The Foundations of Knowledge Intelligence, Thinking, and Geniuses!
How do we define intelligence? It just depends on who you ask! Intelligence according to… David Wechsler : Intelligence is the capacity to understand one’s world and the resourcefulness to cope with its challenges. Jean Piaget : Intelligence is an adaptation. Intelligence is assimilation to the extent that it incorporates all the given data of experience within its framework. American People (based on research study) : Intelligence consists of three sets of abilities including problem solving, verbal ability, and social competence. Michael Gardner: There are multiple intelligences. In fact, there are 7 types including verbal, logical, spatial, musical, body-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. Robert Sternberg : We don’t have one type (or seven types) of intelligence, we have three types: analytical, creative, and practical. (Sterk, Marteney, 2008)
Nature vs. Nurture <ul><li>Wait, wait, wait…if we are born with a certain level of intelligence, does that mean biology is ALL that determines how “smart” we become? </li></ul><ul><li>Again, it depends on who you ask! Here’s the stances: </li></ul><ul><li>NATURE : Humans are a product of their genes. Environment plays a small role in how intelligent a person becomes. You are born with a certain capacity for a certain level of intelligence, and it cannot be changed. Intelligence and academic testing can sort out themore intelligent from the less intelligent. </li></ul><ul><li>NURTURE : We are born with a “blank slate.” Our environment shapes our intelligence potential. Academic and vocational placement tests are exclusionary and do not accurately measure one’s potential. All people have an equal potential for intelligence. </li></ul><ul><li>FINAL THOUGHTS: Intelligence is not solely determined by nature or nurture. It’s a combination of both. One directly affects the other. Genes can alter one’s, and one’s environment can turn on and off certain genes. (Santrock, 2008). </li></ul>
So, how do I become a genius? Firstly, understand that intelligence is different than thinking. We are born with a certain level of intelligence. Thinking is a skill, which can be practiced, altered and improved.
Think, think, think! There are different ways we each think, and different patterns of thinking: <ul><li>Emotional Thinking: Heart over mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Logical Thinking: Factually justified. </li></ul><ul><li>Vertical Thinking: Step-by-step, like a computer. </li></ul><ul><li>Horizontal thinking: Very creative, unconventional. </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Thinking: Using logical, emotional, and ethical criteria to mae up your mind. </li></ul>
So, can I improve my thinking? Yes! <ul><li>According to Edward deBono, we can use something he calls “lateral thinking” in order to more efficiently solve problems. There are 4 ways to implement lateral thinking: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recognize dominant ideas that polarize perception of a problem. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Search for a different way of looking at things. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relax the rigid control of thinking. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use chance to encourage other ideas. </li></ul></ul></ul>
Wait, what’s a critical thinker exactly? I’m glad you asked! According to our text “Communicating Critical Thinking,” critical thinkers excel in the following abilities: 1.) Intellectually curious 2.) Open-minded 3.) Avoid “red-herrings” 4.) Know how to use anecdotes effectively 5.) Learn to handle confusion 6.) Are able to control emotion 7.) Sensitive to the needs of others 8.) Can distinguish between a conclusion that might be “true” and one they would like to be “true.” 9.) Know when to admit to not knowing something 10.) Seek a dialogical approach to the process of argument.
So then, what makes a genius? An article entitled “The Questioning Mind: Newton, Darwin, and Einstein” (criticalthinking.org) describes some interesting facts about these historical geniuses: *Newton, Darwin, and Einstein all hated school, and saw no purpose for it! *None of these geniuses did well academically in school! *Therefore, the greatest minds of our history were not possessed by the greatest students, but rather the greatest critical thinkers…the “questioning minds.” *So then, to become considered a "genius,” o ne need not be an A+ student! I nstead, it is the passion to discover through a questioning mind and a fervent dedication to searching and analyzing one's own ideas and thoughts that can lead to such a status
In conclusion… <ul><li>Intelligence and thinking are two different things. However, they do work together! </li></ul><ul><li>We all have multiple intelligence levels (just ask Gardner). </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence can be measured in different ways and is affected by both Nature and Nurture. </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking is how we choose to use and practice our intelligence. </li></ul><ul><li>We can actually learn to think differently and practice at thinking critically. </li></ul><ul><li>We are all capable of becoming better critical thinkers…and possibly geniuses! </li></ul>
Acknowledgement: This power point presentation has been a review of the information found in the modules, articles, posts, and overall chapter entitled “The Foundations of Knowledge” from our “Communicating Critical Thinking” textbook (Sterk, Marteney, 2008.)