Are grades a sufficient measure of an individual’s intelligence and brilliance? That is to say, that if we measured the intelligence and the brilliance of a person based solely on the school that they attended, would we arrive at a conclusion as to the quality of that person? Most people would say no. Parents, teachers, school administrators, and many other respected persons would all say that grades alone are not a good enough measure of the intelligence and the brilliance of a person. If only it were that simple. If only it were that easy!
We all know that individual performance in school varies from person to person. This means that we cannot conclude that one child will perform better than another pupil merely because that particular child has received a better grade. In order for us to make such an assessment we would have to use many different types of tests. We would have to use aptitude tests. We would have to use intelligence tests.
Each of these tests can give us a different picture of what a person’s intelligence level is. And we know that different standards can be used to rate the intelligence of a person. So, even if we were able to use a standard test to make an assessment as to the intelligence level of someone we could never make that conclusion alone. It just wouldn’t work.
Yet, if we believe the current social and educational norms we do then. And if we apply the same standards that we use in the social and educational environment to the grades awarded to children in the K to 12th grade then, indeed, we can make the case that the current social and educational norm for individual achievement is not sufficient. And that, if anything, may be a reason why we see a significant increase in the use of individual achievement testing.
Let’s consider what some of the measures of intelligence are. Most measures of intelligence measure general intellectual ability. So, if someone is highly intelligent (at the very top of the range) and they have poor academic grades they are still highly intelligent, but it is not their intellect that are at issue here. The poor grades are measuring the weakness of their education. And in this light, it appears we are back to where we were in the 1970s when the concept of intelligence was first introduced.
So, now we have standards that say that people should be able to achieve a standard of competence in education. And, we also have tests that say that people are able to achieve that standard. So, what does this all tell us?
That all depends on what the standard of competence is. If it is low, that means that individual will struggle to achieve their objectives. If it is high, then they might excel and accomplish more than most people. And, if the standard is somewhere in between, that individuals may actually do quite well, but they may also struggle.
If we want to determine how well our children are performing in school, we need to think in these terms rather than the conventional “grading rubrics” we often see being used. Intelligence is not about how well you can write a letter or grade a test. It is about how well your child fits in the classroom, in the social setting, and in overall life skills. In order to know how well your child measures up, we need to think in these terms rather than the “grading rubrics” used in our schools.
Are grades sufficient measure of an individual’s intelligence and | intelligence | measures | standard | individual} An Intelligence Quotient is a standard used to determine an individual’s level of intelligence and compares this to the norm. It’s not the standard used to determine how well your child fits in the big picture. If we want to know how well each of our students are developing intellectually, emotionally, socially, or otherwise, we need to think in terms of these three areas rather than the “grade” being the only yardstick we have for evaluating these aspects. In my opinion, it makes far more sense to think in these terms.