Rethinking the Measurement of Intelligence

Duffy, Leah


Schwartz, K. (2016, April 11). Rethinking intelligence: How does imagination measure up? Retrieved April 13, 2016, from

The article starts out by discussing Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman and his struggles in early education. Due to a processing disorder he was placed in special needs courses until a high school teacher realized he probably could take regular courses. He overcame his background of special education classes and went on to university to study psychology and become a professor. Schwartz goes on to discuss Dr. Kaufman’s research on an “imagination quotient.” He believes that IQ alone is not a good way of measuring intelligence. Some creative people, who can be successful when passionate about a subject, don’t have minds that work in ways traditionally measured by the school system and this can be detrimental. There are different neural networks, the default node network and the attention network, which function at different times. There is research being conducted on the connection between these networks and how creative people have enhanced connections between the networks. Dr. Kaufman suggests that teachers need to enhance the time that children use the default node network and not just the attention network. 

This is a great, brief article that shows that not all minds work the same. Traditional IQ tests can be helpful but they shouldn’t be the sole measure of academic potential.  School systems need to embrace different types of intelligence because not all minds work in the same way. Dr. Kaufman’s background shows that different ways of thinking don’t have to be detrimental to success. Educators that are willing to be flexible with their students can help non-traditional thinkers become prosperous students.