Perspectives on Intellectual Development

Perspectives on Intellectual Development

Perspectives on Intellectual Development

Perspectives on Intellectual Development

Excerpt

This volume contains the papers presented at the nineteenth Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology, held October 18-20, 1984, at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. As has been the tradition for this annual series, the faculty of the Institute of Child Development invited internationally eminent researchers to present their research and to consider problems of mutual concern to scientists studying development.

The theme of the nineteenth symposium, and the present volume, was intellectual development. Concern about the nature of cognition and intelligence predates formal inquiry by psychologists. Nevertheless, there is a long history of research on human cognition, and developmental investigations are beginning to have an important place in this tradition. By the middle 1960s John Flavell introduced American developmentalists to Piaget, and then, at Minnesota's Institute of Child Development he carried out pioneering work on memory development in children. Since that time the amount of research and theorizing about cognitive development has been almost overwhelming. Indeed, over the last 15 years it often appeared that research on cognition dominated the field of child development. Thus, it seemed appropriate to use this symposium as a time for a progress report on thinking and research about cognitive development.

We were fortunate to have as contributors to the symposium some of the most outstanding current scholars in this area. The main speakers were Robert Siegler, Robbie Case, Barbara Rogoff, Howard Gardner, Ellen Winner, Lauren Resnick, and Robert Sternberg. They talked about a variety of kinds of cognition, ranging from figurative and spatial cognition to mathematical and social cognition. They wrestled with a number of difficult and important questions, including units of analysis, levels of transition, degree of generality, and validity of notions of . . .

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