A person with a keen intellect is someone who can see a problem clearly and use her or his knowledge and reasoning abilities to arrive at a unique understanding or an effective solution. An intellect is more than intelligence, which is the knowledge we have gained through learning in school and from textbooks and other external sources, and through interacting with the world.
College and Intellect Development
The young person attending four years of college undergoes a dramatic change in thinking and reasoning. Exposed to broad realms of knowledge, away from the stabilizing influence of home, experiencing new and expanded social contacts, and undergoing physical growth and body changes, the student faces constant stimulation for change. How the college student meets these new influences and the changes that result have been studied intensively by different researchers. A seminal study was conducted by William Perry where he interviewed 464 Harvard undergraduate men over four years. He concluded that students undergo nine steps in intellectual development, starting with a belief that authorities or teachers know the right answers and that all knowledge is either right or wrong.
These changes and intellect development among college students are reflected in their choices of careers and the ways that they prepare for them. Awareness and expansion of understanding of the wider world may cause a student to consider continued education at a school that offers international affairs master’s programs or other related programs. The bachelor’s degree is becoming an entry level requirement for more and more jobs. Corporate employers are increasingly expressing a preference for liberal arts majors. They need employees who bring critical thinking, communication skills and problem solving abilities to their jobs.
These and other active learning methods used in modern pedagogy challenge students to use their minds for learning discovery and problem solving, and will aid in the development of intellect.
Guest Author: Rachelle Wilber