chapter  4
28 Pages

Learnable Intelligence and Intelligent Learning

To those who believe that intelligence is a fixed, inborn trait, the term learnable intelligence is an oxymoron: One either is born with brains or not, and any attempt to alter the unalterable is futile at best, maybe even cruel. Recent research, however, suggests that human intelligence is not simply a matter of gray matter but also a matter of what is put in it and how it is used (e.g., Baron, 1985; Chipman, Segal, & Glaser, 1985; Nickerson, Perkins, & Smith, 1985; Perkins, 1995; Segal, Chipman, & Glaser, 1985; Sternberg, 1985). This chapter presents an analysis of intelligence that acknowledges not only one's neuronal makeup but also the role of experience and thinking patterns. This analysis argues that a significant portion of human intelligence is, in fact, learnable.