Saturday, August 6, 2011


By Andrea Kuszewski, Monday March 7, 2011;
Level of difficulty: ***

1.Do you feel intelligence is mostly genetically determined or that it can be improved through education and training?
2. If you take the latter view, what sort of activities will, do you think, improve intelligence? Explain.
3. Do you think the teaching methods and material you encountered throughout your education helped improve your intelligence?
4. If your answer is no, what teaching methods and what sort of material would you suggest?
5. Would you make any changes in the way testing is done? Explain.


Read as far as “What is Intelligence” and answer the questions.

1. Which of the following views does the writer support: “one should pursue goals that are easily achieved” or “one must develop an instinct for what one can barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts”?
2. Read the story of the boy with PDD-NOS. Now state clearly what function this example serves.
3. Can overall cognitive ability be improved through training? Support your answer with information from the text.
Lastly, provide a one or two sentence summary of the text.

Read “What is Intelligence”

4. Which type of intelligence is the writer concerned with improving and why is this important?
5. Why will improving your working memory help improve your fluid intelligence?
6. Read the take-home points of this research. Which do you find most surprising? Discuss.
Lastly, provide a brief summary of this section. Make it as brief and to the point as possible.

Read “How Can I Put This Research to Practical Use for My Own Benefit” and answer the questions.

7. What conclusion can we draw from the information concerning the dual n-back test?
8. State the reasons why you can’t continue to do this test all your life as briefly as possible
9. What alternative ways of improving cognitive ability and intelligence does the writer advocate instead?
Lastly, provide a one or two sentence summary of the section.

Read “Seek Novelty” and answer the questions.

10.Read the section “Seek Novelty” and state clearly which sentence best summarizes the section.
11.What are the take-home points mentioned in this section that apply to everyday life?

Read “Challenge yourself” and answer the questions.

12. What is the misconception concerning braintraining games?
13.What is the mistake people make when playing games like Sudoku to develop cognitive skills?
14.Read the experiment concerning the game Tetris. What surprising discovery was made after the subjects had become experts at the game?
Lastly, provide a two sentence summary of the section.

Read “Think Creatively” and answer the questions.

15. What misconception concerning creative thinking is mentioned in this section?
16. Read the information concerning Dr. Robert Steinberg’s research and the PACE center. Now state the important take-home point that is in direct opposition to current practices is? Now state clearly what conclusion we can draw from this.
Lastly, provide a one sentence summary of the section.

Read “Do Things the Hard Way” and answer the question.

17. Read the following examples: the GPS, spellcheck and autocorrect carefully.  Now state clearly what conclusion you can draw from them. You will have to use your own words.

Read “Network” and answer the question.

18. For what reason does the writer advocate social networking sites?

Read “And I Have One More Thing to Mention” and answer the question.

19. This section is the conclusion of the text. Read it carefully and state why it fits in with everything you have learnt about writing conclusions.

Look back at the pre reading questions you discussed before starting to work on this text and revise your answers in view of what you have read. Now write a problem/ solution essay detailing the changes you would make to the teaching methods, material and testing techniques employed in primary and secondary schools (the problems are pretty universal as is obvious from the text you have read). State clearly what the widely supported current practices are and then indicate changes you advocate and the reasons for such changes.

By Andrea Kuszewski ; Monday, March 7, 2011

This wonderful article will come like a breath of fresh air as it provides the scientific basis for all those cherished beliefs most teachers come to entertain concerning cognitive development and how education can help or hinder the process. I read it with great pleasure and a deep sense of satisfaction. I hope you derive the same pleasure I did.

1. The second view
2. To support the view that intelligence could be improved through training
3.Yes, the last lines of page 1

Summary: Whereas it used to be thought that intelligence was genetic and could not be improved, it is now known that this is not, in fact, the case as retarded or normal kids who are given the right training do improve their intelligence.

4.Fluid intelligence as the new knowledge can be used as a foundation to solve the next problem or learn the next new skill.
5.Because they are correlated.

Summary: There are two kinds of intelligence: crystallized and fluid intelligence the latter of which can be improved by improving memory. This research further proves that fluid intelligence is trainable, there is a positive correlation between rises in intelligence and training, all this works for everyone and tasks and test questions need to be dissimilar.

7. It is wicked hard. It is not surprising there was so much cognitive gain from practicing it.
8. It is impractical and boring
9. Following the 5 principles expressed

Summary: Although the dual n-back test boosts cognitive ability and intelligence, it would be impractical and boring to do it for a life time. One should follow the 5 basic principles instead.

10.The diagram
11.Always look to new activities to engage your mind; expand your cognitive horizons, learn.
12. That they make you smarter
13. People don’t move on to the next challenging activity once that game is mastered.
14. Their brains got more efficient. The brains didn’t need to work as hard in order to play the game well so the cognitive energy and glucose went somewhere else.

Summary: Cognitive development only occurs if the training games are varied because the brain becomes lazier as it becomes efficient. In order to achieve cognitive development, one needs to move on to a new challenging activity as soon as one is mastered.

15. That creative thinking equals thinking with both the left side and the right side of the brain.
16. The students in the test group received higher final grades on both the traditional and the analytical exam. / The test group was able to transfer the knowledge they gained using creative, multimodal teaching methods…

Summary: Creative thinking which is a very complex process involves both sides of the brain whose cognitive skills will improve with appropriate training to encourage it.

17. If you want to improve your problem solving, spatial, logical and cognitive skills, you should exercise your brain.
18. Because you are exposing yourself to the kind of situations that are going to make objectives 1-4 much easier to achieve OR by exposing yourself to new people, ideas and environments, you are opening yourself to new opportunities for cognitive growth.
19. It ties in with the introduction and goes beyond the subject matter of the text to hint at other ramifications of the information in the article.