Intelligence is not measured by how well you can read
Start writing a post
Student Life

It’s Time To Stop Measuring Intelligence With How Well You Can Memorize A Textbook

The American school system and its tendency to reward only one type of learner is absolutely detrimental.

"Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it'll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid."

In this quote, Albert Einstein is implying that there are different types of learners who possess a vast array of strong suits. So, when the American school system only rewards one type of learner and glorifies a few selective strengths, those who don't fit into the mold of the 'perfect student' will grow up thinking they are less intelligent and inferior to their honor roll peers.

When you attend a typical high school or college, your classwork usually involves lecture-based lessons where you are asked to retain as much information as efficiently as possible. This task requires vast attention spans, good memorization skills and the ability to catch on to details quickly. At some point, however, we began to equate these specific skills with intelligence. So, if you're a quick learner, only then will you receive an A on a test, a gold star from your teacher, the approval of your parents and the societal label of "smart."

If you still aren't convinced that the school system favors these types of people, let's take a look at the national standardized tests that every student is required to take. The PSAT, ACT and SAT are all multiple-choice question exams that once again reward quick retention and the ability to absorb facts speedily.

However, according to researcher Howard Gardner, there are actually many forms of intelligence people tend to overlook. His "Theory of Multiple Intelligences" claims that every human being possesses vast degrees of a set of nine "intelligences," Unfortunately, the American school system only tests and rewards those who have high levels of "logical-mathematical intelligence," completely forgetting others, including spatial intelligence (good at drawing, reading maps or graphics), interpersonal intelligence (good at reading and responding to the emotions of others) or musical intelligence (good at producing rhythm, pitch and expression).

I'm very fortunate that the school system is suited to my type of learning. I can memorize facts very quickly and remember them all the way up until I turn in my test. So, while this trait gives me A's, that doesn't make me smarter than my classmate who can more fully understand the concepts found in textbooks, but just has difficulty remembering specific terms. That doesn't make me more intelligent than the person who surpasses me in their critical thinking skills or creativity. Yet, through society's lens, people like me are "smarter."

Let's not forget that Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb, was taken out of schooling for being poor at math and being unable to concentrate. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc., never received a g.p.a. higher than 2.7. Albert Einstein himself was told he would be a failure in life by a teacher.

It's time we realize that there are many forms of intelligence and stop praising and prioritizing only those whose test scores surpass others. Let's remember that intelligence and worth go beyond the classroom, and everyone possesses an unbelievable amount of intellect. It's time to start understanding the value that every form of intelligence has and start giving those who possess these different areas of intellect the recognition they deserve.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.


I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

Freshly popped buttered popcorn in your lap and a glass full of crisp Coca-Cola is at your side. All the lights are turned off and you are tucked into a cozy blanket. You have the whole day off and no responsibilities besides refilling your popcorn bucket. Now all you have to do is decide on what movie to watch, but you know one movie will not fulfill your need of relaxing all day. A movie marathon is the only answer to your problem. In case you did not know what movie series to start with, try a few of these.

Keep Reading... Show less
A Touch Of Teal

It's the oldest story in the world: one day a new tv show comes on and you fall in love with each character and their story. In 2003, the show "One Tree Hill" was born and stole the hearts of fans of many ages. Torn between the sweet, underdog Lucas and tough, popular boy Nathan, people became hooked through the family and relationship drama the characters went through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.


Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Keep Reading... Show less

"Keeping Up With The Kardashians" is coming to an end after 20 seasons of intense drama, family bonding, and Scott Disick. It's sad for some and a relief for others who find the show way overhyped.

Keep Reading... Show less

Starbucks is known for its infamous coffee and espresso drinks, but they're definitely isn't enough love shown for the non-coffee drinks. Being a barista myself, I've come to try all of the following drinks. And let me tell you…they're amazing. So if you aren't a huge fan of coffee or if you're just sick of the same old same old, here are some new drinks to keep your inner white girl alive and thriving.

SEE MORE: Starbucks Has Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cold Brew And OMG It Has Pink Foam

Keep Reading... Show less

What was usually buried at the bottom of my purse has now become a pocket essential — and I know I'm not alone in that.

It used to be something I'd use if I happened to be at a restaurant that ran out of soap in their bathroom, but now it's almost more essential to have on-hand at all times than my cell phone.

Keep Reading... Show less

The decision-makers of Yale's law students have invested in therapy dog sessions in order to reduce stress. In 2011, Yale Law Library had a sign-out sheet for their certified library dog. The 30-minute sessions were equipped with unconditional, stress-busting puppy love.

Law Librarian Blair Kauffman stated that the free, three-day pilot pet therapy program at Yale Law Library launched as "a positive addition to current services offered by the library."

Keep Reading... Show less

I have been working at Dunkin' Donuts for over two years, and during this time, I have progressed from regular crew member to crew coach, and finally, to shift leader. Among my great skills involving the job is my ability to deal with stressful situations, including awful customers. My boss has continuously pointed out the fact that I am able to handle these people with grace and kindness. She herself often finds that she gets snippy with rude customers, but somehow I am able to keep a straight face through these tough times.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments