Intelligence: Modern Def. Essay, Research Paper
At the current time, there are conflicting views on the exact definition of intelligence. Some say that intelligence is the knowledge of concrete facts and trivia, while others contend that intelligence is the ability to think critically and reasonably. Other people assert that intelligence is not the knowledge one learns through formal education, but from life experience and lessons given by elders, in other words street sense. Joseph Walters, in his essay A Rounded Version: A Theory of Multiple Intelligences, as being a combination of formal education and society s view on what is deemed important. The fact that formal intelligence tests do not necessarily predict one s future and the existence of different forms of intelligence, show that intelligence is defined as both the amount of trivial information one knows, as well as the ability one has to access the information and use it to benefit society as a whole. Therefore, the modern definition of intelligence is dependent on what type of knowledge society deems important.
Every year from what seems like first grade, students are subjected to a battery of time-consuming exams designed to chart their progress throughout their educational career. The results of these tests are used to judge both the child s intelligence level and the ability of his or her instructors to convey information in a way easy for the child to understand and comprehend. Many children also take IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, tests, which gives a numeral reference as to how intelligent they are. However, as Walters states, these intelligence tests do not predict a person s future. Walter states, IQ tests predict school performance with considerable accuracy, but they are only an indifferent predictor of performance in a professional session after formal schooling (338). Many times people with average test scores have gone on to get a good education nonetheless and become a highly successful member of society, while the person with the above-average test score tries for a more liberal approach to life and ends up living a meager existence. Intelligence entails how well one does with his or her education, and IQ tests cannot predict the future, since a student who is intelligent in school may not pursue interests that are deemed intelligent by the majority of society.
Most people realize that they are intelligent in one thing, such as mathematics or literature, but clueless in another. One who has a doctorate in Physics cannot expect to be a world-record setting sprinter. This lack of being excellent in everything suggests the existence of multiple intelligences, each specializing in a certain aspect of human action. In his essay, Walters believes that human cognitive competence is better described in terms of a set of abilities, talents, or mental skills (358). Since people excel in some abilities and stagnate in others, it is likely that human intelligence is divided into specific areas, some areas more easy to comprehend than others. In addition to the existence of multiple intelligences, people have different specialties in the combination of these specific areas. Walters says All normal individuals possess each of these skills to some extend; individuals differ in the degree of skill and in the nature of their combination (358). Walters s theory explains the fact that some people can be extremely literary but have a difficult time comprehending science or mathematics. It is very rare to come upon a person who is extremely knowledgeable in all areas of human intelligence, most educated people are well-rounded in many areas of knowledge. The fact that humans specialize within the different areas of intelligence leads to concentrated study in a few subjects in higher education, leading to the various degrees in several areas of study at colleges and universities. One who is a music prodigy may not be deemed intelligent among a group of CEOs, as a successful businessman may not be deemed intelligent among a group of gifted musicians.
Different societies define intelligence according to their needs. For example, a primitive society deems a good hunter intelligent, while a modern society says that a well-trained computer programmer is more intelligent than the rest of society. Just because the hunter may be described as a caveman in modern society, that does not mean that he is necessarily stupid. Because modern society is obsessed with formal education, we assume that a person that did not receive at least a high school education is unintelligent. However, if the person is in a profession where formal schooling is not needed, farming, for example, the person may be intelligent to his or her peers. Intelligence has no absolute definition, it is subject to the complexity and needs of society.
Walters, Joseph. A Rounded Version: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. A World of Ideas. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 1998.
Writing Problems: Time Management
During the writing of this essay, several potential problems involving time management arose. First, the issue of writing the first draft of our research paper conflicted with the writing of this paper. However, with some diligent organization and management of time, both projects were able to be done well, with time to spare. The production of two projects due at the same time did impede on leisure and social time a bit, but it was manageable and enough time was left over for sufficient relaxation time, which is needed for clear and concise thought.
Another issue arose a few weeks before the deadline for both projects. Time at the workplace did pull some time away from research and pre-production of the projects, but again, careful and organized time management did help keep school and work separate and neither impeded on the other in importance. While school is more important than work, since education leads to better chances of earning more money, a student s current financial situation requires one to work at the same time as going to school, in order to pay necessary expenses that arise.
A third issue was the fact that English 1A is not the only class on the schedule. Time must be set away for studying for other various subjects, as well as any necessary work for those subjects. Again, some social and leisure time was taken away in order to complete all assignments on time, but it did not take so much away as to prevent the mind from its necessary amount of rest and relaxation.