Remaking the Concept of Aptitude
Extending the Legacy of Richard E. Snow
Routledge – 2001
Series: Educational Psychology Series
The unique perspective of Richard E. Snow, in recent years one of the most distinguished educational psychologists, integrates psychology of individual differences, cognitive psychology, and motivational psychology. This capstone book pulls together the findings of his own 35 years of research on aptitudes and those from (especially) European scholars, of which he had exceptional knowledge. A panel of experts and former associates completed this book after his death in 1997, expanding his notes on implications of the theory for instructional design and teaching practice. The panel developed Snow's ideas on where the field should go next, emphasizing promising research strategies.
Viewing intelligence as education's most important product, as well as its most important raw material, Snow stressed the need to consider both cognitive skills and affective-motivational characteristics. In this book, previously unconnected research and scattered theoretical ideas are integrated into a dynamic model of aptitude. Understanding the transaction between person and situation was Snow's primary concern. This volume draws from diverse resources to construct a theoretical model of aptitude as a complex process of unfolding person-situation dynamics. Remaking the Concept of Aptitude: Extending the Legacy of Richard E. Snow:
*presents historical and contemporary discussion of aptitude theory, illuminating recent ideas by pointing to their historic antecedents;
*provides evidence of how sound research can have practical ramifications in classroom settings;
*discusses the strengths and weaknesses of prominent research programs, including Gardner's "multiple intelligence," meta-analysis, ATI experiments, and information processing;
*describes in detail specific research that has developed important concepts--for example, Czikszentmihalyi on "flow"; Lambrechts on success in stressful training; Sternberg on componential analysis; and Gibson on tailoring affordances to match motivations; and
*keeps statistical complexities to a minimum, and includes a simply written Appendix that explains the interpretation of key technical concepts.
By characterizing sound research in the field, this volume is useful for psychologists and educational researchers. It will also be instructive for teachers seeking to deepen their knowledge of the whole child and for parents of children facing standardized testing.
Contents: Foreword. R.E. Snow, Preface. Aptitude: The Once and Future Concept. Conflicting Themes. Mapping the Terrain. Antecedents of Success in Learning. Analyses of Cognitive Process. The Cognitive-Affective-Conative Triad. The Education of Aptitude. Toward a Theory of Aptitude. Appendix: Terms Used in Describing Research Studies.