| Robert Serpell|
| The significance of schooling|Robert Serpell Wikipedia
Robert Serpell (born 1944) is Professor of Psychology at the University of Zambia. From 2003 to 2006 he was Vice-Chancellor of the University. He has conducted numerous studies on gaps in academic performance between ethnic groups, finding that even within a given society, different cognitive characteristics are emphasized from one situation to another and from one subculture to another. These differences extend not just to conceptions of intelligence but to what is considered adaptive or appropriate in a broader sense. Serpell's work shows how conceptions of intelligence vary from culture to culture, and that the majority of these views do not reflect Western ideas.
Serpell and others have found that people in some African communities—especially where Western schooling has not yet become common—tend to blur the Western distinction between intelligence and social competence. In rural Zambia, for instance, the concept of nzelu includes both cleverness (chenjela) and responsibility (tumikila).