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date: 27 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The authors present a cultural perspective on conceptualizations of intelligence and the effects of educational practices in formal (i.e., Western-style schooling) and informal (i.e., family and community apprenticeship) learning environments on intelligence. Western schooling primarily affects the development of cognitive processes underlying performance on tests measuring academically related cognitive skills. Learning in informal settings is closely related to cognitive skills with a high value for successful adaptation within the culture. The effects of both learning environments can only be understood in relation to each other since both foster the cognitive skills necessary in a particular context. Zambia and Saudi Arabia are used to illustrate that different emphases in educational contexts underlie the variation in meaning and value attributed to cognitive skills across cultures. The authors stress the importance of investigating how different conceptualizations of learning have a culture-specific bearing on intelligence and related academic skills.

Keywords: intelligence, culture, formal schooling, informal education, Saudi Arabia, Zambia

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