Monday, July 23, 2007

Are Kids Smarter Than Adults?

Why Homeschool has a post Top of the classthat made me think a minute (and inspired me to take a quiz) about whether kids are smarter than adults.

They linked to the DK (book publisher) site which has a quiz for parents to take I got 8 out of 10. I choked on the questions about who was Henry VII”s wife and how many bones are in the human body (I over-estimated, whoops).

Here is what I left as a comment on their blog which sums up my thoughts.

I think that children's minds can grasp trivia and other facts. It is known that as we age “we lose what we don't use". Actually in America the schooled kids end up cramming trivia and facts and so that is why they know that type of information. The schooled kids usually lack "connections", I know you know what I'm talking about.

I think this gets back to the fact that American schools teach stuff that most of us don't use in our real adult lives. That is why we forget it.

The only reason I knew some of those answers was that I homeschool my own kids, including the questions about world history.

The answer with Simon Cowell was from current American pop culture (television) which is something I'm not so proud of knowing the answer to.

Lastly we adults have a lot more wisdom and life experience, people skills and "social skills", things that are very important in life that the children are just developing. The debate over who is smarter is then, a bit of a silly question.

Plus we could make a different kind of test about smarts, like about managing finances, investing our money, pension funds, mortgages, and how to maintain a house and all kinds of stuff like that and the kids would fail.

With that said the TV game show "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" does show some adults really are lacking in even the most basic "school-y trivia". That show is a bit scary to watch. (And I bet nervousness about being on television and pressure also adds to the people’s ability to not think clearly and to goof up on the answers.)

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1 comment:

Love 2B Homeschoolers said...

You wrote: "the TV game show 'Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader' does show some adults really are lacking in even the most basic 'school-y trivia'. That show is a bit scary to watch."

As a mom to an unschooling family, the one time I watched the show I found it amusing rather than scary. To me it simply emphasises all the useless things our children are spending their time on in school.

Look at all the grown-ups who made it through life perfectly well and have fine jobs and support their families without knowing all that stuff - which if you don't need it for your job, or is not interesting information which you know because you care, becomes only useful for a game show!