Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Intelligence

Today in educational psychology we were discussing intelligence. We learned about how, as a society, we have completely perverted the purpose of the Stanford-Benet (spelling?) Intelligence Test. We also began a discussion on how much information we want about our students in terms of previous performance, problems, special needs, etc.

My idealistic classmates did not want any information whatsoever on their students for fear that they would pre-judge and treat some students differently from others. They claimed that after two weeks you would know enough information about each student and did not even need a report on each student.

Personally, I thought this view was not realistic. While I wouldn't want to know each student's IQ I definitely want at least some information. If I was not given any information on my students, I would lose an important indicator. For instance, if a student had previously recieved high marks in math and then preceded to fail a math class, I might approach this situation in a different way than I would if the student had always struggled with math. Not that I would see a student as smarter or dumber, a hardworker or a slacker, but that each student might need a different kind of help. Maybe the first student was having family issues and needed more time on assignments or maybe he is confused by a foundation concept. The student has proven that he can succeed at math so there may be a new problem. For the second student, maybe he has always struggled with math and also needs more time and some one on one help. Anyway, my point is that I would treat the students differently if I knew background information about them. However, I don't see treating students differently in this way to be a bad thing --- it's the differentiated classroom!!! I wouldn't hold them to different expectations or act dissapointed in the "good" math student when he failed, I would just approach my methodology differently.

That's that.

In my personal life, I'm still having issues with Paypal. I spent an hour and half on hold with them before I hung up because I had to go to class and I still don't have a resolution to my issue.

I would also like to thank whoever named the Blue Footed Boobie. My high schoolers dissolved into a fit of giggles and couldn't stop talking about "the boobies" for the rest of the class. Oh well, at least they were excited. :-)

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