Intelligence: Cognitive Acceleration across the Curriculum from 5 To 15 Years


"This publication can re-enthuse the teaching profession and in the process make the classroom a much better place for all involved. Many education authorities have recognised this and are using Cognitive Acceleration projects not only to enhance but also to provide highly effective professional development for their teaching staff. One word of caution to teachers contemplating reading this book: CA can seriously affect your career!" - Alan Edmiston, Advisory Teacher for Sunderland LEA and Independent Consultant

"Shayer and Adey have edited a collection of chapters which are both challenging and eminently readable. Teachers who are committed to developing a greater understanding of learning and to test their own theories and approaches against the ideas presented here will find much of value." - Educational Review

"facinating and readable... It is refreshing to read a book that so effectively integrates learning theories and classroom practice.... Anyone who has ever reflected on the relationship between teaching and learning will find much of interest in this book." School Science Review

At present few children - perhaps not more than 20% - realise their true potential. Even in the first year at primary school great differences can be seen. Yet by suitable intervention either in the first two years of primary school or in the first two years of secondary school - we believe these to be critical growth periods - much can be achieved to change this gloomy picture.

Learning Intelligence describes how children's general ability to process information - their 'intelligence' - can be significantly improved by appropriate cognitive acceleration methods. The authors show how teachers have mastered the art of cognitive acceleration in a variety of contexts, from Year 1 to Year 9 and in science, mathematics, and arts subjects. Each chapter draws on research or development experience to describe effects of cognitive acceleration programmes, their nature, and some of the qualitative differences between stimulating and unstimulating classrooms. The book also looks at the psychological theory that underlies cognitive acceleration.


Cognitive Acceleration (CA) has come of age in the sense of growing out from its roots in secondary school science into all areas of the curriculum and across the school age range. We may claim immodestly that this proliferation has come about through the efforts of the authors represented in this volume and others, but must recognize also that the current political and social climate is generally friendly to the growth of programmes which develop higher level thinking abilities. It has become a truism that modern society has very little place for unthinking manual labour and that every school leaver needs to be equipped with flexible thinking skills developed to their maximum capacity, and this is now a tenet of the British Government's educational policy. Although Nisbet's (1993) prediction that 'before the century is out, no curriculum will be regarded as acceptable unless it can be shown to make a contribution to the teaching of thinking' has not quite been fulfilled, it is the case that the National Curriculum (NC) for England now does include the development of thinking as a central requirement. We may quibble about the particularities of the 'thinking skills' specified, but it would be churlish not to recognize the real political will that schools should be required to attend directly to students' intellectual development, beyond the requirements of mastering particular bodies of information. We are convinced that some 80 per cent of the school population currently perform academically well below their potential, yet by means of suitable intervention virtually all can function at levels where presently only the top 20 per cent lie.

In this book we will show how such interventions are being worked out in a wide variety of curricula and age contexts. Our original context-delivered interventions were aimed at the 12- to 14-year-old group and were focused . . .

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