Tuesday, March 16, 2010

distributed intelligence

The following is from Gerhard Fischer's Distributed Intelligence: Extending the Power of the Unaided, Individual Human Mind
The history of the human race is one of increasing intellectual capability. Since the time of our early ancestors, our brains have gotten no bigger (our hands no more nimble); nevertheless, there has been a steady accretion of new tools for intellectual work... and an increasing distribution of complex activities among many minds. Despite this transcendence of human cognition beyond what is “inside” a person’s head, most studies and frameworks on cognition have disregarded the social, physical, and artifactual surroundings in which cognition and human activity take place.
This simple quote opens the door wide to an understanding that development of human intelligence, both in and out of schooling, is dependent on the relationship between the mind, the hands, and our tools (of all kinds). And so, if we wish to extend human intelligence through schooling, it won't be by having children sit still at their desks, hands stilled and intelligence silenced.

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