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cognitive flexibility

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on August 11, 2007 at 8:59:31 am
 
Teaching that involves memorization and a superficial familiarity with general concepts is easy enough. But what about the learning that can’t prepare you for every contingency, that doesn’t lend itself to principles that can be applied in every instance?
 
 
 
It is in this domain of ill-structured complexity and advanced knowledge that Rand Spiro has pioneered Cognitive Flexibility Theory, and along with his colleagues has sought to refashion teaching and learning for an ever-changing and complex world.
 
“Cognitive Flexibility Theory is about preparing people to select, adapt, and combine knowledge and experience in new ways to deal with situations that are different than the ones they have encountered before,” says Spiro, a professor of learning, technology and culture in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education. “It is the flexible application of knowledge in new contexts that concerns me. There are always new contexts and you just can’t rely on old templates. Cognitive security is what people want. It doesn’t work in the modern world of work and life.”

 

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