education vs. intelligence

As spurred by a recent conversation with a friend, I have been musing the difference between education and intelligence.

There seems to be a general acceptance of the idea, at least in the circles I frequent, that there is a big difference between the two. The main thread of the argument is that anyone can read and learn - become educated, that is to say. But not everyone can take their own knowledge base and analyze it, apply it to theories and circumstances, or essentially 'do' something with it.

Education can expose a person to all sorts of new ideas and perspectives, but that's all just input. Intelligence is where education is measured. It's the output mechanism. And you can be very intelligent without having much education.

I, myself, have always struggled to flex my intelligence. The education part has always been easy for me - I love learning, taking in new knowledge, making connections, cross-training, and whatnot. I was labeled the 'smart kid' for a while, because I could spit back any fact I'd come across in the previous several years. I could figure things out pretty well, too - including the 'mechanisms' behind standardized tests, so I generally aced them. I loved, and aced, algebra, because it was all about figuring out which rules applied to which strategy.

It was always the 'analytical' assignments that tripped me up - the abstract thinking (geometry) and those proofs you had to do in philosophy.  You can't approach these the same way you would a formulaic problem in algebra or all the nuances in a poem.  (Incidentally, I do much better with poetry when I can see it.)  And abstract art?  I could stare at it all day and say how it makes ME feel and even enjoy the experience, but figuring out the artist's intention is maybe not the easiest part for me.

How about you?  Does your education inform your intelligence, or is it the other way around?  What are your thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking a moment to leave a comment. I love hearing from you!