Cite evidences from personal experience that would support one or both ideas that intelligence is inherited or shaped by environmental factors.
An Illegitimate child was brought up alone by a full time working mom. The mom is loving and taught her the all the basics(- alphabets, 1-10 how to pray) that her time can afford. Student went to a catholic school until high school- she always excelled in class. Nobody believed or appreciated the student ( She suffered the stigma of illegitimacy from classmates and even relatives) except for the mom and her teachers. By the time she was in 3rd yr in College, mom was diagnosed with cancer and school had to step back. Finances was harder but mom managed to sell their house to further support her one and only child. Student finished in a college and was number 6 in the board exam. Mom died knowing that her daughter can finally be able to support herself.
- Baseline support system for intelligence came from the loving home environment provided by the mom.
- The teachers and school taught, trained, developed and honed her in preparation to face and overcome obstacles.
- Clearly set goal by the student- make mother proud , and to better life circumstance
- The motivation to persevere, improve, never give up and succeed are from external re enforcer( peer/ relative acceptance and most especially make the mother proud), and intrinsic motivation e.g. self-determination and self- worth.
The experience mentioned maybe be inclined to support that intelligence is nurtured by the environment influences yet, one cannot rule out that the heredity has nothing to do with it. Both must have interactive influence on intelligence. Based on researched done by Peter Visscher , half of our intelligence comes from our parents. Then, the other half must come from significant others( teachers, friends, socio-economic status ,race and culture).
What are the weaknesses of standardized tests (Binet-Stanford, etc.) as determinants for qualification for employment / admission into schools?
Can you suggest alternative ways that would be qualify as a “more fair” or “more valid” basis for assessment of intelligence
IQ tests ( Binet- Stanford, are test to measure traditional intelligence because they are proven to be valid and reliable . Valid in the sense that it an IQ test must be able to measure what is it is to measure. Categorically it does measure over-all intelligence by successfully clustering the low , mid and highly intelligent population. However, upon reflection on the different theories on Intelligence( General Intelligence, Primary Mental Abilities ,Triarchic Theory and Gardner’s , then to be accurate intelligence test must be a combination with balance of tests that is not only reflective on intellectual( verbal comprehension , reasoning, numerical ability, associative memory etc) but all other aspects( musical, kinesthetic. Ligusitic etc) of intelligence. According to a publication in the UK telegraph: Study shows, at least 3 exams should be able to measure brain power.
IQ tests are statistically reliable since it was tested and re tested to different populations of interest yet, poor outcome of tests can also be due to stress and physical disability (dyslexia), therefore unreliability can be factored in.
IQ test ( like Binet- Stanford) may have flaws and imperfections are still being improved but still MENSA( the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world) uses it as gauge for its membership requirement.
In what ways do our notions about intelligence affect they way we teach and/ or learn?
As a learner– I have learned that Intelligence does not only involve in the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. It also has an emotional quotient that is significant and according to Goleman a better determinant of intelligence. In this line of thinking, as a learner- I must facilitate my learning progress not only feeding via passive acceptance of knowledge but working and persevering to be intelligent by taking into consideration the emotions that enhance it and its impact on the society as well.
As a teacher– From the discussion ( about Intelligence –nature & nurture) , I can be instrumental in the tapping, development and enhancement of intelligence be it analytical ( mathematical/ reasoning ) in nature or creative ( musical , artistic or sports ) or practical ( emotional quotient).
The readings about Emotional intelligence , connecting my lessons to the life experiences of my student can be effective in their learning progress. That, student’s learning become more meaningful and what is learned in more retained when there is a connection to our student’s emotions and feelings as experienced day by day in or out of the classroom.
Having thus considered different views of intelligence, how do you think intelligence should be defined (i.e., how would you refine the definition of intelligence)? (the weight is noticeably different)
My new definition now on : Intelligence is a holistic term of being able to learn by incorporating thoughts and feelings to adapt, improve and successfully overcome difficult situations congruent to the changes in life and the society we live in.