“We tend to assume that our intelligence is simply a matter of nature and nurture – but as the celebrated psychologist James Flynn explains to BBC Future, many other factors can stunt or boost your IQ, right down to the person you choose to marry.”
By: David Robson
Published: 30 September 2016, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160929-our-iqs-have-never-been-higher-but-it-hasnt-made-us-smart
Level of difficulty: **
WATCH AND TAKE NOTES:
· James Flynn: Why is our IQ higher than that of your ancestors? https://www.ted.com/talks/james_flynn_why_our_iq_levels_are_higher_than_our_grandparents?language=tr
1. Why does James Flynn compare modern university students to medieval peasants? There are two answers; find both.
2. What is the potential danger of such a mindset?
3. Read the third paragraph of the text and complete the following statement: Girls used to prefer to go out with boys who were
e. All of the above
f. None of the above
g. Other: please specify
4. What does “this” refer to in the phrase “why aren’t psychologists dancing in the streets over this?
5. Why don’t genes have a greater effect on the development of IQ in preschool kids?
6. We understand from the text that in secondary school, it is the nature/ the quality / the timing / the kind/ the frequency / the intensity/ of the stimulation that determines variations in IQ. Mark as many as necessary.
7. Why has the example of body height been included in a text about IQ?
8. We understand from the example concerning modern primary education that there are more complex tasks / cognitive challenges / logical tasks/ difficult tasks in the syllabus.
9. We understand from the text that our greater reliance on technology is forcing us to………………………., which in turn means our power of ………………thinking has developed.
10. The examples of Flynn and his father prove that…………………………………………………………
11. Flynn believes that the significance of the small rises in IQ points is
· Being overlooked
· Being neglected
· Being ignored
· All of the above
· None of the above
12. Flynn’s attitude to our intellectual development is more optimistic because he knows that …
13. How will filling in the gaps in our knowledge benefit us?
14. Flynn believes we are heading towards a dystopia like the one George Orwell created because………………………………….
15. Thanks to all the research and findings concerning the development of IQ, it is now possible to……………………………………………….
WRITING ACTIVITY: The first alternative:
Use the information in the text to discuss the factors that shape our ultimate IQ.
WRITING ACTIVITY: The second alternative:
Write an essay in which you discuss the advantages of reading. Before you do so, watch the following videos – they are about 10 min each
a. BBC. Why reading matters part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdwFFFBCPzw
d. Part 4 Not available
OUR IQ’S HAVE NEVER BEEN HIGHER – BUT IT HASN’T MADE US SMART key and teachers’ notes
This wonderful text is not only about IQ but also about the dangers of everyday ignorance and the dystopia we are hurtling towards. There is a lot of room for discussion and the potential for a great writing activity.
1. Because bright students with enormous potential aren’t engaging with the complex past of the world around them; OR, They are anchored in their own little world.
2. It leaves us open to manipulation by politicians and the media
3. Cultured and informed
4. The fact that the average scores for everyone – black and white alike – had been rising consistently by around three points a decade
5. Because they haven’t begun to think for themselves
6. The nature, the quality, the kind
7. Because exactly the same thing is happening to our minds (thanks to shifts in the cognitive demands of our society
8. Cognitive challenges
9. Think in hierarchies and symbols; abstract
10. IQ is malleable over time
11. All of the above
12. Circumstances today shape our current IQ more than our past history.
13. By providing us with a background in the crises that have shaped world history
14. People are ahistorical and live in a bubble of the present
15. To write (genuine) cognitive history