What does it take to become an intelligent person?  It can be measured in a variety of ways, but I tend to conform to the definition of it being the “proper application of knowledge.”  Intelligence is showcased when a person obtains knowledge and then they use it for some productive purpose.  It is creating something that has value and that can operate in a real world scenario.

Too often we instruct kids that to be intelligent is to memorize formulas and equations and dates and vocabulary.  They do this in order to pass a test that they may in fact never use again.  There is a sort of flawed way of thinking in this.  Now it is not necessarily anything that is intrinsically wrong with that.  It is good to memorize and to horde knowledge in the mind of the individual, but I believe that there is yet a better way.  What good is knowledge if it is not used.  It is comparable to taking money and putting it on a shelf and never touching it again.  It has no value, but has the potential to be valuable.

In a math classroom, for instance, there are always the students that complain that they will never use the information they are given ever again.  They might not be able to, but they can be shown that if they were to use it again how they could do so in a real world setting.  A teacher could have them practice the formula or equation and tell them what jobs would be available to them for using this skill.  That way it starts to take on value.

We are not having our students create enough.  There needs to be the instruction where students take knowledge and then they create something with it that can have application in the real world and have a real effect on people and places.  That is a way to incentivize the students to learn and no it is not something that is easily done, but it is feasible.  There are so many students and children that are growing up and they have such a disdain for learning and I believe that the systemized test taking rituals that they pursue are breeding the problem

How sad is it that in our society one is labeled an “not cool” or a “nerd” because they enjoy reading and learning?  They have made the leap out of darkness to come into the light through knowledge and application and yet they must deal with the natural resentment that comes from the ignorant and the less enlightened.  It’s sad and there is probably a social structure that is so embedded in our way of living that is invites one to set aside learning out of pressure from peers.  Nobody wants to get bullied after all.

Rising above the status quo is the way to progression and that progress leads to happiness.  Only if we can get children hooked from an early age to learning and to do so through true intelligent actions and then we can have a society that is more productive and one where the individuals are being creative and free thinkers.  That is the type of society that prospers and where hate and violence rarely shows its face.