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Views from the Bridge

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The intent of this final discussion is to consider the potential contribution of the arts toward enhancing cognitive development. The discussion is framed first in terms of research that seeks to reveal elements of cognitive development, and second, in terms of the potential value and usefulness of the proposed “elements of behavior associated with cognitive development” to teachers of the arts.

Researchers and teachers are faced with the same challenge, that of gathering evidence of students’ cognitive development, whether the expected result derives from classroom or laboratory experiences in the arts or other academic subjects. Although brain-scanning technology captures cognitive processing in action, the task for educational researchers and teachers is to recognize cognitive development as it occurs within individuals and classrooms.

We remember information by forming images of it and retrieve these images from memory by associating them with one another in order, according to the principles of similarity, contrast, and contiguity.

“How does one describe a student who is turning something over in his/her mind? Think!”

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