Robert Sternberg

         Tufts University


A New Approach to College and University Admissions

If the physics or biology or technology of today were the same as it was a century ago, we would be living in a very backward society. Our psychological testing in college and university admissions, however, has not changed much since the early years of the 20th century. Admissions officers and students alike have waited the deep-structural rather than cosmetic changes that have not been forthcoming from the traditional approach. Part of the reason for the entrenchment of present practices is that , to some extent, they work: Traditional tests do predict at modest to moderate levels a variety of kinds of academic and life success. I will argue that it is now possible to think about people more broadly--in terms not only of their memory and analytical skills, but also of their creative, practical, and wisdom-related skills.Ii will describe a new approach to assessment and data form a variety of projects examining the efficacy of this approach. I will also show how this approach to admissions can be supplemented with a related to approach to instruction and assessment.

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