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Friday, August 22, 2008

More Brain Research

For a long time people have thought of intelligence as a static item. You receive an IQ score and you are either intelligent or "not so much." You are either "gifted" or not.

I never really thought that was true and I always assert that the "real teachers" or educators are the ones who take average students and make them better students as opposed to a teacher or professor who teaches a class so those who "can't hack it" drop out.

I mean, really, anyone can teach smart, motivated students...a real teacher works with an average student who is at first not so motivated and transforms him or her into a high performing student (I had some teachers help me in that area and I've seen others do it.)

So now here is some research to back up my late night musings and anecdotal evidence. A study by the National Academy of Sciences indicates that it just might be possible to train people to be more intelligent, increasing the brainpower they had at birth.

First the researchers trained subjects in a complicated memory task, an elaborate variation on Concentration, the child’s card game, in which the subjects memorized simultaneously presented auditory and visual stimuli that they had to recall later. The result was that the longer the subjects trained, the higher their scores were. All performers, from the weakest to the strongest, showed significant improvement. So, why did the training work? The authors suggest several aspects of the exercise relevant to solving new problems: ignoring irrelevant items, monitoring ongoing performance, managing two tasks simultaneously and connecting related items to one another in space and time.

Sounds like a well designed learning event...No? Does your teaching, e-learning or training help people become more intelligent?

Check out the article for yourself, Memory Training Shown to Turn Up Brainpower

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Clark Aldrich said...

Every one of us as parents work off of the assumption that we can make our children smarter by doing some things and not other. For example, parents who want smart kids put them in a lot of academic classrooms, while those parents who don't mind their children being dim allow them to play computer games for hours at a time.

Karl Kapp said...

LOL, yes...