**Please refer to Lesson Plan #12 and Lesson Plan #13 for recommended class discussion, class activities, and homework assignments that utilize the following theories while addressing the issue of Violence in America.**
Lesson Plan #12: Racism and The House on Mango Street Kendra Cherry, in her article “Theories of Intelligence,” explores the varied and vast meanings of the term “intelligence.” As she points out, there is no one definitive definition of intelligence. In its broadest sense, “intelligence involves some different mental abilities including logic, reasoning, problem-solving, and planning” (Cherry, 2018). Cherry continues by breaking intelligence down into 3 categories: (1) The Ability to Learn, (2) The Ability to Recognize Problems, and (3) The Ability to Solve Problems. In its most basic form, she believes these three categories embody the term “intelligence.” Cherry then turns to some classic theories of intelligence, starting with the infamous IQ test. She states: “The term ‘intelligence quotient,’ or IQ, was first coined in the early 20th century by a German psychologist named William Stern” (Cherry, 2018). Psychologist Alfred Binet then went on to create the first IQ tests to gauge intelligence based on age. Charles Spearman invented the concept of the g factor – the idea that intelligence can in fact be measured. Louis L. Thurstone furthered the study of intelligence by breaking it down into 7 different abilities: Verbal Comprehension, Reasoning, Perceptual speed, Numerical ability, Word fluency, Associative memory, and Spatial visualization (Cherry, 2018). For Thurstone, intelligence is made up of a combination of many different skills not just a single capacity. Howard Gardner took this theory one step further by introducing slightly more complex intelligence categories: Visual-spatial intelligence, Verbal-linguistic intelligence, Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, Logical-mathematical intelligence, Interpersonal intelligence, Musical intelligence, Intrapersonal intelligence, Naturalistic intelligence (Cherry, 2018). Robert Sternberg, who criticized Gardner’s theories as describing mere talents, dichotomized intelligence in yet a different way, breaking it down into three simpler factors: Analytical, Creative and Practical intelligence (Cherry, 2018). Clearly there are many theories of intelligence among scholars. Cherry sums up her review raising several important questions in the “intelligence” debate: “Is intelligence a single ability, or does it involve an assortment of multiple skills and abilities? Is intelligence inherited, or does the environment play a larger role? Are intelligence tests biased? What do intelligence scores predict, if anything?” (Cherry, 2018).
Yet, another type of intelligence is emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman, in his essay “Emotional Intelligence: Issues in Paradigm Building” points to the often overlooked role of feelings within intelligence. Goleman states: “Some abilities are purely cognitive, like IQ or technical expertise. Other abilities integrate thought and feeling and fall within the domain of emotional intelligence, a term that highlights the crucial role of emotion in their performance” (Goleman, 2000). Goleman gives the example of an airline attendant who playfully asks passengers to take a seat and fasten their seat belts before takeoff, rather than demanding that they do so by threatening the airlines rules and regulations. By feeding into the passengers’ emotions the stewardess is successful in getting everyone to comply with regulations. This is in stark contrast to pure cognitive intelligence, which even a computer can execute. Emotional intelligence is what makes humans unique, setting them apart from other beings – whether they be plants, animals or mechanicals. Despite the many different types of intelligence measures, the classic measure of intelligence dominant in our culture today is still through the test. Testing is still the most impartial way to comparatively gauge student’s academic success. It is the measure by which we admit students to college, promote them from one grade to the next, determine which level of classes they are in (advanced, AP, etc.) and determine the types of jobs they will be eligible for. The contemporary standard for tests is based on the Stanford-Binet model, which uses a series of point-scale and age-scale formats to measure success. In his article, “History of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales: Content and Psychometrics,” Kirk A. Becker discusses the evolving editions of the Stanford-Binet model and its impact on education. Becker states: “the Fourth Edition provided several factors (Verbal Reasoning, Abstract/Visual Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Short-Term Memory) in addition to IQ” (Becker, 2003, p. 2). The Fifth, and most current, Edition carries over everything from the Fourth but re-incorporates the idea of age-scale which was previously dropped. Many standardized tests in the US today include sections that require the use of verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning, quantitative reasoning and short-term memory skills. We are so familiar with this model that we often take it for granted, forgetting that there are other ways to measure intelligence. A person’s intellect should not solely be defined by their test scores.
Robert J. Sternberg, a prominent American psychologist and founder of the “Triarchic Theory of Intelligence” takes yet a different approach to the study of intelligence. The “Triarchic Theory” categorizes intelligence into three parts: componential, experiential and practical. Essentially, for Sternberg, intelligence is individualistic, situational and depends on one’s environment. In his essay “Myths, Countermyths, and Truths About Intelligence” Sternberg presents an interesting chart dismantling several widely accepted views. For instance, first on his list is the myth that “Intelligence is one thing, g or (IQ)” (Sternberg, 1996, p.12). Intelligence cannot be measured solely through tests. Rather, intelligence is a complex aggregate of many determinants; creativity being one of them.
