Intelligence is a puzzle that is yet to be solved

31st January 2014 at 00:00

It is hard for someone who isn't a neuroscientist to take issue with some of Steven Rose's key statements ("Is genius in the genes?", Feature, 24 January). On the other hand, having dedicated a working life to teaching and learning, it is harder to let them slip by unchallenged.

The first is, "IQ scores do correlate reasonably with school performance, but this is what they were designed to do". Well, no. Alfred Binet co-created the test to identify children with special educational needs. So for exactly the opposite reason.

"Intelligence" is a separate topic. Mr Rose recognises that he uses the word, however mistakenly, interchangeably with IQ. Before debating the effect of genes on intelligence, we had better start with an informed understanding of what we mean by "intelligence". (Start with Howard Gardner.) And it's not IQ.

Mark Featherstone-Witty, Founding principalchief executive, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

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