What is Intelligence?
Learning intelligence can be defined as the ability to generalize what has been learned, to adapt to new situations and environments, and to find solutions.
What is Effective in Intelligence Development?
Intelligence is innate and largely inherited. However, heredity is not the only factor that determines intelligence. Intelligence development is affected by problems experienced before, during and after birth. These include chromosomal disorders, infectious diseases and poisonings during pregnancy, lack of oxygen during birth, metabolism and nutrition disorders, brain diseases, insufficient environmental stimuli, neglect and abuse.
While intelligence shows a rapid development in the first years, it starts to slow down in the 20s. After this age, the basic intelligence power of the individual remains the same, and there is an increase in his knowledge, skills and experiences.
Intelligence Development by Age
In the first 18 months of life, intelligence consists of movements and perceptions. Until the fourth month, the baby starts to repeat a behavior that he made as a result of chance. From the sixth month, he tries to reach out and pick up the object he sees. In the ninth month, he realizes that the object has continuity, that is, that a hidden object does not disappear, but can reappear, and begins to search for the hidden object and perform the necessary behaviors to find it.
Completely intelligent behavior is seen for the first time around the age of one. He changes his previous behavior patterns. Tries to know and understand the outside world through trial and error. The first signs of thinking appear around 18 months. From this month on, he does not only learn by trial and error, but also begins to establish relationships between objects. 2 years old understands the relationship between word and object. He thinks that every moving object is alive. From the end of the 2nd year, concepts begin to develop. Between the ages of 2 and 4, they use objects as symbols for other things. He talks to his baby as if he were alive, trying to feed him.
He mentally concentrates on himself, cannot understand other people’s points of view. Between the ages of 4 and 7, concepts are more comprehensible at a concrete level. They have a hard time making mental comparisons. Between the ages of 7-11, concepts such as logical thinking, number, time, size and volume begin to settle. Abstract thinking is not yet fully established. They have difficulty in comprehending metaphorical meanings and therefore proverbs and idioms. From the age of 11, logical thinking reaches the adult style.
While in the previous years only the concept of cognitive intelligence (IQ) was mentioned, today the emotional dimension of intelligence (EQ) and the theory of multiple intelligences are mentioned.
Emotional Intelligence can be defined as recognizing our own emotions and understanding what the other person is feeling, being able to dominate emotional impulses, and maintaining healthy relationships. Recent studies reveal that people’s success in personal and professional fields is affected by emotional intelligence rather than IQ. The skills that make up emotional intelligence can be grouped under two main headings as personal and social skills. Personal skills include self-awareness, self-management and motivation, while social skills include empathy and social relations.
IQ, which indicates cognitive capacity and comprehension, is measured by tests and the intelligence score cannot be increased. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, can be developed in contrast to IQ. While cognitive intelligence is used in speaking, writing, calculating and problem solving situations, emotional intelligence is used as a vital skill in all areas of life.
In the theory of multiple intelligences, 7 different types of intelligence are mentioned. According to this theory, determining which intelligence type a person learns supports academic success.
Verbal intelligence: It is the ability to use words effectively. These children love to learn by listening, they convey their feelings and thoughts verbally. They enjoy telling stories, fairy tales, anecdotes, and they like to read books. Their memories are strong. They like word games. Verbal communication is good. Vocabulary is wide.
Digital (Logical) Intelligence: They like to establish cause-effect relationships and say ‘why’, they ask a lot of questions. These kids love to do calculations, count numbers, reason, disassemble a machine and see how it works. They ask questions about how objects work, enjoy strategy games, logic puzzles, and are good at brain teasers.
Visual intelligence: These children better remember something they see rather than something they hear. Compared to his peers, his drawings and paintings are beautiful. They like to learn with movies and slide shows. They think in pictures and shapes. They can understand maps, tables and diagrams. They dream a lot. They like art and project activities. While reading, they understand more from pictures than words.
Bodily Intelligence: It is the ability to use one’s body to express oneself and create something. They can’t stand still, they are very interested in sports. Handicrafts are developed. They can do the repair work very easily. They imitate well.
They learn by touching and moving. They use body language effectively while speaking.
Music (Auditory) Intelligence: It is the capacity to be sensitive to sounds and the ability to express oneself through music. Even if they don’t know the notes, they recognize the melodies and remember them right away. They play an instrument and sing in the choir. They keep the tempo and rhythm while working. They are sensitive to sounds. They learn songs easily.
Social intelligence: They are very good at getting to know people. He has leadership qualities. They learn by playing, sharing, talking. They enjoy being with their friends. Their persuasive power is high. They like to take part in organizations. His friends are many. They like to talk and listen.
Inner Intelligence: They like to dream, think, and analyze their own strengths and weaknesses well. They enjoy individual work. They learn lessons from success and failure. They like to be alone.
Relationship between Academic Achievement and Intelligence
A common belief in our society is that only people with good academic achievement are intelligent. However, the concept of academic success is based on the use of appropriate learning methods. This depends on which intelligence type the child uses in learning. Each child can learn the same subject in a different way. What is important here is the type of intelligence that the child learns, rather than whether he is intelligent or not. In addition, intelligence and intelligence type alone are not enough for success. Proper working habits must be acquired for success.
Advice to Parents
Every child is born with a certain intelligence potential. However, the development of the skills that make up the intelligence and the emotional intelligence depend on the attitudes of the parents, the child’s receiving enough attention and love, growing up in a mentally healthy family environment, and adequately meeting his needs such as nutrition and care. Parents should pay attention to the following points in order to increase the existing potential of the child.
First of all, it is important to communicate correctly.
Empathy should be included in communication and the child should be provided with an empathetic relationship with his friends.
It is necessary to observe the child well from infancy.
As they grow older, their talents and interests should be discovered and these areas should be supported.
Appropriate environment and materials should be provided for learning.
Children should be encouraged to explore and discover.
He should be given the opportunity to ask questions for learning and his questions should be answered in accordance with his age.
The habit of working should be gained.
Every parent thinks their child is very smart and is proud of it. However, the constant emphasis of this in every environment may cause different emotions in children. Some children may not develop proper study habits, relying on being “too smart” and may have problems academically. Some children may have self-confidence problems in the face of the slightest failure. For this reason, it is not appropriate to tell the child this even if his mental capacity is above normal.