In the first article in this series, we discussed the concept that the greatest matter of equity our nation’s students face is their cognitive capacity. We said we would need to be able to do three things in order to solve the problem of cognitive capacity:
- Understand each student’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses;
- Remediate, build and strengthen both weaker cognitive processes and those that are already strong; and
- Construct learning environments (technology, instruction, curriculum, etc.) incorporating science, rather than folklore.
The second article demonstrated the first part of the solution. We explained what we can do to identify students’ cognitive strengths and weaknesses as well as why it is important, particularly the evidence that cognitive skills account for more of the variance in academic performance than other factors including teacher quality and instructional time.
In this third article, we examine how, with training, each student’s capacity to learn can be increased, thereby reducing or eliminating the need to work around weaker cognitive areas and giving students full access to the learning experiences we provide them.