EDUCATION – Intelligence is Composite

Intelligence is the habit of persistently trying to understand things and make them function better. Intelligence is working to figure things out, varying strategies until a workable solution is found… One’s intelligence is the sum of one’s habits of mind.

 – Lauren Resnick –

Being good at the kind of abstract reasoning required by different test like IQ, may contribute to real life projects, but its contribution often turns out to be quite small, compared with a host of other personal skills and attitudes. Tests were shown to be much less important than the ability to prioritise long-term goals over short-term enjoyment. Self-control and self-discipline are a couple of these myriad factors.

Is intelligence a mind’s single most powerful instrument or is it actually an orchestra made up of many different sections and instruments playing together?

A musical group’s performance reflects the complex working-together of a whole variety of different instruments, so it appears that the mind creates the appearance of seamless intelligence from the interaction of a whole range of different mental and emotional components.

One of the best know theories is Gardner’s ‘multiple intelligences’. He highlights eight different intelligences that became very popular with teachers as they seem to map quite neatly onto the core subjects of the traditional curriculum.

  1. Linguistic intelligence ( English and Modern Languages).
  2. Logical-Mathematical intelligence (Maths)
  3. Musical intelligence (Music)
  4. Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence (Physical education, sports and Dance)
  5. Spatial intelligence (Geography and Design Technology)
  6. Interpersonal intelligence (ability to understand other people).
  7. Intrapersonal intelligence (capacity for self-knowledge and self-regulation). These last two could be found in schools under the title of “pastoral care”.
  8. Naturalist intelligence (Spiritual and existential intelligence combined).

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