Heredity has been thought of as the prime force in the development of our capabilities. Similarly, the environment has been claimed as the fertile ground for the development of our capabilities. Then there is the rather prosaic consideration that we are products of both heredity and environment. In this discussion, one particular case-intelligence-will be discussed in the context of the idea that, even if intelligence has a large hereditary component, that may be quite unimportant.
In The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould (1981) makes the argument that if genetically identical seeds are planted in high-quality soil versus barren soil, the difference in growth will be notable even though the hereditary component that controls growth is identical.
In a paragraph of six sentences, answer the following: If intelligence is highly heritable, how could it be that the environment is crucial in its expression? To put the issue of intelligence into perspective, what exactly constitutes intelligence?
In another paragraph of six sentences answer the following:
Children typically do not start school until about age 5 in the United States. It may be somewhat later in different countries, but seldom earlier. This pattern was developed before theories of child development were created, but the ages at which various elements enter the curriculum are predictable from such theories. The dominant approach, that of Piaget, makes certain predictions about children’s capabilities.
1. What should determine the age at which a child starts school? (2). What does Piagetian theory have to say about a child’s ability to learn abstract mathematical symbols?