Enhancing Learning and Thinking

Enhancing Learning and Thinking

Enhancing Learning and Thinking

Enhancing Learning and Thinking


This collection of essays addresses problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, and various conceptions of the learning and thinking process as well as suggestions on how to facilitate these within the academic and business domains. Included are current points of view on the nature of learning and thinking from a wide representation of international sources. The book provides: an overview of cognitive science; a discussion of the theoretical underpinnings of higher order thinking; developed programs for the enhancement of thinking skills in elementary, secondary, and college populations; essays on reading and arithmetic, as well as history, physical education, and social competence; a discussion of the role and development of thinking skills in the business domain; and essays emphasizing that creative thinking is within the reach of almost anyone.


The past ten years have been witness to a burgeoning interest in the possibility of enhancing cognitive capabilities in children and adults. This growth is evident in schools, colleges, universities, and businesses, where attempts are being made to develop and apply approaches to improve learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities in students and personnel. The evidence is more than clear that learning and thinking can be facilitated by intervention.

In addition, society has entered a postindustrial information age, where growth and change are so rapid that in many fields as much as half of the information can become outdated in as few as five years. Dynamic change of this magnitude demands that society look toward its educational and business communities to teach the types of skills that are considered essential in acquiring and using information. It has been suggested that the main goal of education should be to produce learners who have the skills and motivation to learn on their own rather than merely produce learned individuals.

Rapid technological development with its attendant information explosion is resulting in the business sector beginning to place a greater emphasis on the enhancement of cognitive capabilities in its personnel. Thinking is coming to be regarded as a major resource that can be tapped and used. It is because of this that a much closer relationship is now being forged between educational and business communities. This is especially true in the research and development of cognitive intervention programs.

The idea for this book emerged from a major international conference on thinking that took place at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. The organization of the conference involved close cooperation among university . . .

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