If Your Kids Are Crap At School It Probably Means …

… they are smarter than the average chav.

Children whose minds wander might have sharper brains, some new scientific research suggests. Now we at Boggart Blog are not keen on crap science or the science of stating the effing obvious which this study seems to be an example of.

But as I, my sister and co – author fatsally and our respective broods of children have been trying to convince teachers and headmasters of this well know fact for nearly fifty years it is gratifying to know that academics, dull minded, drooling dolts that they are, do sometines get there in the end.

A study at Madison University, Wisconsin, has found that people who appear to be constantly distracted have more “working memory”, giving them the ability to hold a lot of information in their heads and process it mentally.

Children at school need this type of memory on a daily basis for a variety of tasks, such as following teachers’ instructions or remembering dictated sentences.

People who are highhly focused, particularly on topins like maths and science that involve lots of numbers and little in the way of critical analysis or interpretive skills have less working memory and so while they are good at equations it’s bloody hard work trying to explain the philosophy of the surrealist movement to them.

During the study, volunteers were asked to perform one of two simple tasks and while they were at it researchers regularly checked to ask if the participants’ minds were wandering.

At the end, participants measured their working memory capacity by their ability to remember a series of letters interspersed with simple maths questions.

Dr Jonathan Smallwood, of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science in Leipzig, Germany said “What this study seems to suggest is that, when circumstances for the task aren’t very difficult, people who have additional working memory resources deploy them to think about things other than what they’re doing.”

In an exercise to verify the experiment Boggart Blog took two sets of test subjects, group A consisting of people who have butterfly minds and Group B made up of highly focused, mathshead types and set them to work at solving some very complex mathematical problems. Four hours later the people in Group B went off to get some lunch and then deciding they couldn’t be arsed, did not bother going back but wandered off to find something more interesting to do.

Group A were so focused on the task they did not take a break. Eventually the Boggart Blog research team became bored with monitoring them and went of to find something more interesting to do. Then they forgot about the experiment for a month. When somebody eventually went back to check on the group of highly focused people they were all slumped on their keyboards, decomposing.

The experiment to prove people who are easily distracted are brighter is proved.

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4 thoughts on “If Your Kids Are Crap At School It Probably Means …

  1. I agree and have seen it many times. My daughter unfortunately, did not attend high school but we were travelling a lot. Does travel actually broaden the mind? She is a systems engineer and BA (hons). On that note, do schools provide for every child and do some children who have broadened their minds in other ways, really need schools?

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    • Being serious I think all children need that basic education provided up to age eleven (13 in some countries). It should make them numerate and able to express themselves in the written and spoken word.

      Seconday education today is misguided. It aims to turn out uniform people wheras the education we had was aimed at equipping up to pursue a wide range of interests in later life.

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  2. My mind didn’t so much wander as go off on a gap year. Any useful schooling finished for me at the age of 8, when I was moved from the Montessori system into a “normal” school. I’d have learned more if left to my own devices in the local library and museums.

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    • Once we have the basics (because reading and understanding are important) we learn much more by osmosis than from formal teaching.

      If you think about it, most of the greatest writers, musicians, scientists, engineers, businessmen etc. had finished with school at 14.

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