Short Stories for Teachers

What is IQ?
By:Francesca Black

IQ or intelligent quotient is supposed to test intelligence irregardless of age or environmental factors, yet numerous studies show that environmental factors can strongly influence IQ. The concept of intelligence has continued to evolve, despite problems with and misuses of IQ testing.

Some researches say that IQ, an income predictor, is partially inherited. IQ is not influenced by family size or birth order. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that IQ is lower in large families. There is also no evidence to suggest that a first born child will be more intelligent than any other child. Social class is just one of many factors, both environmental and genetic that might impact a child's IQ. Others can include: diet, birth weight, parental IQ . IQ tests can't measure all forms of intelligence.

Studies have shown that children who are breast fed display IQ's up to 10 points higher by the age of three. The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body, and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. Brain weight accounts for about 2 percent of your body weight, but your brain uses 20 percent of your body's oxygen supply and 20-30 percent of your body's energy.

People with lower IQ are at a greater risk of getting a concussion. A Danish study looked at 520 men who had sustained concussions after having their IQ's test . 30.4 percent of the concussed men had had low scores, resulting in experts declaring that lower IQ is a risk factor.

In the 1960s and '70s, IQ tests began to fall out of favor, partially because of racially and culturally specific test questions. Assumptions were made that a lower IQ indicated the need for more teaching, not an inability to learn. Education matters, studies show that dropouts lose IQ points. Summer vacation means brain drain. Two independent studies show an IQ decline over the summer, increasing with every month of school out. Kids hit the hardest are the ones with the least amount of academic orientation. Swedish researchers found a 1.8 point IQ loss for each year of high school missed after dropping out.

An analysis of 1 million students in a New York school district showed that school cafeteria food affected IQ scores to an astonishing degree. When preservatives, coloring and artificial flavors were removed from the cafeteria menu researchers found that 70,000 students performed two or more IQ grade levels higher than before.

It is widely agreed that standardized tests can't measure all forms for intelligence including creativity, wisdom, practical sense and social sensitivity. Researchers compared the incomes of fathers and sons and found if you were in the bottom five percent of society you had a one in 20 chance or less of getting to the top. Another problem was that it was difficult to convert to IQ scores from other achievement and ability tests.

Francesca Black
www.puzzle-place.net






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