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The College Success textbook we used last class was really fond of Robert Sternberg's theory of Successful Intelligence. So much so that every chapter had a section encouraging students "get analytical", "get creative", and "get practical". I like his idea that intelligence is more than just the verbal/math that most IQ tests measure. I really like the Multiple Intelligences theory by Howard Gardner, despite the complete failure to address musical and naturalistic learners (study while listening to music under a tree! there has to be something else they can do!). So I'm on board with Sternberg's attempt to remove the misconception that smart = analytical thinker. I agree wholeheartedly that creative and practical thinking are as worthy and desirable as critical thinking. I am weak in all three so I'm unbiased!

So I was actually a bit excited when I saw Sternberg's name in the index of The Know-It-All! I could mention this the next time I teach College Success! I can recommend this book to my fellow College Success teachers! Yay!

Something that I really admire about AJ Jacob's Britannica Quest is that he wants to actually put what he's learning into action. It's meaningless to read the encyclopedia and discover all these facts if you can't do anything with them. He wants to be the smartest person in the world!! So he's always checking to see if this quest is actually making him smarter. He's met up with Alex Trebek, with five time jeopardy winner Dave Sampugnaro, with 190 IQ genius Ron Hoeflin, with a rabbi, he's taken the Mensa exam/joined Mensa, he took on a college debate team, he went back to his favorite teacher, went back to his high school, etc - all to discuss the meaning of intelligence and the EB Quest. In many instances, he did not do so well (the debate was particularly amusing and he failed the Mensa exam, getting in on his high school SAT scores) but he tried. He also took some annex classes on speed reading and memory, from which I learned never take annex classes and I'm very very proud of my own college's noncredit courses in comparison. So I admire him for going beyond just reading and I admire the people who took the time (hours even) to chat with him.

As the EB entry on "intelligence" was written by Sternberg - which I can't wait to mention to my fellow College Success teachers - Mr. Jacobs emailed Sternberg to talk to him about his quest. Sternberg was an ass. A three email sending, condescending ass. I will remember this, as well, the next time I teach College Success.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
sarahtoalaska
Dec. 30th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
I've always believed that there is more than one kind of intelligence. It's juts not so easy to measure. I've known plenty of people that are smart but not analytical thinking in the slightest.
I think it's kind of funny/annoying and creatively thinking isn't really considered 'intelligence'. Really they are just as important. I mean, without creativity... well I think we would be moving forward much more slowly than we are. I guess it's easy to discount something when you don't have it yourself. :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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