Futuribles Journal n° 428

Éducation - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Education: On the Proper Use of the Cognitive Sciences. Epistemological and Ethical Reflections


In the special dossier we are devoting in this issue to advances in research on the human brain and the contribution of that research to the development of educational practices – and, more generally, our capacities for learning – this article by Elena Pasquinelli is important for providing an opportune reminder that, though that research may contribute greatly to improving educational practices, we should remain vigilant towards so-called discoveries that are, in reality, unfounded.

After stressing the legitimate hopes that may be vested in this research, Pasquinelli warns us against false – or perhaps merely fashionable – beliefs in such things as “the Mozart Effect” (the idea that listening to classical music might improve our intelligence). She gives many examples of these “neuromyths”, as she calls them: widely believed theories that are not supported by any serious research. Ultimately, her article invites us to maintain a discerning stance on these matters, particularly where the links between science and teaching are concerned.

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