Brain-Gym: Building Academic Intelligence
One can acquire knowledge through study. However, in order to acquire wisdom, one must learn to observe, question, and reflect from within.
Our online workshop on “Building Academic Intelligence” on May 22, 2020, with leading members of ThinQ, an academic platform committed to helping students develop intellectual wellness, was a highly engaging and fun workout for the mind.
Flexing The Mind-Muscles
The facilitators, Aditi Ahuja, KP Mohanan, Madhav Kaushish, and Rashmi Jejurikar, walked students through three different examples to develop academic intelligence:
- Looking at maps and understanding the theory behind the colors used or the mathematical history behind it.
- Asking questions about ethics, developing judgments, and creating axioms.
- Thinking about why we disregard our own life experiences and believe in textbooks – the skills of inquiry, critical thinking, and questioning play a monumental role in building academic acumen.
These theories were presented in an interactive manner with multiple activities and questions. The activities and questions allowed students to think about their own moral judgments. And analyze if they would change their ethical axioms in certain situations and question information that comes their way.
Our facilitators also asked students thought-provoking questions on how we take responsibility for our own knowledge? Or, how we learn to find our own conjectures, patterns, and theories, and constantly ask why we came to those conclusions.
Leading students to the most important takeaway from the evening. To constantly develop academic intelligence at every stage of life, and construct and evaluate knowledge. As Mr. KP Mohanan put it during the workshop, “To convert words and sentences into knowledge, you need to engage with the words because if you don’t it’s only just information.”
- The math we learn in school may require quick thinking and calculations, but real math requires aptitude, reasoning, and questioning facts.
- Constructing a theory, regardless of whether it is scientific, mathematical, or ethical from where our moral judgments derive, is the first step. We always have a choice to change our judgment or our moral axiom; most often we choose to change our moral axiom.
- Inquiry, critical thinking, and the ability to question are transdisciplinary. Every discipline requires these skills.
- It is necessary to take learning into one’s own hands and constantly exercise mental capabilities to further develop academic intelligence that can impact daily life.