Siddarth is the brightest student in his class. A quick learner he scores the highest grades and is a sure rank holder in the coming Board Examination. However Hari his classmate is an average student. Though he has never failed an examination his grades are nothing to rave about. But he is a talented singer and musician. Bagging prizes at all youth festivals Hari is gearing up for an award at the State Junior Carnatic music meet.
So who among the two is intelligent? Siddarth or Hari? Without a trace of hesitation it would be Siddarth- the top scorer in his class, For academic performance was the main standard of measurement for intelligence. However in this new progressive and evolving world the term intelligence is now debatable. Cleverness or brainpower is now being re-identified and expanded. Intelligence is now under the scanner. Acquiring new character intelligence is now determined not just on academic performance alone. It is moving beyond the confines of studies, grades, degrees and qualifications.
Going back in time for a more stark comparison who is more intelligent- Pythagoras the Greek Mathematician or Beethoven the German composer? Surely the initial response would be the mastermind Pythagoras who has used his brains to unravel the intricacies of Mathematics. But Beethoven's brilliance and outstanding ability in the world of music too is equally stupendous. The genius in both of them is inherent. They have contributed immensely in their respective fields and both have left behind an evenly rich legacy for the benefit of the world.
Chikku Kailash, a teacher at Amrita Vidyalayam, Ernakulam says, "today a child's efficiency is also assessed in other fields like arts, sports etc. Accordingly the curriculum today in many schools are expanding so that children's other talents, apart from academics are also brought into the forefront. This is a healthy trend. For children with learning disabilities especially this is a boon, for they may get a chance to demonstrate their hidden talents." Intelligence is thus no longer a single entity confined to academic excellence. It is now been understood and accepted that there are different levels of intelligence. Each of these various and levels of skill and cleverness dictate or rule in an individual depending on one's taste and aptitude.
But is this all hype to keep the thinking tanks, social scientists and theoretical gurus to discuss, deliberate? On the contrary it is a harbinger of hope and optimism and something to cheer about according to logicians, truth seekers and philosophers who predict this new prophecy as an innovation and a breakthrough.
Dr. Sathi Ramachandran, Former Principal of Toc-H Public School says, “today intelligence is assessed beyond the 3 Rs- reading, writing. Introduction of the grading system that replaced marks was the first step in this direction. A mere scientific and mathematical approach is being broadened to accommodate the emotional quotient of students. Apart from music, dance etc that enables the student to demonstrate individual intelligence, his group or collective intelligence and human skills to lead, organise and direct a team are also evaluated.”
Degree of intelligence
So what does this new theory or realism indicate or specify? Now for the good news- a revelation that makes every individual optimistic, self-assured and positive. For this new philosophy leads us to the truth that everyone is equally intelligent but in different ways. There is a degree of intelligence in each one of us. "Every child is intelligent in his own unique way thus," adds Dr.Ramachandran.
As creatures of the times it is up to us to examine ourselves and find out where our strengths, acumen and expertise lie and pursue it by choosing the right paths, career, vocation etc to find fulfilment in life. So to all those self-doubting, unsure individuals who feel that life has given them a raw dealyou are intelligent in your own distinctive way. It is up to you to find your strength and tap your intelligence and potential There is something in all of us to make us realise our dreams.