Book review: Intelligence and how to get it

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Susan Godsland
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Book review: Intelligence and how to get it

Post by Susan Godsland » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:14 pm

I thought this review of a book on IQ was worth flagging up

INTELLIGENCE AND HOW TO GET IT

Why Schools and Culture Count

By Richard E. Nisbett

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/books ... ml?_r=1&em

JIM CURRAN
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Post by JIM CURRAN » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:43 pm

Thanks Susan, a fascinating read.I think I will treat myself to a copy of the book.

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Post by Susan Godsland » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:03 pm

I think I will too, Jim.
There are more positive reviews of the book on Amazon.com plus a way to look at the book contents and index:
http://amazoniq.notlong.com

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Post by AngusM » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:58 pm

Thanks Susan!

I found another review in something called "The Chronicle of Higher Education" the other day - which also reviews Stanovich's book "What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought"

http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?i ... cmwvckp31x

Nesbitt seems to be describing both Matthew Effects (good readers acquire more knowledge and as a result become more efficient at acquiring it) and Hirsch's ideas (school curriculum is more important than we think for bridging this achievement gap). Then there's Stanovich's additional point in his book that IQ tests don't actually measure an important component of intelligence: critical thinking skills - or as he describes it "judicious decision making, efficient behavioral regulation, sensible goal prioritization....".

Regarding Hirsch, did you all see his recent piece on the New York Times OpEd page? It's here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/opini ... tml?src=tp

And other references to it and him:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/17/books ... ng-hirsch/
http://www.newamerica.net/blog/early-ed ... ills-10736

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Post by JIM CURRAN » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:05 pm

Thanks Angus, nice to see you on the board again. The present system and curriculum in our primary schools makes it extremely unlikely that the disadvantage gap will ever be narrowed.

I believe that E.D Hirsch’s Core Knowledge schools are a step in the right direction but I believe that we may need even earlier interventions that place the emphasis on the acquisition of solid language skills as a necessary foundation for further learning.

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Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:13 pm

Welcome back to the board, Angus.

This caught my eye in the Chronicle Review of the Stanovich book:
Stanovich coined his own term — dysrationalia — for "the inability to think and behave rationally despite adequate intelligence." That "disorder," he suggests, might afflict some of the smartest people you know.

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Post by AngusM » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:09 am

You mean the disorder that afflicts Ed Ball?

I agree with you Jim. But when the Matthew Effects of reading failure begin to kick in for students (because they are reading less) it seems to me that it becomes all the more important for schools to compensate by enriching the curriculum - using other modalities (oral presentation and discussion, video etc etc) that may work for the student.

As Dan Willingham says:

"Teaching content is teaching reading".

I'm sure you've all seen his TeacherTube video:

http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.p ... fd0c217236

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Post by JIM CURRAN » Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:23 am

An excellent video Angus and well worth the watching. It's this lack of knowledge and poor vocabulary that is so crippling for many of the older children that I work with.

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Post by Susan Godsland » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:19 am

On the subject of Dan Willingham, he's got a new book out -in the States at least. It's not available in the UK until later this month. All the Amazon reviewers have given it 5 stars.

Why Don't Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Dont-Students ... 536&sr=8-1

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