Futurizonte Editor’s Note: According to the article, we are losing our cognitive abilities rather rapidly. And the main reason is how we live. So, can we prepare our children for a world different from the one we are now destroying when we can barely know what we are doing?
Original author and publication date: Jessica Koehler Ph.D. – Sept. 22, 2019
Albert Einstein famously asserted, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” As we progress further into the 21st century, Einstein’s statement resonates in my mind as I deliberate over the current focus and probable trajectory of education.
What should learning look like to prepare our children for the future world? Should creativity be the sole focus? Is an emphasis on learning how to learn the key, or do children need to develop a vast general fund of information?
Reversal of the Flynn Effect
Throughout the 20th century, scores on intelligence tests were rising. James Flynn has explored and explained this effect in great detail. In summary, IQ scores (based on a mean score of 100) have dramatically increased from the time of our grandparents’ generations.
The score increases were about three points per decade, with an average-scoring person from the 1930s scoring approximately 70 on tests that were standardized in the 1980s. Many explanations have been proposed for the Flynn Effect—from more abstract thought required in daily life to vast improvements in nutrition. Rather unexpectedly, the Flynn Effect appears to be reversing now.
What may be causing the IQ change?
Scientists are trying to understand what may be causing this reversal of cognitive gains. There is currently no consensus about what may be driving the score decreases. Lifestyle changes are suggested as a likely candidate:
“Instead, it suggests changes in lifestyle could be what’s behind these lower IQs, perhaps due to the way children are educated, the way they’re brought up, and the things they spend time doing more and less (the types of play they engage in, whether they read books, and so on).”