The traditional paradigm of intelligence sustained its autonomous and general character; in this view, intelligence relies on general abilities and not on domain-specific knowledge, is unmodifiable and expert performance is interpreted as the result of good functioning of general mechanisms. Its main educational impact was the dissociation of cognitive development from domain-specific content learning and defeatism concerning intelligence modifiability. Based on expert-novice studies, cognitive sciences promote a more realistic way of interpreting intelligence - as intelligent performance - and suggest ways for intelligence modification. Cognitive development is modular; someone could be expert in a domain (shows intelligent performance) and novice in others. Expertise can be attained only by learning in a specific domain. In this way learning and education become important means for cognitive development.
KEYWORDS: intelligence paradigms, expertise, cognitive education, intellectual modifiability