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SOLLA, Eugene E.

EDFD 116
2015 46120 Teacher Fleur de Lys Cupino, Ph.D.
B Secondary Education (Bio) February 17, 2017
Intelligence on a Bigger Perspective
A reflection on Unit 4 (Concepts of Intelligence)
In a society where grades are commonly used as key measures to what people perceive
as intelligence, it is really confusing when we try to decipher what intelligence mainly is
about. I, personally, was exposed to an environment where school performance specifically in
the form of standardized tests is being equated to the idea of intelligence. On the Philippine
perspective, another prevalent misconception is the way most people see English speakers as
intelligent, as if English is the language of the wizards. Has society constantly given standards
when it comes to intelligence? Is the concept of intelligence just fixed on the idea of grades,
languages, and such things that the system has imposed to the learners? How should we view
intelligence? Are we intelligent? Is everyone intelligent? Unit 4 gives us a glance at the
different concepts of intelligence through the lenses of the theories formulated by various
personas.
As much as I look up to Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligence Theory, my excitement
to discover and understand the four other concepts of intelligence doesnt fade. Starting off, we
have Charles Spearmans General and Specific Intelligence. Spearman distinguished two
intelligence factors, the g-factor (general) and the s-factor (specific). He described g-factor as
the controlling factor affecting our overall cognitive abilities, while the s-factor as the one
responsible for those specific areas where we excel. The g-factor is the overlap among the s-
factors it is the central factor affecting our cognitive abilities.
Meanwhile, Gardner argued on his Theory of Multiple Intelligences that there are eight
distinct intelligences, namely, Verbal/Linguistic, Visual/Spatial, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal,
Musical, Bodily Kinesthetic, Naturalist, and Logical/Mathematical. He believed that every
learner thinks differently. Since most tasksincluding most tasks in classroomsrequire
several forms of intelligence and can be completed in more than one way, it is possible for
people with various profiles of talents to succeed on a task equally well (Seifert & Sutton,
2009, p. 69). Gardner stressed on the fact that these theory shall empower learners, and not
restrict them to only one modality of learning. After further analysis, Gardner found that logic,
spatial abilities, language, and mathematics are all linked in some way, which brings us back to
Spearmans concept of the g-factor (Kalat, 2014, p. 295).
Robert Sternberg, the proponent of Successful Intelligence, supported Gardners theory
of multiple intelligences, but differentiated intelligence only into three types: analytical,
practical, and creative. Analytical intelligence involves logic, arithmetic, and academics.
Practical intelligence (street smart) involves the use of logic/common sense in practical
situations, while creative intelligence involves the way we adapt and react to novel situations
and learn something from such new experience. Sternberg believed that the three components
shall always be balanced. With the three concepts, so far, we can notice how the ideas in each
theory relate to each other.
Moving on, David Perkins, in his concept of Learnable Intelligence, pointed out three
types of intelligence: reflective, neural, and experiential. Neural intelligence greatly depends on
the efficiency of ones neural system. Experiential intelligence involves learning by experience,
and lastly, reflective intelligence the one which helps us control our neural and experiential
intelligences. Last concept would be Daniel Golemans Emotional Intelligence, which according
to Fogarty (1998), tells that intelligence is both cognitive and emotional, with the emotional
(self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill) ruling over cognitive (p.
2).
As we went through the concepts of intelligence one-by-one, we have observed that the
theories are somehow complementing each other in a way that the concepts are interrelated.
A notable difference would be the way they were clustered and classified. Nevertheless, each
theory contributes on aiding an individual in understanding the concept of intelligence. This
leads me to what I consider the most ideal definition of intelligence, which encompasses all the
key ideas of the theories mentioned above. That intelligence is the ability to achieve ones goal
in life given ones sociocultural context; and that intelligence is the ability to capitalize ones
strength and compensate weaknesses, and adapt to ones active environment.
These concepts of intelligence portray a very vital role in the teaching-learning
environment, most especially in enhancing students motivation and learning authenticity. The
teachers must be aware of the diversity of the learners and assess his/her students individually
in order to come up with the most ideal way of teaching them the lessons. Teachers must bear
in their minds that each student has their own learning techniques. Teachers must not be
manipulative; they must understand that it is their responsibility to ensure students learning,
not limit it into what a certain manual or textbook says. I remember when I was in Grade 1, my
teacher used to scold me just because I cant answer correctly when it comes to Mathematics.
But when it comes to English and Science, I always supply the correct answers. I think my
teacher did not realize that time that students have their strengths and weaknesses. Teachers
must not make students think that some people have more ability than others; a good teacher
leads his/her students to explore, figure out, and unleash his/her potential. In this way,
students become more active and more involved in the learning process thus, producing a
collaborative classroom environment. It also helps in developing the self-esteem of a learner.
As a future teacher, it is very important for me to understand and absorb these
concepts. It is not just enough that I know it; I should be able to apply it to my future students. I
do believe that a teacher shapes a students mind and nurtures his/her potential. For instance,
when we apply the Gardners multiple intelligence theory in a classroom, we are actually
making a classroom surrounded by enthusiastic students. In the case of progressive schools,
they actually let students do experiential learning. Students learn in the way they are inclined to
they are not obliged to follow a specific way in solving a problem, but the assurance of
students learning is necessary. Progressive schools actually use various theories of intelligence;
a couple of more evident ones would be Gardners multiple intelligence and Sternbergs
successful intelligence. As opposed to this, most traditional classrooms still often make use of
the traditional way of learning, in which the teacher is the authority and the students must only
listen to what the teacher is saying. Instructions and modalities which the students should
follow are commonly fixed, students should learn in the process provided. This leads to
selective learning, where those who can understand are only the ones who learn.
References
Fogarty, R. (1998). The intelligence friendly classroom: It just makes sense. Educational Testing
Service. Retrieved from http://www.ets.org/s/efolio/pdf/Intelligence-
Friendly_Classrm.pdf
Kalat, J.W. (2014). Introduction to Psychology, 10th Edition. United Kingdom: Cengage Learning.
Seifert, K. & Sutton, R. (2009). Educational Psychology. Zurich, Switzerland: Jacobs Foundation.