In his essay “The Nature of Creativity,” Sternberg craftily analogizes creative thinkers to stock market brokers: “Our investment theory of creativity (Sternberg & Lubart, 1991, 1995) is a confluence theory according to which creative people are those who are willing and able to ‘buy low and sell high’ in the realm of ideas (see also Rubenson & Runco, 1992). Buying low means pursuing ideas that are unknown or out of favor but that have growth potential. Often, when these ideas are first presented, they encounter resistance. The creative individual persists in the face of this resistance and eventually sells high, moving on to the next new or unpopular idea” (Sternberg, 2006, p.87-88). For Sternberg, creativity is a complex conglomeration of several influential factors. Sternberg states: “creativity requires a confluence of six distinct but interrelated resources: intellectual abilities, knowledge, styles of thinking, personality, motivation, and environment” (Sternberg, 2006, p.88). Sternberg makes the important distinction between imitation and creativity, and the gray line between them. He alludes: “Artists, including Monet, have experimented with impressionism, and unless the contemporary artist introduced some new twist, he or she might be viewed as imitative rather than creative” (Sternberg, 2006, p.95). Too often in our society we look to tests to measure intelligence, and tests often only measure what one can mimic or imitate. This is especially true on multiple choice sections of tests. Hence, tests often fall short of assessing a person’s creative intelligence which, as Sternberg points out, is integrally linked to intelligence in general.
References: Becker, K. A. (2003). History of the Stanford-Binet intelligence scales: Content and psychometrics. In Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition Assessment Service Bulletin No. 1. Itasca, IL:Riverside Publishing. Cherry, K. (2018, March 1). What Are the Different Theories of Intelligence? Retrieved April 26, 2018, from https://www.verywellmind.com/theories-of-intelligence-2795035 Goleman, D. (2000). Emotional intelligence: Issues in paradigm building. In The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace: How to Select for, Measure, and Improve Emotional Intelligence in Individuals, Groups, and Organizations. D. Goleman, & C. Cherniss (eds.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Sternberg, R. J. (2006). The Nature of Creativity Creativity Research Journal, 18(1), 87-98. Sternberg, R. (1996). Myths, Countermyths, and Truths about Intelligence. In Educational Researcher, 25(2), 11-16.
Lesson Plan #13: Racism and Intelligence Historically, one of the greatest debates about intelligence has been if intelligence is measured by one general factor or multiple factors (Sternberg, 1996). Despite the dispute between if intelligence is measured by a general factor or multiple factors, tests have been used for years as a measure of intelligence. Yet, tests alone cannot measure one’s intelligence (Sternberg, 1996). Tests need to be combined with other methods and intelligence predictors to get a true analysis of one’s intelligence. In support of the idea that intelligence is measured by multiple factors, Gardner (as cited in George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2016) proposed that “there are multiple types of human intelligence, each representing different ways of processing information”. Taking into consideration the fact that there are multiple type of intelligence and that tests cannot alone measure students’ intelligence, teachers have come to know that there is not one approach to education, but that teachers must address the various types of intelligence (George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2016). Furthermore, Cherry (2018) states that current concepts of intelligence involve one’s ability to learn, recognize problems, and solve problems. Sternberg (as cited in Cherry, 2018), proposed a similar concept of understanding successful intelligence, which includes the three factors: Analytical intelligence, creative intelligence, and practical intelligence. In this lesson on racism, students’ will be asked to exercise such abilities, thus, demonstrative their level of intelligence. The following lesson plan provides different contexts for students and allows for students to demonstrate their knowledge in multiple ways, which is in support of the current supported research about multiple intelligence abilities and factors (George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2016). With such a sensitive concept as racism, the lesson will also focus on emotional intelligence as defined by Goleman (2000): “the abilities to recognize and regulate emotions in ourselves and in others” (p. 2). By conducting a class activity that involves students to understand a society issue and relate it to their own life and experience and provide advice to others, it illustrates Mayer & Salovey’s (as cited in Goleman, 2000) model of emotional intelligence, which comprises “four tiers of abilities that range from basic psychological processes to more complex processes integrating emotion and cognition” (p. 4). Students must not only express, identify, and analyze their own emotions on a social issue, but must also use their understanding of their emotions to come up with a possible solution or social goal to help better such a social issue as racism. Furthermore, by providing students four different first encounter examples, it utilizes a teaching method that Sternberg & Grigorenko (2003) finds as a way teachers can translate a wide range of student needs into effective teaching and assessment strategies for successful intelligence. More specifically, such an activity uses Sternberg & Grigorenko’s (2003) idea that providing numerous examples of a concept, a teacher “can meet the needs of more children” (p. 211). The entire lesson plan, which includes the class activity and the homework assignment, also enforces Sternberg & Grigorenko’s theory that “teaching and assessment should balance the use of analytical, creative, and practical thinking” (p. 215) as it forces students to go beyond memorization, but to learn and understand a concept, analyze it, and apply it to their own lives. References Cherry, K. (2018, March 1). Theories of intelligence. Verywellmind.com. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/theories-of-intelligence-2795035 George Lucas Educational Foundation (2016, July 20). Multiple intelligences: What does the research say? Edutopia.org. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-research. Goleman, D. (2000). Emotional intelligence: Issues in paradigm building. In D. Goleman, & C. Cherniss (eds.), The emotionally intelligent workplace: How to select for, measure, and improve emotional intelligence in individuals, groups, and organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Sternberg, R. J. (1996). Myths, countermyths, and truths about intelligence. Educational Researcher, 25(2), 11-16. Sternberg, R. J., & Grigorenki, E. L. (2003). Teaching for successful intelligence: Principles, procedures, and practices. Journal for the education of the gifts, 27(2/3), pp. 207-228.