Finally, the new term started last week, and I welcomed the fresh batch of students. What motivates teachers to achieve their new term’s goals is the curiosity students brought with them in the form questions. However, not all students show curiosity or even show any interest to participate in classroom activities. I believe, every teacher encountered similarly kind of experience as I do every year that some students perform well, engages and achieve good grades in assessments but some perform brilliantly and show remarkable development in learning skills. However, last week one of my students didn’t respond to the puzzle quest for which she replied ‘Sir, I am not smarter than Ali (another student) who can solve any puzzle’. That was the moment when a question struck my mind that why some students seem so smart and perform well than other students in the classroom? Or it is just a myth that existed only in kids mind as an excuse to any problem they encounter?
According to NIMH, the brains of more intelligent children appear to develop characteristically, proliferating over an extended period between the ages of 5 and 12. The cortex, which is made up of nerve-cell bodies covering the outer layer of the brain, is mostly responsible for higher-order brain functions, such as reasoning and perception. All children show the same basic pattern of cortical development: the cortex grows during childhood, and thins in adolescence, as unused neural connections are pruned away. However, some theories assert that smarter children are correlated with that of their biological parents. What’s more, this association became stronger as the children grew older. Robert Plomin at King’s College London, who led the study highlighted that ‘About 50 per cent of the difference in intelligence between people is due to genetics.’ But genes, is this the only reason for being smarter than other people? I believe No.
Some recent genetic studies have shown that each gene associated with intelligence has only a minuscule effect in isolation. The combined effect of the 500-odd genes identified so far is quite substantial. Thus, genes matter, but they are certainly not destiny. Genetics gives us a blueprint; it sets the limits. But it is the environment that determines where within those limits a person develops.
There are other things, a part of heredity and genes, that makes some people smarter and more energetic, for example. Iodine deficiency during childhood is associated with lower IQ, and addressing this in developing countries has boosted cognitive skills. So too has treating parasitic worms and removing lead from petrol. Take an example of a child’s height – which majority believes that it is highly heritable. Children will grow taller if they eat a nutritious diet than if they eat a less nutritious one because a proper diet helps them achieve their full genetic potential. Likewise, it is with intelligence.
So, students, who think that they are not smarter than their friends or believes that their friend is more intelligent because of their dad or mom etc., just keep that in mind that intelligence cannot be revealed or have been given through hocus pocus. Intelligence can be earned through hard work and proper planning – in your case, following our daily schedule or time table. Every human is given a mind to think and an intellect to decide how he/she led their lives in a given time frame. Stop pretending or given excuses to yourselves for every issue or problem you encounter during your lives. Set your goals – work hard – achieve the heights.
Good Luck! 😊