The ‘Intelligence Potential’ Factor

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Any serious teacher will know exactly what I mean. The Spanish have a good name for this untutored perspicacity, Grammática parda or tawny grammar, a kind of wild and dusky mother-wit. But Intelligence Potential does not respond well to methodological attack. It is “activated” by only one form of “stimulus”—personal engagement on the part of committed, erudite, and enthusiastic teachers. And this is why the new approaches or teaching paradigms, based on pre-formulated “objectives” and “outcomes,” constant assessment, quantifiability and performance replication, are entirely nugatory and even destructive in their pedagogical effects. They rob teachers of their ardor and independence while commodifying students into reified and predictable abstractions meant to conform to a set of prior stipulations.

In these circumstances IP is always neglected—and hence squandered as a primary pedagogical resource—since it cannot be caught in the analytic seines and logistical nets of a rigid or nomethetic taxonomy. Its truth, to adapt Michel Foucault’s words from an early article, La maison des foux, is “not given by the mediation of instruments but produced directly, inscribed in the body and soul of a single person.” In other words, it is only the living self with all its flaws, desires, resentments, appetites and possibilities, the self which must be met and known, that provides the once and future set of sensible assumptions for educational practice. But the phantom “teacher” who haunts the pages of the education documents and the gameboy “student” whose “development” is controlled by alias procedures that work so beautifully in the formulaic dimension of figure, phrase, and digit never existed and never will.

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  • PhillipGaley

    One science fiction theme in occasional recurrence has it that, at some age, the mental powers of each of the youth must be "capped" in subservience to the "authority".

    Then, there is this in life, which is often in affect: the tendency to defer to, and to advance that force which sustains one. So that, in the everlasting struggle for administrative supremacy—the world round—than that which they have, it is fairly assumed that, those otherwise lively teachers who would see any decrepit but young mind come to some larger self-awareness or sense of purpose, can transpire no more.

    And it this way—despite the peeps of sunlight just here and there—as representative of the larger Society, "gov't schools"—the students with their teachers—must remain forever "behind", . . . because, by administrative fiat, they are required to dwell in that intellectual territory of spiritual hopelessness.

    The stop against the inevitable and necessarily dour prognostications for mankind, is of course, true religion—that little stone which Daniel mentioned, which, even today, is snowballing throughout the entire globe, becoming a mountain of holiness, filling the earth. . . .

  • guest666

    This all sounds like a bunch of PC BS. People will do anything to avoid admitting that some kids are simply stupid.


      But kids are malleable because their brains are still developing.

      The hope is that that their stupidity can be reversed and they become intelligent adults.

  • rbla

    A lot of gobbledygook couched in scientific language whose intent is to deny that there is a significant genetic component to IQ.

  • Charles Teachout

    As the father of 2 depressed young adults, victims of a neglectful and vindictive mother when they were small children, I have seen them fail in the PC school environment, but succeed in the job environment. I am happy that they have "native intelligence", but not, at the moment, academic intelligence. There are 2 factors that lead me to believe there is some hope of their recovering the latter. At present, they have rejected the Catholic Orthodoxy of their father and step-mother. The moral and salubrious life engendered there has been of great inspiration to my own academic skills. Secondly, we may be able to afford their going to a private institution that respects and encourages religious piety, and an orientation on academic truth. The current PC academic institutions are deadening to the IP. The opposite is true of such a private institution. Unfortunately, my academic underachievers will have to make a fundamental choice to accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives, and they may not have it in them, to be frank. I have hope for their IP, but I am also a realist.

  • Vintage

    A rose by any other name is still a rose. Calling innate talents IP or IQ makes a difference only in our crazy PC world.

  • Webb Cook

    Worse still, in the future a student's predictive "Social Influence" score will be weighted heavily by admissions committees and scholarship committees. In other words, students will be rated by their use of, appearances on, and contributions to social networking media like Facebook. What will be created is an uberclass of politically correct drones with the most superficial of personalities. Schools don't even care that the kids can't do math. The solution to that so-called problem is simply to reduce the standards. Both IQ and IP are becoming irrelevant in this culture devoid of action, but long on endless negotiation, apology, and appeasement. So, sadly, there is no longer any point in trying to redeem anyone who didn't learn to be a social butterfly.

  • Tanstaafl jw

    The difference between successful and unsuccessful students – good parents.

  • SwampFox

    As I see it the public square has been religated to substandardization in education. The new caste system of America ensures certain classes of people will have access to the necessary information to educate the next generation of elites. Those in the welfare caste and diminishing middle class will never obtain the necessary intellectual tools to move them into an equal status of those controlling the system. Information is power and those with it are not going to share it with the masses.

  • crypticguise

    Me thinks perhaps that this particular article on IP is much BS. We simply have to eradicate as much as possible the "feeling" that liberal culture is "cool". It isn't; liberal culture accepts nonsense as true; it's pathetic.

  • Schlomotion

    I would like to see case studies of how Mr. Solway maximized "Intelligence Potential" in his students and read about lesson plans or approaches he took in the context of school curriculum in order to "activate" students that he deemed to be in possession of untapped intellectual reserves.