Step 1B: Reflection on Intelligence


Take a moment to reflect on your answer to the poll in the comment section below. Explain how you think about learning new things and the idea of intelligence. Then, read through a sampling of responses from your colleagues to get an idea of how others think about learning and intelligence.


963 thoughts on “Step 1B: Reflection on Intelligence

  1. MSoto says:

    Life and academic experiences shape our intellect. Our brain needs to be exercised and challenged everyday to grow intellectually. Our brain is like a plant that we must water everyday to see it grow. Yes, we are born with some innate abilities, but we can strengthen them by studying and learning, from our own experiences and mistakes.


  2. Hernesto Meza says:

    As we learn new things the brain is constantly making connections. New things present new challenges that simply require us to rise from the occasion and learn from the mistakes we make. I think mistakes teach us more than we expect and take us from the idea of failure to the idea of not there yet. Failing something does not mean one will never get it, it simply means you have not acquired that skill fully yet but that you are working on achieving it. Additionally, the poll makes me think about the need to truly teach students that learning can be fun and should be fun and that failure is not stagnant but a fluid level of being that can be come out from.


  3. Harmony 2S says:

    If a person has experienced weakness in a specific area of the brain due to lack of exposure, they should be able to strengthen (at least to some extent) that same part of the brain with continued use and practice.


  4. Mark Linley says:

    A level of intelligence is something that everyone comes to the table with; however, effort and interest can change it, for the better or for the worse….


  5. Harmony4681 says:

    Take a moment to reflect on your answer to the poll in the comment section below. Explain how you think about learning new things and the idea of intelligence. Then, read through a sampling of responses from your colleagues to get an idea of how others think about learning and intelligence.

    The idea of intelligence can be measured in different forms. One might think that if you excel in mathematics, you have intelligence. Others might think that if you can compose a symphony or create a magnificent painting, you’re a genius. Intelligence is purely subjective. I think its actually harder to learn new things, especially, when you have been doing something for a long time. Its like the sayings go, “Habits are hard to break” and “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Many of become uncomfortable when it comes to learning new things, especially when you are use to thinking and doing something a certain way. Whenever we come across “difficult students” some teachers might say things like, “What do expect. Look at where their from.” This mentality only cripples a student rather than lifting them. We need to take a deeper look at our students and believe that their obstacles will only make them stronger, not weaker. Also, our struggles as teachers help us to become more sensitive and aware of our own students. It makes us better teachers. As the another saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Learning never stops and so should we, when it comes to encouraging our students to succeed in school.


  6. Harmony Carroll says:

    I see intelligence as the ability process the world around you through a critical lens. Intelligent people not only retain learning, but are able to apply it, often creatively, in novel situation. They are also able to recognize gaps in their learning, which drives them to learn more or perhaps answers unanswered questions through their own investigations. Intelligence is the result of a brain that is well “exercised”. This of course can be taught, however I believe the older you get the less likely it becomes that you can really impact your intelligence, even if you expose yourself to lots of new things.


  7. Harmony072004 says:

    I strongly believe that you can always learn new things. Trying different approaches to learning something new helps the mind grow. As educators, we need to remind our students that the brain is growth the more difficult the task and the more we persevere in solving it instead of looking for an easy way out. We need to teach them that they should take on new challenges and learn from them.


  8. In my experience, I’ve noticed that people/students view intelligence as being fixed for each person. For example you get what you were born with. And it does not change. However I believe intelligence can change and grow. The idea is that you can build up your intelligence, just as you can build up your strength or endurance. It will definitely take some effort but it is possible to become smarter. I believe the brain changes and gets stronger when you use it. There have been studies that show just how the brain grows and how it gets stronger when you learn new things. That being said, when you practice and learn new things, parts of your brain change and get larger a lot like muscles do when you exercise.That’s why you often hear people say, “Use it or lose it!”


  9. Harmony Figueroa says:

    Personally, I believe in a growth mindset. New things can definitely be learned. Not all children will learn grasp new ideas in the same way nor at the same pace, but I do believe that in their own manner and at their own pace, students are able to learn new things.


  10. D. Gonzalez says:

    I do believe in a growth mindset. New things can definitely be learned. Of course not all students learn or understand new things in the same manner nor at the same pace.


  11. Harmony mhc says:

    I think all individuals have the ability to learn new things. I think your basic intelligence can be changed if you have a growth mindset.


  12. MRE says:

    I believe in growth mindset. I believe that learning new things, living experiences and dealing with struggles develops our intelligence. We all have the capacity to learn, the question is, how willing are we to learn something new or challenging? We are only limited by our fixed minds and we need to get our students to understand that they can change and grow their intelligence.


  13. marqueztheresa says:

    Learning and experience develop intelligence. Intelligence cannot be thought of as a pre-set thing. It is malleable and can be developed. What is ignorance, but a lack of experience? Being open, and able to take in experiences around you directly or not, builds upon your experience and your intelligence.


  14. msmartinez says:

    In response to how I think about learning new things and the idea of intelligence, I believe that learning new things and intelligence go hand in hand. Intelligence by definition is the ability to learn or understand new concepts from experience. I am reminded of the mindset that all students can achieve given opportunities to real life experiences.


