Title: Defining Intelligence
Author: Dr. Pat Keogh
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It may be unethical for a person to conduct an intelligence assessment on another human being. Human intelligence is unquantifiable. Observing or analysing behaviour, appearance, personality, beliefs or acquired knowledge cannot produce a quantifiable measure of a person’s intelligence. The brain can perform millions of billions of calculations per second. This gives the person enormous power and incalculable potential. Yet, saying ‘I use my brain to think’ awards the ‘I’ (the mind) a priority over the brain. We are thinking beings. We are compelled and condemned to think. Thinking is process. We cannot analyse thinking but we can analyse thoughts and ideas, the products of thinking. The mind can reflect on the past, live in the present and plan for the future. Intelligence involves abstract, purposeful, logical thinking and the ability to create and execute ideas. It also includes unconscious thinking. The mind functions best when the body is at rests. The mind never sleeps. The ‘Bru na Boinne’ megalithic burial tombs in County Meath, particularly New Grange testify to the brilliance in observation, the thoughtful archectual planning and the masterful engineering execution of ideas and plans by our Neolithic ancestors of five thousand years ago. Modern day communication technology air and spacecraft are contemporary testimonials to human genius. Primary education should allow time in the curriculum for students to daydream purposefully. In early schooling greater emphasis should be placed on creativity, music composition, innovation and artistic pursuits.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
Determination to achieve my goals, patience and persistence.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I am disorganised and I take on too many projects or commitments at the same time. My inability to say NO is a fault. I tend to respond to other’s requests and needs too readily.
When did you first know you could be a writer?
After I completed my doctoral thesis I believed that I had something to offer the world and the best way to do that was through writing.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years?
Studying philosophy and teaching children has influenced my way of thinking and encouraged me to share my thoughts and views through writing.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
As principal teacher of a large primary school in Dublin I read hundreds of psychological assessment reports. I eventually came to the conclusion that IQ assessments do not measure intelligence. This led me to seek a definition of intelligence and to investigate the meaning of what psychologists call IQ.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I found the most difficult part of writing this book Defining Intelligencewas trying to include all aspects of intelligence and disseminating what does and what does not constitute intelligence. I found it difficult too, to avoid repetition and ensure that my arguments were logical and based on facts where that was necessary. Editing, correcting and modifying were necessary but rather tedious tasks as I came to the finishing line.
Pat Keogh is principal teacher in a large Dublin suburban primary school. He is a staunch advocate of child-centred education. He has had numerous articles published in the Irish Primary Teacher’s journal ‘In Touch’, The Irish Times newspaper and in ‘Leadership’, an Irish Primary Principal’s magazine. Pat has a master’s degree in philosophy and a doctorate in education. His doctoral thesis is entitled: ‘THINKING CRITICALLY’. He is keenly interested in the incredible calculating ability of the human brain and the illusiveness and ingenuity of the mind. He believes that the creative mind operates best when the body is at rest.