Discussion 1: Individual Differences

This article covers Discussion 1: Individual Differences.


3-1 Discussion: Individual Differences

In this week’s readings, you have learned about the impact of intelligence on adolescent functioning and encountered several different perspectives on intelligence. In your discussion post, consider the application of these insights to the classroom. In what ways should current research on intelligence affect educator decisions about curriculum, activities, instruction, and support for students in their classrooms?

In your post, be sure to address the following:

Be sure to support your ideas with scholarly research. In responding to your peers, offer feedback on two peers’ ideas around using intelligence to inform instruction.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.

3-2 Short Paper: Gender and Transgender Youth


As you’ve learned in this week’s readings, gender identity is best defined as a social construct. This perspective is particularly important given recent debates about the social, developmental, and biological aspects of gender transition for transgender youth. In this short paper, you are asked to apply what you’ve learned to a recent debate about transgender youth.

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In your paper, address the following areas:

  • Identify a recent news media article about a policy, education, health, or safety issue related to youth who identify as transgender.
  • Using your readings and scholarly resources, analyze the scientific merits of this debate. Consider what research, if any, supports the perspectives in the center of this debate. What are the consequences of the issue or problem at the center of the debate for transgender youth?
  • What does research indicate as an adequate solution to the problem at the center of the debate?

For additional details, please refer to the Short Paper Rubric document.


Discussion 1: Individual Differences

Cognitive development is essential in preparing adolescents to manage complexities, make informed judgments, and plan their futures. Research shows that teens can raise their IQ, and the brain structure can indicate this uptick or decline. Intelligence can change after childhood, providing new hope to boost intellectual ability during late childhood and adolescence. Different theorists have different perspectives that help guide a developmentally supportive classroom for various adolescents.

The General Intelligence Factor, “g,” model by Alfred Binet helps identify children who would be successful or unsuccessful with a regular school curriculum. According to the theory, the general intelligence factor, “g,” is associated with abstract thinking and entails abilities to gain knowledge, reason abstractly, adapt to various situations, and gain from instruction and experience (Cox et al., 2019). People with a higher general intelligence learn faster, and teachers can develop approaches to help different adolescents developmentally depending on their general intelligence.

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Sternberg’s Triarchic theory informs about specific intelligence “s” that measure specific skills in narrow domains. The theory is centered on the idea of multiple intelligences, assessing creative intelligence, ability to adjust to contemporary situations and develop new ideas and practical intelligence, ability to show common sense (Sternberg, 2018). Teachers can use information from vital creativity components like expertise, imaginative thinking, risk-taking, intrinsic interest, and working in a creative environment to develop a classroom that supports different students with different forms of creativity.

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Individual differences
Individual differences

Practical intelligence cannot be acquired from books, and teachers need to provide an environment that requires common sense to develop solutions to support practically able students. Gardner’s Frame of Mind is a theory of multiple intelligences. It assesses linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligence to help teachers create a supportive classroom that provides development room for every form of intelligence (Cavas & Cavas, 2020). Teachers should adopt the idea of multiple intelligences to teach differently to various students.

There are biases in intelligence testing that can affect instruction and classroom activities. Intelligence tests and psychological intelligence definitions have experienced heavy criticism for inclining towards Anglo-American and middle-class individuals. The perspectives and tools are inadequate in addressing non-academic intelligence types or talents. Intelligent quotients and intelligence with experience do not address the ability to change. Different cultures have varying perspectives of what is considered smart, but most intelligence tests do not consider these variations.

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Cavas, B., & Cavas, P. (2020). Multiple Intelligences Theory—Howard Gardner. In Science Education in Theory and Practice (pp. 405-418). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43620-9_27      

Cox, S. R., Ritchie, S. J., Fawns-Ritchie, C., Tucker-Drob, E. M., & Deary, I. J. (2019). Structural brain imaging correlates of general intelligence in UK Biobank. Intelligence, 76, 101376. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2019.101376

Sternberg, R. J. (2018). The triarchic theory of successful intelligence. The Guilford Press.

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