Creating Capabilities: Fostering Cognitive Development

This panel was recorded April 23, 2010 as part of the conference "Creating Capabilities," held at the University of Chicago Law School and organized by James Heckman, Martha Nussbaum and Robert Pollak.

The most often-discussed aspect of child development, still poorly understood, is cognitive development, i.e. literacy and numeracy, the skills measured by IQ and achievement tests.  These abilities were once thought to be innate, but now it is evident that they are responsive to a wide range of environmental factors.  What factors are the most important among family, society, and peer cultures?  What interventions have the best chance of success?  How are cognitive skills related to emotion, personality, and health?  How can we foster cognition?