Human and Machine Intelligence: An Intriguing Perspective

Jeff Hawkins developed the Palm Pilot, the Treo smart phone, and other mobile computerized devices. It’s not surprising that he’s also very interested in our brain—another pretty good mobile information processor. He’s now teamed with Sandra Blakeslee (the renowned New York Times science writer) to produce a marvelous thoughtprovoking book, On Intelligence: How a New…

The Role Of Preference In Cognition, Curriculum, And Assessment – Part 2

Last month’s column argued that our current high-stakes school standards and assessment programs are troubled because they focus principally on factual (veridical) knowledge instead of on the kinds of (adaptive) knowledge that underlie preferences and choices. Success in life depends more on our ability to make wise choices than to recall facts. This month’s column…

The Role Of Preference In Cognition, Curriculum, And Assessment – Part 1

Our society is currently obsessed with the politically powerful but biologically naive search for an inexpensive, efficient, one-size-fits-all assessment system that precisely measures the knowledge and skills of an imprecise developing brain. It’s becoming increasingly obvious to educators and patrons alike that this is an almost impossible challenge. Standards and assessment are certainly important, but…

A Conversation With Howard Gardner

Powerful ideas have universal impact. The concept of Multiple Intelligences, for example, started as a theory in the halls of Harvard University and has now grown to be one of the most influential movements in teaching practices in the 20th century. Instead of seeing the mind as possessing finite quantities of a substance known as…

An Intriguing New Perspective on Our Brain’s Organization–Part 2

Last month’s column introduced Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg’s marvelous new book, The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind (2001). The column focused especially on his conceptualization of our brain’s overall organization. Let’s now focus on our cortex’s frontal lobes, which are central to a functioning human brain, and to Goldberg’s book. Survival is dependent…