  15. Catherine says:

    For myself, I can learn new information in many areas, but I have limitations to how deep I am interested in going into a subject and my inherent ability level. I think engagement is key in learning; make it interesting and relevant to me, and I’ll learn more and faster. It’s the same with students.


  16. Rachel says:

    The brain is a muscle. Teachers should have the mindset that all students can learn. If intelligence was something someone was born with, then why go to school. Teachers need to provide opportunities for students to think, make connections, make mistakes and learn through reflection and self correction. For example, with more years of teaching, I believe I get better at the craft of teaching. Some teachers get lazy and don’t continue the professional growth of knowing the best research strategies; as a result, they become ineffective teachers.


  17. Lin says:

    As Dr. Dweck indicated that ” You use it or lose it”. We exercise to build our muscle, and we exercise our brain to build our intelligence. Keep using it, we will get smarter!


  18. Veronica Lopez says:

    When you learn new things you become a well rounded person and therefore more open minded to learning. When you learn something that requires a lot of energy and concentration as an individual you have to be at your healthiest because only then you can redirect that energy.


  19. Lyda Lara says:

    The brain is a powerful tool and I believe that if you have a certain group of components, such as a desire, a plan and a goal we can obtain a desired level of achievement. Then persistence and continuous exploration is what can start to change the way our brain connects with related ideas.


  20. Katheryne Martinez says:

    The idea of intelligence looks very different in every person. I believe that we are capable of making new habits and getting rid of old ones with the right kind of support and mindset.


  21. Mich says:

    Well, I believe that we are sometimes naturally inclined for certain skills and abilities. These abilities are based on many factors: biology, nurture, nature, etc. For example, I struggle with a variety of math problems and calculations, however, I’m much better with vocabulary and writing. At the same time, I believe the human brain can work, stretch and continually grow dendrites to learn new things.


  22. Jose Reinozo says:

    The question asks if intelligence improves or changes over an individual’s lifetime. Barring an accident, basic intelligence does not change. Perseverance, practice, and discipline are key factors in a person’s ability to learn and achieve mastery over any subject or skill. This is proven out in life, as we all know highly intelligent people who are unfulfilled and ave not succeeded in their endeavors.


  23. Helen Cook says:

    Take a moment to reflect on your answer to the poll in the comment section below. Explain how you think about learning new things and the idea of intelligence.

    I think that fundamental level of intelligence remains constant throughout the person’s lifetime as he/she has to be born with a certain amount of IQ. But I also know that EQ impacts the person’s level of growth, which also affects the IQ, ultimate ability to obtain learning. With various traumas and life events, especially when the individual is young and greatly malleable in brain development.

    Then, read through a sampling of responses from your colleagues to get an idea of how others think about learning and intelligence.

    Many have also commented on how perseverance and resilience can affect one’s ability to learn despite the challenges one may be innately fighting through.


  24. Armando Sanchez says:

    The brain, similar to any muscle in the body needs to be shocked, challenged, trained, and taken care of. If new knowledge isn’t acquired, the brain will not create those connections necessary to associate one thing to another. Additionally, he knowledge that one already has, may be outdated or the logic may be flawed. Whatever the case, the human brain is capable of doing great things, but if we do not challenge it, we will never know how much we can achieve if we rely solely on what we know not what we CAN know.


  25. Elena Macias says:

    Just like it exercise and weight training can help us get fit, challenging the brain to learn new things helps develop intelligence.


  26. Harmony 1 says:

    I am firm believer in personal growth and development through reading, research and meditation. I also believe that intelligence can be acquired through study and personal growth. During my teaching career, I have witnessed parents of my students whose primary language was not english, but they studied and mastered english, went on to nursing school. I have also witnessed timid and shy individuals develop amazing public speaking skills. We also need to view our students with high expectations and not judge them because of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status.


  27. Mark Kavanagh says:

    The idea that intelligence is fixed is a powerful force for discouraging people who have started off marginalized. One of the articles from Shift A pointed out that the relationship between aptitude and intelligence depends on instructional conditions, not on a distribution curve. Educational structures can do a great job of failing to recognize and nurture aptitude and then at least suggest that lack of success points to a lack of intelligence.


  28. J Johnson says:

    Intelligence the knowledge you acquire and how you apply your skills. Its a collection if information learned. The mind is like a sponge soaking in whatever it wants. the more knowledge the more you know.


  29. Ed N. says:

    All of us would like to think that we could improve our intelligence, everyone has their limits. People learn things at different rates. What comes very easy to some, others take more time. I can teach my dog to learn new tricks does not mean it is getting any smarter. Learning something new isn’t the same as increasing intelligence.


  30. Caridad Tam says:

    Learning new things can develop our intelligence. Learning does not stop after graduation instead it should be continuous. Willingness to learn something new is the best way to improve one’s intelligence.


  31. The brain continues making new connections as we learn new things. This is not only true for the young, but it occurs more often when we are young because we are more often exposed to things that are new to us. We need to remind our students that intelligence is not fixed, and that they can increase their intelligence by working hard and persevere.


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