Rethinking Intelligence Is Necessary, Says Author of Different Minds

“It’s time we talk about intelligence again.”


Dr. Marlo Payne Thurman, the author of “Autism is the Future: The Evolution of a Different Type of Intelligence,” has expressed her views on rethinking intelligence, stating that it is high time to talk about it to bring meaningful changes in the education system.

In an article posted in Psychology Today, she explains the importance of rethinking intelligence in saving our different-minded kids.

She says traditional ideas about intelligence have often overlooked talent in diverse learners.

Dr. Thurman, who began her professional career working with children diagnosed with autism in 1986, says we draw collective belief about intelligence to define cognition, learning, and education based on modern ideas and eventually we created an education system for teaching all children. Also, we have developed evidence-based techniques that benefited a lot of kids.

She explains that recent developments and advancements in many fields have “modernized the job market in ways that no one could have predicted,” leading to a unique set of circumstances occurring for our young adults. “Industries are calling for a workforce that can think outside of the box and arrive at novel conclusions especially within fields that are heavily steeped in visual and spatial problem-solving.”

However, Dr. Thurman says, “In school, we don’t really teach spatial skills. In fact, in my opinion, we don’t even recognize some of the visual, spatial, and perceptual strengths that drive innovation in so many of these fields.”

“Therefore, if education doesn’t prepare children to understand their world and enter the workplace of today, what is its purpose?” she asks.

Dr. Thurman, who is the adjunct faculty member at the University of Northern Colorado, feels this is the right time to re-open discussions about what exactly intelligence and cognition are. By doing so, we will be able to redesign an education model that could benefit more and more children.

She says, “Rethinking intelligence, expanding our definitions about cognition, and truly individualizing learning for all of the different skills that can be made manifest within human cognition is, in my opinion, necessary to our very survival. It’s time we talk about intelligence again.”

The article is published in Psychology Today titled “Rethinking Intelligence: Saving our Different-Minded Kids.”