What is Intelligence anyway? Intelligence is based on situation. Have you ever tried defining Intelligence, I mean like for real? What is Intelligence? Sure the first thing that comes to mind is being academically sound right? Making A’s, staying tops in your class, making dad and mom happy right? Well Intelligence isn’t all about academics; I say “Intelligence picks what it is depending on the situation”. Take for example, I take this math test and out of a possible 100, I get a 99, people automatically say I’m smart, right? (Smart is Intelligent right?) What If I have this brother, who is not too good in the academic field but, is a great soccer player, whenever one on one with the goalie he fakes his body and scores the goal, lots of people would call him a smart or an intelligent player, my point exactly; we both would be seen as intelligent people, just in far different fields, if any one needed help in maths they’d approach me, if you needed help in soccer you’d meet my brother. Going back to the contexts Isaac Asimov says that “Yet when anything went wrong with my car I hastened to him with it and watched him anxiously as he explored its vitals – and he always fixed my car” Isaac was really Intelligent, he nailed a 160 out of a possible 100, so with all this academicals intelligence why couldn’t he fix his car himself? Graff agrees with this statement and further explains it when he says “They are prone to take on intellectual identities if we encouraged them to do so at first with what interests them rather than those that interests us” Graff is telling us that Intelligence is possible at any time what so ever but, you should allow the person start off with what interests him.
Isaac is very smart, for what we know he could have picked up some screws and fixed his car himself but couldn’t because it wasn’t in his interest yet; both men are intelligent in their different fields but in terms of academics Isaac would be seen as more Intelligent. So intelligence was applied in both cases, Isaac in his academics and the repairman in fixing his car, and as Graff says let them start off with what interest them, who knows Isaac might have turned out to be an excellent repairman and the repairman vice versa. Flashing back to high school, memories begin to flood back and I’m remembering the days where I would come out tops in Math in the class and how I was always taking to be the best. This story isn’t entirely true, because yeah sure I would get an ‘A’ but not because I understood what I was doing but because my teacher was fond of bringing out the exact examples giving to us in class the previous weeks back, so what I would do was to memorise every question in the book and since he wasn’t changing anything on test day when I saw a questions I remembered I’d just pour out what I had cramped the night before, when results came out everyone would see me as a very Intelligent person. Test day finally came again and as usual the teacher walked in a day before to give us a few examples on what to expect, me predicting those were going to be the questions on test day went home to cramp the questions, while I waited in class for the teacher to arrive, a fellow classmate walked up to me, he said he didn’t understand a few things and begged me to explained I looked at the questions he had brought and they were similar to the ones he gave us the day before, but they weren’t the exact questions, I told him to go away that I wasn’t in the mood to solve any questions at that moment, in actual sense I was scared of the questions he brought cause they were not the questions I was expecting.
The questions finally came in, low and behold the questions I had cramped did not match the test questions rather it matched the questions my friend brought earlier, and I felt so bad. The results came out and for the first time I failed a math test. Would you say I was smart or not? Dweck explains my actions as someone with a fixed mind set he says “A fixed mind set makes challenges threatening for students, because they believe their abilities my not be up to the task”, Of course I’m a smart kid I just had this fixed mind set. I didn’t do the question because I felt I couldn’t, I didn’t bother attempting it, I accepted defeat from the start and that is clearly someone with a fixed mind set, Isaac Asimov connects with Dweck’s statement, he says “in a world where I could not use my academic training or verbal talents to do something hard with my hands, I would do poorly” basically Isaac had a fixed mind set, the same exact problem I had, does this mean we aren’t Intelligent? I was obviously good in other things and Isaac did have an amazing score back in his army days, so definitely we both were intelligent, but nevertheless we both had fixed mind sets and never tasked ourselves, once again intelligence was based on the situation. Would you say we were intelligent?
Some type of intelligence I’ve always fancied is street intelligence; you know having some other bit of wisdom that isn’t academics. I believe street kids can do better in class than academically sound kids can do in the streets. Ken Robinson definitely doesn’t support that idea he says “It’s not possible for street kids to benefit from public education they are incapable of learning to read and write, why spend time on them” he definitely contradicts my idea. I mean you can teach anyone to read and write if they are willing to learn, but most things picked up from the streets aren’t taught in class: Dweck contradicts Ken’s statement by saying “More and more research has shown that our brains are constantly learning throughout our lives” I totally agree with Dweck on this, our brains aren’t dormant they grow and they keep expanding, even Einstein wasn’t Einstein without some learning, it took him a while to get to where he got to today.
Studies have proven that no one has used up to 10% of their brain capacity in a whole lifetime; that means everyone still has a chance to learn something throughout their life: Street intelligence doesn’t necessary Mean Street, like Street Street, it means things you pick up that are not usually taught in class, take for example fishing or farming, those are definitely not done in class and an average class kid wouldn’t know how to farm, neither would an average farmer know the radius of the sun, the point is the same point I’ve been emphasizing on intelligence is based on the situation, you cannot tell me that because a kid doesn’t know how to farm he isn’t bright or because some farm guy doesn’t know the radius of the sun he’s not intelligent, well maybe not book smart but he is Streetwise he is, so depending on the context we our Intelligence is decided. To conclude, intelligence is typically keen on the moment at hand or on the topic in context, you might me Intelligent but not good at everything, meaning in that situation you won’t be seen as bright as you really are.