Title: Defining Intelligence
Author: Dr. Pat Keogh
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It may be unethical for a person to conduct an intelligence assessment on another human being. Human intelligence is unquantifiable. Observing or analysing behaviour, appearance, personality, beliefs or acquired knowledge cannot produce a quantifiable measure of a person’s intelligence. The brain can perform millions of billions of calculations per second. This gives the person enormous power and incalculable potential. Yet, saying ‘I use my brain to think’ awards the ‘I’ (the mind) a priority over the brain. We are thinking beings. We are compelled and condemned to think. Thinking is process. We cannot analyse thinking but we can analyse thoughts and ideas, the products of thinking. The mind can reflect on the past, live in the present and plan for the future. Intelligence involves abstract, purposeful, logical thinking and the ability to create and execute ideas. It also includes unconscious thinking. The mind functions best when the body is at rests. The mind never sleeps. The ‘Bru na Boinne’ megalithic burial tombs in County Meath, particularly New Grange testify to the brilliance in observation, the thoughtful archectual planning and the masterful engineering execution of ideas and plans by our Neolithic ancestors of five thousand years ago. Modern day communication technology air and spacecraft are contemporary testimonials to human genius. Primary education should allow time in the curriculum for students to daydream purposefully. In early schooling greater emphasis should be placed on creativity, music composition, innovation and artistic pursuits.
Pat Keogh is principal teacher in a large Dublin suburban primary school. He is a staunch advocate of child-centred education. He has had numerous articles published in the Irish Primary Teacher’s journal ‘In Touch’, The Irish Times newspaper and in ‘Leadership’, an Irish Primary Principal’s magazine. Pat has a master’s degree in philosophy and a doctorate in education. His doctoral thesis is entitled: ‘THINKING CRITICALLY’. He is keenly interested in the incredible calculating ability of the human brain and the illusiveness and ingenuity of the mind. He believes that the creative mind operates best when the body is at rest.