Looking at ‘smart’ in a whole different way…
Ever wondered how smart you are? Traditionally intelligence has been understood as a single measure of ability that is largely set in stone from birth. In this conventional view, smart people have greater abilities and resources they can apply to any situation. The smarter you are, as often measured on an IQ test, the better you can handle anything in your path. Much research has supported this showing that people with high IQ’s did better in school, regardless of the subject, and over time this view has taken hold and shaped both our popular understanding of intelligence and our education system.
However, given that most traditional education draws on the same narrow range of performance that IQ tests measure, that correlation means little in understanding ‘smart’ in everyday life and work. Advances in neuropsychology, evolutionary biology, and child development show us that the ‘one-horse’ view that tends to dominate how we view intelligence is tragically flawed. Flawed, because it can’t account for performance outside of school, across the full range of human activity – intelligence as a chef, as an author, as an athlete, as a mother. The traditional view of intelligence is ill-fated, because we dampen human potential as long as we believe there is one linear scale of intelligence.
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