What is Intelligence, Anyway?
Too often, in schools, intelligence is very one -sided. It’s defined by the students who are good at the core subjects of math, reading, or score high on standardized tests. In the July AOE class, The Element, a popular conversation emerged regarding the definition of intelligence. In the course, rich conversations helped us redefine what intelligence might look like in our students and how to identify their “Element” – The area where their passion meets their talent- For many, this area is NOT simply math or reading, but a broader sense of what it means to be intelligent.
Here are some ideas course participants came up with as their OWN definition of intelligence:
“The ability to explain something new to another person”
“Committment and the desire to learn something”
“What we discover about ourselves and the ways in which we interact with the world around us”
“Performing well at any task”
“The ability to ask and answer questions”
“The ability to understand yourself well enough to be able to find happiness and solve your own problems” (my personal favorite reply!)
“Knowing what you need to know, at the time you need to know it, and then acting accordingly” (LOVE this!)
“Something you have learned over time and enjoy”
“Intelligence is the thing that pulls you above the rest”
“Something you are naturally good at, comes easily to you and makes you happy”
Did you hear the word “Bubble Test” or Math Scores anywhere in these definitions? I didn’t think so!
Add you own definition of intelligence to the comments section! The possibilities are endless!
PS. If you want to get in on this conversation with other art educators, we’ll be running The Element again in October! This is one of my favorite classes to teach, because it not only gives the teacher a well needed break with time for reflection, it helps us look at our students in a whole new way.