The Rationality of Educating for Wisdom

Read the section called very important excerpts.

Abstract (Via Stanovich)

Sternberg’s call for an educational focus on teaching wisdom can be viewed as part of a nascent trend to reorient educational psychology away from exclusive focus on the so-called algorithmic level of analysis. The thrust of his research program on wisdom, like those emphasizing rationality as a critical construct in educational psychology, is on aspects of cognition heretofore backgrounded: the goals and beliefs of the learner, thinking dispositions, values, morality, cognitive styles, and the evaluation of cognition in terms of normative criteria.

Introduction (Via Stanovich)

I very much welcome Sternberg’s call for an educational focus on teaching wisdom. Although we have often quarreled about the appropriate terminology in which to couch our arguments (Stanovich, 1993a, 1993b, 1994a, 1994b; Sternberg, 1993, 1994), as cognitive scientists we have been allied in our efforts to broaden the conceptual focus of both education and psychology. The goal I advocate would be more aptly described as educating for rationality (Stanovich, 1994a, 1999, 2001) rather than wisdom—but there are clear affinities between my goal and Sternberg’s.

Very Important Excerpts! (Via Stanovich)

Although the terminology is enormously variable, cognitive scientists generally recognize that we need to understand human behavior at three different levels: at a biological level, at an algorithmic level concerned with the computational processes necessary to carry out a task, and at what has been termed (see Anderson, 1990) the rational level. The latter level is concerned with the person’s goals, beliefs relevant to those goals, and the choice of action that is rational given the goals and beliefs (Dennett, 1987; Pollock, 1995).

By and large, psychometric instruments such as IQ tests have tapped cognitive capacities almost exclusively and have ignored cognitive styles, thinking dispositions, and wisdom

Abroad theory of rationality, with its emphasis on evaluating the content of desires, and with its emphasis on properly calibrated beliefs (beliefs accurately reflecting the world and appropriately gauged to the rest of the information in the person’s knowledge network) brings rationality and wisdom closer together conceptually.

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27. January 2010 by Miguel Barbosa
Categories: Curated Readings, Wisdom Seeking | Leave a comment

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