Integral Education: Strategic Challenges & Road-Map ahead (IV). Education-the current context (Part C).
Have a beautiful week! Today we have to continue with this first sub-theme of the saga: “Integral Education: Strategic Challenges & Road-Map ahead”. Please re-visit the agenda prepared below. We are in the first sub-topic:
To speak about the current context of education in the world oblige us to write about human brain development. The human brain development is connected to advanced intelligence and education in individuals. And it is a complex theme, but I will try to write some thoughts about it. It is imperative to give you at least a paintbrush in relation to this topic.
For years, we thought that genetics (and only biological aspects) were the cause behind a high degree of brainpower. A key indicator called IQ (Intelligence Quotient) was designed to measure the intelligence. It is a popular belief for many of us, that a higher IQ is connected with genetics only. This notion comes from the perception of psychologists and scientists who believed for more than 100 years, that between 40% and 80% of the variability in IQ is due to genetics. The experts thought for decades, that overall genetics plays a bigger role than does the external environment in creating IQ differences among individuals.
The origin of this theory is in Lewis Madison Terman, an American psychologist, and author. He was a pioneer in educational psychology in the early 20th century at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Terman developed the theory of Intelligence Quotient or IQ, and he proposed a scale for classifying IQ scores.
- Over 140 – Genius or near genius
- 120 – 140 – Very superior intelligence
- 110 – 119 – Superior intelligence
- 90 – 109 – Normal or average intelligence
- 80 – 89 – Dullness
- 70 – 79 – Borderline deficiency
- Under 70 – Definite feeble-mindedness
If you were born from low IQ parents, you did not have the good genes in place and you were measured with low IQ scores, destined to stay in the darkness for life. Alternatively, if by good luck, we were ranked with an IQ of a Genius, then we were destined to be part of Mensa, a society for people with high IQ the top 2%. Despite that we have used this concept and score IQ for so long; Terman system also has limitations. If the tests are done when we are living higher levels of stress, it is probable that the results will not be accurate. Nowadays, brain scientists have come to a point where they realize that the Terman theory, is also an oversimplification of the spectrum of human cognitive ability. Actually, brain scientists and cognitive experts have agreed that there are multiple kinds of intelligence that can link to various tasks and different parts of the brain.
But let´s return to the basics: What is intelligence? Why do we need to land into this question when analyzing the current context of education? Well simply because we know that intelligence is improved by education and also may be hindered by environmental factors such as poverty.
Intelligence is the ability to think, to learn from experience, to solve problems, and to adapt to new situations. Intelligence is important because it has an impact on many human behaviors.
Are we predetermined to be intelligent because of our parents’ genes? Alternatively, can we develop intelligence through experience and education? At what levels of our life? With newly updated research, brain scientists have started to unfold that the brain, like any muscle in our body, can be enhanced. Yes, believe it!. If the brain is trained at the right time, it is possible to trigger higher levels of intelligence.
Look at the figure below:
The last graph shows us that the human brain development can be influenced by enrichment of experiences at early childhood. The numerical, social, language, symbols, emotional control, responsiveness, hearing and vision abilities present their highest level of development between the first and second year of life.
“Early life events (before the child is born, and during the first 6 years of life) can put forth a powerful influence on both the pattern of brain architecture and behavioral development. The enrichment through specific experiences contributes to the wiring diagram of the child’s brain. And, these experiences during critical periods establish the basis for intelligence development beyond the early years. The role of the kindergarten and nursery teachers becomes critical in establishing the solid functional footing of the developing child and the neurological adult. Early intervention to correct a deeply impoverished early environment (for example if the children are born in extreme poverty, or if children don´t have the presence of their parents together at home) has been shown to greatly improve cognitive, linguistic, and emotional capabilities in humans. Finally, for the millions of children around the world who begin their lives in adverse circumstances, we should be mindful of what is known about sensitive periods and act with promptness to improve the lives of these children before neural circuits become well-established and thus, difficult to modify. By investing early and well in children’s development, it is possible to increase not just the intelligence, but also cognitive development later in life”. It is possible to improve the possibilities of success of these individuals in the university, to improve competitiveness and productivity, and in consequence, also the quality of life for the next generations to come.
Formal education is perceived to start when children are able to enter kindergarten. But by the time kids join the kindergarten, children have lost the crucial phases of enrichment of experiences to foster his or her neurodevelopment skills. Can you see that we have lost the previous crucial years of intelligence development for kids? Where are the parents to help kids in their brain development?
The fundamentals of an individual and society occur during the first childhood phases. The race for human development starts since the moment of conception, inside the mother´s womb. It is consolidated with the experiences lived in the family, the neighborhood and society.
Are we aware of the importance of early childhood brain development when it comes to the point of understanding the current context of education? If yes, let´s ask ourselves: Regardless of any country, are the social work system and educational qualifications frameworks in tune with it? Are parents in every country committed to their children brain development, by building a happier and more caring society? Are we helping our kids to develop their brains, with beautiful experiences?
To be continued… Stay tuned.
Source References utilized for this article:
Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated
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