Challenging The Current Concept Of Intelligence
To the Editor:
I have often wondered why we accept the new revisions of previously accepted concepts, modalities, notions, and beliefs but seem to be stuck on an established idea of what constitutes intelligence. We live at a time when humans live longer than ideas. This was not the case in the past centuries where established ideas controlled the ways of living and the thinking of millions of human beings.
Our failure to redefine the meaning of intelligence can be traced to institutions that continue to operate with established mindsets that are socially and politically driven by powerful groups that want things to remain as is. One of these institutions is the centers of learning that decide what constitutes the education of our children. While there is considerable criticism of the education models, parents seem to accept what is [in] place, probably because innovative models are ignored because they challenge the established definition of intelligence.
I challenge this established notion of intelligence because most people never seem to have a unified understanding of what constitutes intelligent behavior. We use words to define intelligence, but not intelligent behavior. We fail to realize that specific skills and abilities demonstrate intelligence. It involves a developed ability to think to figure things [out] in order to succeed in life and in the work place.
Parents may believe their kids are becoming intelligent when they score high grades on objective tests. Yet they will ignore numerous examples of their children’s lack of common sense. Instead they will blame it on immaturity, still believing that their kids’ intelligence is progressing and that it takes time. When these parents realize that their college graduates dismiss or ignore many of the [family’s] values and beliefs, they will consider some of the graduates’ outlandish ideas, fearing that challenging them will drive their kids away. Those parents who insist on defending these cherished beliefs and values may feel the emotional pain for doing so. But years later, when their rebellious children mature, realizing the consequences of the bad decisions, they will return for help and guidance. They will admit their parents’ advice should have been considered and implemented.
Dr Rudy Magnan
Overview Drive, Sandy Hook January 22, 2021