Sunday, March 25, 2007

A New Way to Look at Intelligence

Recently a friend of mine had a job interview where she was given tests to check her typing speed, computer proficiency and also math skills. She was upset because she had sailed through the first two but when it came to the math, was a bit stumped on a few of the algebraic questions she encountered. She said it had been quite awhile since she had been in math class and she could not remember how to solve them. I said that really wasn't a fair test of intelligence because there are many other ways to prove you have the so called "smarts" besides in a logical/mathematical way and besides all the years of experience on her resume should speak for itself. If anything she was more than qualified and a very bright woman to boot. It makes me wonder why the company chose to test intelligence with a math quiz especially when the position had little to do with math.

According to an article I read recently by psychologist Howard Gardner, there are actually nine intelligences: Linguistic, Logical/mathematical, visual/spacial, naturalist, existentialist, intrapersonal, musical, and bodily/kinesthetic. And according to Gardner intelligence is defined as “ability to find and solve problems and create products of value in one’s own culture”

So as I advised my friend, we all have are our own special strengths and skills despite what the people that devise the so called IQ tests, deems to be intelligence; and in fact we have a combination of the nine intelligences each in varying degrees.

Think about this when you are worried that your child is not doing so well in his math test or English report, instead of looking at what he can't do let him discover what he does well and help him build on those strengths.

Happy Parenting

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