Are We Successfully Intelligent?



Of all our readings for this module, I specifically loved the one about Robert Sternberg’s successful intelligence. For the longest time, education centered on learners who are traditionally adept. These learners have been placed on higher positions or are esteemed highly compared to the non-traditional learners.

Those who are not perceived to be intelligent may be able to achieve high levels just as the achievers are able to deliver. Advantaged learners are not even automatically more successful when it comes to real life.

Sternberg showed a concept of intelligence that is a lot broader than the traditional concept. He aptly turned it as successful intelligence.

Successful intelligence is one’s ability to reach success according to a personal standard in a socio-cultural setting. This is a harmony of creative, analytical and practical skills.

These are technical definitions of the term successful intelligence, though. What I truly loved to read was the story about the two little boys and the bear. I already heard this story before but the version that we have on our reference is more extensive. Here, Boy #1 was esteemed to be smart by his teacher and parents. Everyone thinks he is smart so he believed he is.

The other boy – Boy #2 – was average according to the world’s idea of intelligence. As we already know, both boys encountered a bear but only one was likely to survive. Boy #1 calculated the scenario mathematically and his brain stopped working then.

Boy #2 came up with a solution which was to outrun Boy #1 (yes, the smart boy) so that the bear would eat just one of them.

We can say that Boy #2 is street smart. This boy’s practical knowledge was a survival skill that was not learned in a book. Here’s another interesting thing about successful people according to Forbes Magazine – there are more successful people who are college dropouts (e.g. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson).

Have we ever been taught of adaptability in school? If unexpected things happen in life, no amount of math calculation could save you especially when commando work is required. So, in essence, being practical or street smart makes you safer, better able to understand people, and you solve problems more easily.

So, are we still choosing analytical intelligence alone? Not anymore.

We need to combine creative, analytical and practical intelligence in order become more successful in life. Yes, having common sense pays.







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