Looking for intelligent life? Start by redesigning the IQ test

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Most of us are familiar with the IQ test, whether you’ve taken one, read it, or seen this. Seinfeld episode, it’s part of the lexicon when we talk about intelligence.


Conversely, here is a less common term: “twice exceptional”, which is often abbreviated as 2e. This refers to those who have some form of disability but are also intellectually gifted (unlike quick prejudices, the two are not mutually exclusive). It’s this group – and people across the spectrum of intelligence and creativity – that are lacking when aptitude is measured by what experts like Scott Barry Kaufman consider to be a pretty narrow test.

The IQ test was developed at the start of the 20th century, based on the work of French psychologist Alfred Binet. This is a series of standardized tests that measure a person’s mental age score, which is divided by their chronological age, and that fraction is then multiplied by 100 to get the IQ score. But the test has evolved in the 100 years since its inception, and even Binet’s work, which is often considered seminal, points to methods he borrowed from other researchers. This mishmash of tests has fluctuated over the years to reflect the values ​​of the times, dropping tests considered bad and retaining those considered good measures of intelligence.

But it still has a long way to go, according to Kaufman. Intelligence takes many forms, and the IQ test does not capture the full complexity of the human mind. Billionaire business mogul Richard Branson is a prime example: “I was dyslexic, I had absolutely no understanding of schoolwork. I certainly would have failed the IQ tests. And that’s one of the reasons I left school when I was 15.

The IQ test does not measure factors such as creativity, emotional sensitivity, real-world rationality, social intelligence, and skill-based insight. There are many ways to be gifted, and those who are twice exceptional or intellectually advanced outside of normal parameters may miss out on the developmental attention needed to cultivate their intellect to its full potential. Kaufman suggests keeping the components of the IQ test to identify where people are doing well and spot patterns of intelligence, but also to use new methodologies and solicit readings from parents and teachers as they are able to. observe day-to-day intelligence indicators, such as deep sensitivity. , questioning any assumptions or signs that a child is bored with their work. The more you can triangulate information from different sources, the better the measure of true intelligence.

If you are now anxious to know how you would perform on an IQ test, you can take one. here, but don’t be too encouraged or discouraged by the results – intelligence is a sprawling entity that scientists still map out, and the IQ test is a worn but ultimately narrow path to take.

Scott Barry Kaufman’s book is Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind.

Scott Barry Kaufman: So few people are probably familiar with the term twice exceptional and in the school system it is a diagnosis to describe children who simultaneously have a specific learning disability, whether it is a reading difficulty. , dyslexia, ADHD, any of the learning disabilities you might be diagnosed with. You therefore simultaneously have a specific learning disability and you are intellectually, intellectually or creatively gifted. We have this false dichotomy that we have set up in the school system between learning difficulties and the gifted that if you are in special education for example, it is a little difficult for us to see how you could be gifted as well. , is not it. You could also be extraordinarily intelligent, extraordinarily creative. And this exceptional doubling tag was created to recognize that there are so many people who have been diagnosed with a learning disability, but not all of who they are. It doesn’t all define who they are both their strengths – we all have strengths and weaknesses and many people with learning disabilities can mask their strengths. But their strengths are still there.

And we could still achieve this in other ways through projects, simply recognizing that they are not defined by their learning disability. And there’s a lot of research, psychologists, and clinicians starting to find new ways to find intelligence in people who tend to be left behind. And there are new methodologies and new techniques that we are using to discover the giftedness that resides in many students.

There has been an over-reliance on the overall IQ score to assess a person’s intelligence. So like someone is going to take an IQ test and you average their performance over the whole test. Well, this shows that students who are twice outstanding or students who have learning disabilities, it is not a good reflection of their true intelligence just by averaging their performance in a session of test. Because their learning disability can mask and shrink some areas, but they can still show extraordinarily high areas in other ways that get lost when you average the set. So there are new methodologies that we are using so that we don’t just measure someone’s intelligence or creativity during a testing session. First, we use IQ tests to examine specific abilities and patterns of strengths and weaknesses. So don’t look at that overall or total IQ score.

But we also go beyond the IQ test and we get teacher grades. You know that the more you can triangulate a lot of different information from a lot of different sources, the better you get a reflection of someone’s intelligence and creativity. Parent Ratings – ask parents how is a child at home, you know? Is the child really curious? Does the child constantly ask questions? Ask the teachers. Does the child feel bored with the subject you are teaching? Are they ready to take on more intellectual challenges? Do they seem to question the assumptions a lot? Lots of indicators of creativity, there are lots of other characteristics that we can look for for intellectual and creative gifts that go beyond IQ type skills. Things like a deep sensitivity, a deep concern for the world and the suffering of others. It doesn’t even have to be academically alone. And I think we just need to keep our eyes open for so many potential indicators of intelligence and creativity around us and so we can really make sure that we limit the number of students who fall through the cracks.


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