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Can you teach intelligence?
After reading some posts on the subject can you choose to become a genius, my thoughts took a similar path, though maybe more modest. Can you teach intelligence?

There are many different kinds of intelligences, and I agree with what Dalal Moosa is saying : “I don't think any person is utterly stupid. Those who think they are, or were, haven't found their niche, their specialty, yet... that's all..”

The question is, if it is not your niche, and you have no special talent in a certain field where a certain intelligence is needed, can you be taught to be intelligent in it?
I'm a student. For my whole life I've been a student and for the next year I'll happily continue to be so. My life is currently categorized by what I study. When I was in elementary school adults would ask me what my favorite subject was (recess). In High School they would ask me about my extracurriculars and plans for college (managing my free time and I'm matriculating at Oxford?). Now it's what major (indecision) and I imagine soon it will be which career (unemployment).

Basically I was raised by the education system. And I think (hope) come one year from now I'll have successfully graduated with a degree of intelligence. But how I obtained that intelligence? I'm not sure. But it wasn't taught to me in the traditional sense. And if anyone can claim rights to being my teacher it must be myself. I think intelligence is born out of understanding the system. To this end everything played a role in my development. The mindless lessons about eminent domain, the paper airplane wars in the back of the class, the old timer teachers who just want to retire and never pull gum off the bottom of their desk again, definitely the bad teachers who if nothing else taught us that teachers don't know everything, and so on.

I think intelligence is the act of learning. And learning is not taught (externally) because it is entirely dependent on the student, not the teacher. If a student doesn't open his mind to be an impressionable mold not even the greatest teacher in the world will get through to him. You have to want to learn and you will be able to do so. Intelligence is adaptability. It is about coming into a situation and transforming your mind to meet new conditions. It is about the ability to practice and the willingness to learn.

Even those of us who aren't still physically in school are still students. Learning is something unending. My question then, is where does intelligence end and wisdom begin? If knowing something like the very hairs on the back of your hand is considered intelligence then maybe wisdom is the interaction of all our different intelligences. It's the interweaving of our specialties and our understandings. Wisdom is a knowing of the systems of intelligence and perhaps obtaining it is more of a gradual increased feeling rather than a conscious intellectual improvement.
I agree with you, Patrick, that intelligence is about understanding the system. The trouble is that you’ve got so many different systems, and each has its own set of rules.

 “In Rome, behave as a Roman”, would be a succinct way of putting it. Know the system you’re in and play the game as best you can with that knowledge.

I also think that good teachers don’t matter that much as it’s a lot about the student’s abilities and openness as you put it, but I believe that bad teachers can prove  disastrous. Then the student has a chance to prove his born intelligence, and recognize the bad teacher and search for a good one. Still, teachers play an important role, one needs teachers in order to advance, and excellent teachers can be amazing.
I saw an entertaining episode of “The new adventures of old Christine” where she promised Richie’s class to take them in a Limo into the city and finally changes her mind and decides to take them in the tube. As they are all rich people’s kids, the tube is a real adventure and she wants to teach them to be “street smart”. As usual with Christine, at some point she gets into the situation where she needs to show she’s “street smart”, which is not her strongest quality, being quite helpless.

I noticed many learned and intelligent people be quite dumb on the “street smart” intelligence, to the point I sometimes think those two kinds of intelligence are not so compatible. It makes sense, Patrick, your saying that wisdom allies the different kinds of intelligences.
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Latest Post: April 16, 2010 at 6:17 AM
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