That’s the question, isn’t it. Researchers have been at this for a long time and it remains controversial in their circles too.
Multiple intelligences? We’ve heard a lot about that, or those. Controversy or not, it seems more and more clear to more and more people that there really isn’t one thing that is “intelligence”. That’s because there are all kinds of people in the world, all kinds of brains, all kinds of learners, and all kinds of talents.
The job of an education is to assist young people in finding their talent(s), their intelligence(s).
As Jane Healy says in her new book, “It is not surprising that IQ tests alone are not always good predictors of how a child will fare in either the academic or the real world”. The latter is of course the more important world for us to concern ourselves with because “if I can make it there….” (you know the rest). The real world. That’s all there is. That’s where we are, where we end up and what an education should prepare us for. Test only prepare you for tests, we know that.
Intelligence. It’s a lovely word. It’s got class, elegance, richness, and promise. In its origins it means “understanding”. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be after in our schools? Not facts or data points or memorized content, but true understanding and meaning-making?
Okay, intelligence is….