Friday, February 13, 2009

The schools aren't what they used to be, they never were...

Einstein once said 'Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.' but then again when he was in school he didn't get the best of grades. I've been thinking a little about the types of intelligence that are most useful.

I always think that the type of intelligence which is thought of by society to be best, knowledge, is in the end the most useless. It's probably just the one that's emphasised because it's easiest to test, and thus find who has the most factual knowledge. For me, memorising factual knowledge doesn't show that you are smart.

I think smarter people are those who can use logic, the kind that Solomon displayed when he worked out who owned a baby by offering each woman half. He could have had spies all through the city and thus known how to solve this type of problem by having the knowledge of who owned the baby, he would not then have been renowned for his intelligence. Instead he used logic to work it out.

I like to think that I have a fair amount of logic, I use this to try to use my energy economically, I'm not talking about going green, I'm talking about when I'm doing work, doing it the way which will make me least tired by the end. Perhaps it's not overly logical to some to be lazy like that, but for me it works, using logic and obtaining different results does not mean the other person is wrong, they've just got different motivation.

There are also other types of intelligences, like artistic, social and personal/emotional intelligence. My first thought for artistic intelligence is that it's useless, but it can have it's uses I guess, influencing other people with art is quite a complex and scary thought. I hear that they use certain types of music and colours in shops that make you more likely to buy things. Those strategies don't affect me much, I don't shop enough to care, but clearly the concept could be applied to other aspects in life.

Social and emotional intelligences kind of go hand in hand, it's about being able to tell how others feel and how you feel. It's all about interactions with other people. Not one of my strong points, but useful for many people.

The conclusion I've come to is that whatever you're good at is fine, as long as you capitalize on your strengths for the benefit of yourself and others, but the stuff I learnt at school is still largely of no use to me, which is lucky because I don't really remember what I learnt.

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