Thursday 8 December 2016

Letters: Focus on 'intelligence' is hampering students' creativity

Published 01/07/2014 | 02:30

Students sitting their exams. Photo: Tom Burke
Students sitting their exams. Photo: Tom Burke

Recent comments on the stress generated by the demands to succeed at the Leaving Certificate raise significant questions about the point and purpose of schooling.

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Our education system is fuelled by the unchallenged assertion that at the heart of human thinking is a single faculty called 'intelligence', which is variably distributed across the population; the function of education is to identify those who have it and discard those who don't. Thus, failure is manufactured in order to highlight success.

An extensive industry has been built around the myth of intelligence as an inherited faculty. It has been deemed to make good economic sense to direct education resources to the detection, selection and nurturing at an early age of those revealed to be in possession of this competence.

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