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Re: [xmca] Evaluation of learning - On Ann Brown's and Lucia French's generous paper

Hi all,

I read with great interest yesterday Ann Brown's (Brown and French
1979) early paper, attached by Mike, and I was struck by a point which
is beyond the scope of my initial question, her call to study everyday
"If we are to predict, diagnose and maximise the learning potential
and life success of midly retarded persons (...) we'll need to refine
and extend the diagnostic procedures we use to estimate academic
intelligence so that we may alleviate school problems for as many as
possible. In addition, we must also consider the "end point" of
cognitive development for those not academically inclined. We need to
know what the minimum cognitive competencies demanded by everyday life
are, so that we can predict who will fail, diagnose the source of
failure, and attempt to prepare the less able child to meet the
demands of everyday life more adequately".

Last July I tried to promote the interest of studying everyday,
mundane cognition at ICT (International Conference on Thinking) and
had almost zero success: no response rate at all. My arguments were
that both from a practical and from a theoretical point of view,
studying how for example conditionals were used in real life
conditions would bring lots of insights. Cognitive researchers
listened to me politely (or left the speaking hall). My lab director
had told me before : "are you sure you want to go there ????" and I
said "yes, thinking is something to important to be left to cognitive
psychologists only". I still believe it is important to move forward
on studying everyday cognition, which has been done a lot for the
thinking of expert practitioners for example or professional
reasoning, but not in a systematic, integrated research program, to my
current knowledge. Or has it ?

Well, just to share how Ann Brown's comments softened my isolation
feeling from last summer...

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