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 architectural 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.
Would you share a little about yourself with us today?
I am now retired from teaching. I was involved in education in Ireland for 45 years. I spent 20 years in classroom teaching in various schools, teaching all standards from junior infants to 6th class in the primary school system in Ireland. I spent 25 years as Principal teacher in a large primary school in Dublin.
Do you have a favorite scene you want to share with us?
I am most passionate about child-centred education. The child must take precedence over the system, the teachers or even the parents. The child is more important than the Curriculum.
Where did you come up with the idea for the book?
I think that most people accept unquestioningly what they hear in news bulletins, in news-papers and from persuasive people in authority, politicians, church leaders and even teachers. From an early age children should be taught to question and analyse everything they see, hear and read.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a book of poetry and a book on austerity in Ireland
Do you have a special routine you follow when writing?
I have no special routine that I follow when writing.
Is there a genre you haven’t written that you would like to try?
I would like to write a play or drama.
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.