First Impression: Intelligence

According to Wikipedia, intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge and skills. We live in a world where knowledge is power. That being said, we start education at a young age. Some start even sooner than average based on who their parents are and if the caregiver has the correct resources to give their child an educational head start. If some children are getting a head start in education, then we they get to school they have already been exposed to the information that everyone else is learning for the first time. The teacher might think that this child with a head start is more intelligent than the other students in the class. But really that child has just been exposed to the material before. I believe intelligence can also be effected by the resources you have. If all the students were exposed to the same amount of educational resources, I believe there would be a decrease in the intelligence gap between students. Of course there will always some students that are more privileged than others, but teachers should keep that in mind when teaching younger ages such as elementary school students.

In elementary school, I noticed that students were being segregated into either “very smart” or normal students. They based the categorization on test scores. They had this program for “very smart” students called spectrum. Once a week they would leave the school and go on a “field trip”, at least that’s what all the other normal students thought they were going. We never really knew where they went but it definitely effected the way we thought about ourselves. Were we not smart because we were not picked for this special program? I don’t think intelligence should be based on student’s test scores. Not everyone is good at test taking and there are students with different learning disabilities that might affect their average test scores. I like the way Professor MacFarlane doesn’t base our grade solely on tests and quizzes. It gives students a chance to get a good grade even if they didn’t do how they wanted on the exams. It also gives the students a chance to apply what they learned in class to assignments other than exams, which ultimately helps the students learn more efficiently.


One thought on “First Impression: Intelligence

  1. You bring up a great point about a child’s background influencing how well they do in the future. Regardless of it is an environmental or genetic head start, the head start itself will affect the environment the student is taught in, making learning an environmentally-based process. Your reasoning reminded me a lot of the self-fufilling prophecy, stating that the labels children acquire, such as “smart” or “normal” will influence not only how teachers view them and teach them, but how the children view themselves. If they know that they are just “normal,” they will soon accept it and develop a fixed mindset that they will not accomplish anything more than “normal.” While gifted programs, like the one at your school, may help advance the learning of those chosen, it is not thought of how it will affect those not involved.


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