Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
Training can improve spatial skills, according to new research writes Daniel Willingham. That could increase the odds of success in science, mathematics, and engineering.
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Training. Is there anything it can’t do?
But the folks who need training in spatial relationships and what not aren’t having their odds of STEM success improved. Their odds go from zero to impossible.
Too big a promise. The individual benefits from such training ought to be their own justification, especially for people whom it makes competent in the adult world.
Pretending the engineering schools are going to have a flood of newly-qualified entrants is nuts.
At this point, there’s limited evidence of substantive transfer effects from brain (cognitive) training. Similar to physical training and performance, cognitive skills are subject to the specificity principle: that which is trained improves, nothing else. I’m optimistic that multi-modal computerized cognitive training (eg, spatial memory, verbal memory, speed, & problem-solving) might have near & far transfer (increase academic success), but this research is still in its infancy. Time will tell…
All I know is, American’s geographical knowledge has always been horrible – even geographical knowledge about the U.S. itself – and that, due to GPS, we have two whole generations of Americans now who can’t read a map – at ALL. If GPS goes down, millions of people won’t be able to get home from work! (Or get from work to home… etc.)
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