Thursday, October 19, 2006

Intellectual Diversity

Short blog break until Oct 24th because we'll be heading to Vancouver for what will certainly be a wonderful event sponsored by the Gifted Children's Association of BC and Vancouver Gifted. For more information, check here. This coming Friday, we'll also also be on the Bill Good Show at CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver.

Today, a brief post on intellectual diversity. At Salon Life, a reviewer of the recently released Hothouse Kids book, suggests that one of the take-home points may be "the joys of just being average," but is that really a joy?

We may not all want to be super-achievers in all areas (it's usually not possible anyway), but doesn't everyone want to know what they are especially good at, and wouldn't that be a valuable goal of the educational process? That is certainly the message of The Animal School Movie (adapted from a story Rabbi Greenwald) and a point-of-view backed up by neuroscience.

In education or in clinical neuroscience, we can average the data from different individuals, but do the averages or the differences reflect more of the truth?

From the Small Numbers and fMRI paper below, this interesting reflection,

"It may someday turn out that the information from a few brains, thoroughly studied will reveal more about the universal aspects of human brain functional and organization than the current torrent of studies from lage collections of brains."

The figure below shows 4 different test subjects took a remembering task.



Now just by looking at the scans, would you think all four would have the same preferences and needs in how they learned?

Review of Hothouse Kids at Salon.com
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Well-Rounded vs. Lop-sided Learners
Extensive Individual Differences with Memory Retrieval pdf
Individual Differences in Trait Rumination pdf
Small Numbers and fMRI pdf

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