Expat Kids: Motivation, IQ Test Scores And Future Success ?


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ScienceDaily (2011-04-27) –New psychology research demonstrates a correlation between a test-taker’s motivation and performance on an IQ test and, more important, between that performance and a person’s future success. Angela Lee Duckworth, an assistant professor of psychology in Penn’sSchool ofArts and Sciences, led the research.

“IQ scores are absolutely predictive of long-term outcomes. But what our study questions is whether that’s entirely because smarter people do better in life than other people or whether part of the predictive power coming from test motivation” Duckworth said

Duckworth and co-workers concluded that people who get high IQ scores, probably try hard and are intelligent. But for people who get low scores, it can be an absence of either or both of those traits.

This is a fundamental question for any parent and educator as well. But for expatriate parents there is an additional question : what means “intelligence” in a multicultural context ? Are those IQ tests standardized in all languages and cultures? Many researchers think that it is almost impossible to develop a test that measures innate intelligence without introducing cultural bias. Others have demonstrated that meaning of intelligence across cultures are very different (Intelligence across cultures)

So if we cannot measure innate intelligence in a multicultural context, can we really make a difference in our children future life?  In a previous post: Praise and Incentives: Are Carrots Worse Than Sticks? , I described a recent study demonstrating that too much incentives may be linked to poor motivation, so what is the right balance ?  Again is motivation a universal concept ? Can we get individualized learning plans at school ? can we move to a more diverse education integrating various cultural sensibilities?

Many parents of third culture kids have demonstrated the benefits and the down sides of raising multicultural and multilingual children but in the era of globalization and intense migration across borders what is the future of an affordable intercultural education ?

Since my son was 3, he has been to International schools following the IB program (see definition below). However, most IB schools are private and if the company is not paying for the  tuitions it might not be possible to spend between 15,000 to 30,000 US$ per child and per year. IB schools are also not available everywhere, I was surprised to find no IB school in the Northern part of New Jersey while the curriculum was available for free in some public schools in Atlanta.

Description of the  IB program  : founded in 1968 and currently adopted in approximately 2,250 schools in more than 140 countries. There are 750 IB schools in the United States. There are three levels to the IB – the PYP (Primary Years Program), the MYP (Middle Years Program), and the IB (International Baccalaureate program).

“With the development of a continuum of international education, it is intended that teachers, students and parents will be able to draw confidently on a recognizable common educational framework, a consistent structure of aims and values and an overarching concept of how to develop international-mindedness”

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One thought on “Expat Kids: Motivation, IQ Test Scores And Future Success ?

  1. [...] post by Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach var addthis_language = 'en'; Filed under 343515 ← Internet Goodie #28: Show me [...]

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