Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How Do You Boost Your Child's IQ? DAVID DIDAU DELVES INTO PSYCHOLOGY, COGNITIVE SCIENCE, SCHOOL AND HOME LIFE IN HIS NEW BOOK, MAKING KIDS CLEVERER. LISA SALMON FINDS OUT MORE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How Do You Boost Your Child's IQ? DAVID DIDAU DELVES INTO PSYCHOLOGY, COGNITIVE SCIENCE, SCHOOL AND HOME LIFE IN HIS NEW BOOK, MAKING KIDS CLEVERER. LISA SALMON FINDS OUT MORE

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA SALMON

UNLESS you're the parent of a child genius, chances are you'd love to help your child become more clever. But where do you start, and is it even really possible? Former teacher David Didau believes it is - and he's outlined what he thinks are key factors in his new book, Making Kids Cleverer: A Manifesto For Closing The Advantage Gap.

This isn't just about piling more pressure on kids to be academically excellent, however. David delves into the realms of psychology, sociology, philosophy and cognitive science, drawing on research as well as his own years of experience in education to reveal the strategies and environmental factors that seem to play a significant role in making children cleverer - to help them 'live happier, healthier and more secure lives'.

He believes intelligence is partly 'fluid' and partly 'crystallised' (based on the 1971 theory from psychologist Raymond B Cattell, who broke intelligence into these two categories). Fluid intelligence relates to our ability to reason and solve problems, while crystallised intelligence is basically what we know (the knowledge we hold in our memories) and the ability to apply this to new problems. It's the crystallised part that's "relatively straightforward" to increase, David states.

"Intelligence is influenced by our genes," he says. "Some children are just born with a greater potential for cleverness than others. However, there's good reason to believe that we are already getting cleverer in some respects as we become more knowledgeable, and by concentrating on environmental factors that can be changed, we might be able to make all children cleverer."

" While fluid intelligence increases during childhood development, peaks in our mid-20s and thenDavid says crystallised intelligence can go on accumulating throughout life. "Who wouldn't want to be cleverer? If you're cleverer, not only will you do better in school, but you'll also be more creative, demonstrate better leadership skills, earn more, be happier and live longer," he says.

Here are David's seven top tips...

1. DON'T OVERESTIMATE WHAT YOU CAN DO "ONE of the most troubling findings of research into raising intelligence is that parents have far less impact than is commonly supposed," says David.

He says a pair of identical twins reared in the same home aren't much more alike than twins reared in separate homes, and explains: "What tends to make us like our parents Author isn't their parenting but their genes. The effects of parenting on IQ seem particularly conclusive. There's nothing anyone can do about their genes, so our power to shape children's environments is all we have. And perhaps all we need."

2. READ TO THEM DAVID says that while reading to children won't necessarily pass on the habit of reading, or even have a permanent effect on their intelligence, their memory of what you read to them is likely to persist. So read them stories that take them out of their familiar environment. …

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