College Admissions should go beyond cognitive measures

September 28, 2010 at 11:46 am 3 comments

Robert Sternberg is a psychologist who studies intelligence, but has recently been arguing that we need to go beyond cognitive measures when deciding college admissions.  He’s implemented his scheme at Tufts, and is now moving to Oklahoma State as Provost, where presumably, he’ll continue to develop his new admissions tests.

It is admirable that many colleges recognize the need to go beyond traditional measures such as G.P.A. and standardized test scores in admissions processes. The Kaleidoscope Project has three features that are perhaps distinctive. These features emanate from the view that the purpose of college/university education is to produce the leaders of tomorrow who will make a positive, meaningful, and enduring difference to the world.

First, the questions are based on a theory of leadership, WICS — wisdom, intelligence, creativity, synthesized — according to which positive leaders need a synthesis of (a) creative skills and attitudes in order to generate new ideas; (b) analytical skills and attitudes in order to ensure that the ideas are good ones; (c) practical skills and attitudes to implement their ideas and to persuade others of the value of these ideas; and (d) wisdom-based skills and attitudes to ensure that the ideas help to achieve a common good, over the long and short terms, through the infusion of positive ethical values. So the questions in Kaleidoscope are designed to measure these creative, analytical, practical, and wisdom-based skills and attitudes. The WICS theory is an extension of my theory of successful intelligence, which I have spent many years validating in empirical research.

via News: ‘College Admissions for the 21st Century’ – Inside Higher Ed.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan Kay  |  September 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    This sounds a lot like what I call “real education” (except that perhaps the highly important multiple perspectives and the changing and acquiring of them is hiding — maybe behind one of his main categories).

    I guess the real question here is “Have American conceptions of education slipped so much that this set of ideas somehow seems new and different?”



  • 2. Focus on Adult Learning: Innovation through Inquiry  |  September 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    […] College Admissions should go beyond cognitive measures ( […]

  • […] College Admissions should go beyond cognitive measures ( […]


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