The IQ Myth
How to grow your own intelligence
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Paperback: AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE (US only)
Read the blurb:
Alfred Binet invented the IQ test – not as a measure of innate intellect or ability, nor as a number by which someone’s capabilities could be determined – but as a way of identifying children who were not profiting from the Paris public school system.
Binet, far from believing IQ was a measure of natural-born talent, said that anyone could achieve anything with “practice, training, and above all, method”.
Taking these three words – uttered a century ago – as its premise, “The IQ Myth” explores the importance of hard work and practice – rather than innate ability or intellect – in improving one’s intelligence.
Primarily written for school teachers – though a fascinating book for anyone interested in the science of how we learn – “The IQ Myth” examines the true nature of intelligence and argues that nurture is more important than nature when it comes to realising one’s potential.
“The IQ Myth” argues that teachers who ‘dumb down’ and expect students to make little or no progress get just that in return: ‘dumb’ students who make little or no progress. However, teachers who set challenging, aspirational targets and push their students to be the best they can be, teachers who create an atmosphere in which students truly believe they can make progress and exceed expectations, get results.
Building on the work of a range of psychologists and social commenters including Alfred Binet, Carol Dweck, Daniel Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, Matthew Syed and Daniel Goleman, this book looks at a range of so-called geniuses (from Thomas Edison to Mozart) and sportspeople (from Michael Jordan to this year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins) and questions the real secret of success and the damaging effect of praise.
Intellectually challenging but written in a friendly, fluent style, this book is a fascinating quick-read for anyone interested in the nature of talent and an essential read for school teachers who want to motivate their students to get better results.
“I was open-minded about this book before I read it and curious how the author would construct a convincing argument that intelligence, however that may be defined, could be ‘grown’, as the title of book claims. It is fair to say you can consider me convinced.
“The book provides a compelling argument against the long-held but restrictive teaching views that are still employed today (though not by all teachers). The main idea is that we categorise pupils into certain groups, e.g set 1, set 2. The potential problem with this is it can prevent pupils in lower ‘sets’ attaining high grades – for instance, they may be encouraged to go for a C rather than aspire to A. If we allow no progress, it’s little surprise that we don’t get any.
“The author argues – convincingly, supported by many examples – that through practice, training and method, all pupils can improve and illustrates how this can be achieved. It’s a very interesting and compelling argument. I strongly encourage you to read it for yourself, even if it is refresh an opinion you already hold or gain a fresh perspective.” *****
– Amazon review