Intelligence Vs Education

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Over these past few weeks, we have read and analyzed the writings of several authors who discuss the topics of intelligence and education, and how knowledge can lead to freedom in various ways. Two of the authors we’ve reviewed are Carol Dweck and Howard Gardner. While each author researched different aspects of intelligence in education, both authors support the idea that having at least some autonomy in education is beneficial to students. These are notable scientists, and while I would never presume to discredit their research, my personal experiences with student-guided education have led me to believe that the way these theories are put into practice often harm students rather than benefit them. In Brainology, Carol Dweck, a sociologist
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His research indicated that the people who often achieved the most in life were not the people who scored the highest on your standard IQ test, a fact which indicated that there was some failure in the way we measured intelligence or some intelligence that we were missing. This led him to posit the theory of seven different types of intelligences, all equal in value. These seven intelligences include: musical, logical-mathematical, kinesthetic, spatial, linguistic, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. Gardner believed that all kinds of intelligence should be developed as all are necessary and useful in different types of roles. Both authors took a different approach to autonomy in education, but both authors did believe that students who are given some autonomy in what they learn and how they learn flourish a little better. It is on Gardner’s work that I’ll be focusing in this essay as I actually attended a school whose curriculum was based on his…show more content…
While they had different focuses and theories, their shared belief was that some autonomy in education is beneficial to students. While I wholeheartedly concur with their theory that letting students have some choice in what and how they learn does further encourage learning, my personal experiences have shown that this is a difficult concept to put into practice. There must also be some structure to the learning environment as it can not be left entirely in the hands of students too young to comprehend the decisions they're making. Too much autonomy in education increases the possibility that children will act as children and not take their education seriously. It also has the unintended consequence of a severely unevenly educated population when there is a lack of educational standards across the board. There also must be structure in place to ensure that all seven intelligences are cultivated as Gardner urged, not only the select few that a student shows inherent talent for. I support Gardner’s recommendations and feel that a model similar to the public university system should be enacted in K-12 public school systems
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