Redefining Intelligence

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman—who was relegated to special education as a child—argues that the way we traditionally measure intelligence is misguided. In Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined he looks at the latest research in genetics and neuroscience, as well as evolutionary, developmental, social, positive, and cognitive psychology, to challenge the conventional ideas about the childhood predictors of adult success.



Scott Barry Kaufman

Comments [16]

Mark Surabian

Common sense, nothing profound about the conversation. We educators have always understood these ideas but we do not control the "standardized testing culture", the politicians do; and those statistics-obsessed non-educators are the ones we should be "challenging" on the concept of intelligence. His own challenges make for valuable insight but not scholarly work. I'll read the book anyway just to see what he can contribute to the conversation.

Jun. 14 2013 10:01 PM
TMeach from Brooklyn

Thank you for sharing your story. Public schooling can be a painful experience, and one is given few chances ( ie: a standardized text)to prove oneself "normal". I can tell it has taken a lot of strength for you to speak of your own trials, but we all benefit from hearing your story and opening our minds.

Jun. 14 2013 02:09 AM
Penelope from Astoria

"We should take kids dreams seriously" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I say YES from a:
belly dancing,
ballet dancing,
story telling,
With a future paleontologist/artist son:)
And we do not all fit neatly into the "common core"!!

Jun. 13 2013 05:10 PM

@Lina B

"In an age of video games, wii, ipad and other forms of passive entertainment...".

What makes you say that? Handhelds and tablets engender a high degree of interactivity. I'll take either over TV/video. The Internet could be used as a tool for enhanced learning and creativity that we could probably 'level the playing field of opportunity' in a generation but most of the pushed Internet content is junk.

Why is NetFlix the major source of Internet traffic after 8pm? For all of the good it could provide most of what we use it for is recreation. Important, too, but not much intellect-building going on.

Jun. 13 2013 12:47 PM
Marilyn from New york

Thank you for sharing your educational journey and what it felt like to be in special ed.
My 12 year old son is in a special education school and so helpful to hear your views and thoughts about potential.
Just ordered your book.

Jun. 13 2013 12:44 PM

A dear physicist from Germany (who got out as the holocaust was starting) once said, well, it's easy to see you are a very intelligent young woman because you're so curious." That's a factor, too.

Jun. 13 2013 12:42 PM
Jim Durek

I find Leonard's discussion personally fascinating. Like Scott my older son was diagnosed at a young age with "auditory processing difficulty" as well as slow to warm up temperment. He didn't like to answer questions in class. The educators made us nuts and some were downright mean.
Outcome? He is now 34, has a master's in classical guitar from the peaboy institute at Johns Hopkins and is now pursuing a Doctorate in music at Rutger's. Go figure.

Jun. 13 2013 12:38 PM

The idea that Albert Einstein was backward as a child is generally now considered to be a myth based on a misreading of the grades he received in elementary school. That the guest propagated it makes me question how much research he actually has done on the subject about which he is supposed to be an expert.

Jun. 13 2013 12:38 PM
Amy Gurowitz from Montclair NJ

I spent over two decades thinking I was not intelligent-not smart enough for advanced learning based on categories assigned in elementary school confirmed by low scores on standardized tests. The fact that I had sibling rivalry with a very smart, high score testing, rapid reading, steel trap memory recording sister. It wasn't until the mid 2000s when I started the masters program at NYU's School of Education's program in Educational, Communication and Technology that I finally started listening to my husband. Learning theory, cognitive science and different learning styles gave me the confidence to pursue my thesis- MSSoftserve. This nonprofit org that will bring meaningful learning about Multiple Sclerosis to the Internet. It will allow for learning In a customizable, variable learning preferences, and ultimately reduced anxiety. Allowing control for people with MS to be empowered by learning. (I've had MS for 25 years) Thanks to my husband and NYU for helping me to learn of my potential. Thanks Leonard for bringing Scott and this topic to your show. I gotta run. I have a book to buy!!!
Amy Gurowitz

Jun. 13 2013 12:35 PM

And more so - kids love drawing for some time and move on from there too

Leonard I think you are measuring all this on a 19th C model of a learning environment

Jun. 13 2013 12:32 PM
Nina from Jackson Heights

My daughter goes to an unzoned NYC public school called Ella Baker in Manhattan. They believe wholeheartedly in fostering a love of learning, learning through play, finding a way for every kid to love learning, and teaching kids to be independent thinkers. They don't believe in standardized testing. They believe every child is gifted and talented. It is a wonderful school, they should be an example to all other NYC schools.

Jun. 13 2013 12:31 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Most of the tests Leonard listed at the beginning of the segment are called "aptitude tests." Does Prof. Kaufman consider "intelligence" to be different from "aptitude," & if so, how?

Jun. 13 2013 12:30 PM
Lina B

In an age of video games, wii, ipad and other forms of passive entertainment, how do we inspire kids to learn?

Jun. 13 2013 12:24 PM
The Truth from Becky

I agree with him.

Jun. 13 2013 12:21 PM
antonio from baySide

Is there a way of measuring potential? Because isn't the perspective of intelligence ones enthusiasm for a subject...?

Jun. 13 2013 12:15 PM
Larry from Brooklyn

the "intelligence quotient" (IQ) is an outdated term based on a scoring method from 100 years ago. Intelligence measures used now should not be called "IQ tests" (I am a psychologist)

Jun. 13 2013 12:11 PM

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