By Ranjini Mitra
Children are naturally intuitive and perceptive. Since a young age we start molding them to comply with the education system but in doing so are we restricting their natural pattern of mental growth which includes having wisdom beyond their years, sensing the connectedness of all things, or knowing things in ways that may seem impossible. Ranjini Mitra, an innate intelligence course conductor of Author In Me courses shares her opinion.
I have been a Maths teacher for 15 years and would like to share my experience where even very young children showed amazing wisdom in understanding themselves and how they learn life lessons. I remember once my 6th graders had to make mathematical projects at the end of the academic year and how the 11-year old’s showed wisdom beyond their years. The students had to use their entire year’s learning of mathematical and logical thinking skills to design a game. They worked in groups. One of the students who was naturally a loner found it difficult to work in a group. He also had some fabulous ideas which others could not fathom but since he lacked leadership and social skills, he was unable to get everyone together to work on his idea.
This lead to a great deal of emotional conflict and frustration amongst all the team members. I, as their teacher, decided to involve the entire class in a discussion to solve this problem. What was amazing was that all the students came to a mutual consensus that he should be allowed to work alone and hopefully understand the limitations of not working in a group. The outcome was that he created an online maths game but he did realize that he lacked all the skills and resources needed to make the game successful by reaching out to people. I remember him sharing with me that he also realized that the others were having more fun working in groups and sharing all the bittersweet moments. On the final day of presentation, he found himself with a game but without a partner to play it with.
What really confounded me was that even in a time in their lives when the children were exactly that, little children, they found it in themselves to come to a conclusion that some of the wisest adults in this day and age cannot come to. They realized that a child who did not want to work with anyone else should be left alone to reach the outcome of having nobody else to help him on his own. Coming to a realization as this one, is a feat that can only be chalked up to intrapersonal intelligence, an understanding of how they feel about a certain situation and how a “not so happy scenario” can end up with a life lesson learnt.
I have actually experienced children to be intuitively spiritual in conflict and challenging situations. This is also some kind of intelligence which allows them to understand life and their thoughts and feelings.
A few years ago, I was lucky to attend a session with Howard Gardner, the originator of Multiple Intelligence, when he patiently answered my questions on spiritual intelligence. He expounded that some people may have a more intuitive understanding of life and termed it as spiritual/existential intelligence.
According to Stephen Covey: “Spiritual intelligence is the central and most fundamental of all the intelligences, because it becomes the source of guidance for the others.”
Over the years I also realized that this kind of Innate Intelligence exists in all of us. It is like a shroud and shines through differently for different people. In fact, it is easily visible in the younger students as they have an innate wisdom which kind of gets lost as they grow and face stress. This gets really heightened especially during their adolescence with peer pressure and the struggle to find their identity. In such scenario, helping students to continue to be connected with their ‘wise self’ leads to calmer teenagers who understand themselves and others better.
The beginning point would be to help them understand themselves better, be connected with their personal identity.
About the author – Ranjini Mitra
Ranjini is an experienced Maths teacher and researcher. She has pioneered award winning educational programs and has played a key role in educational development. Her experience in Transcendental Meditation and work as a Reiki practitioner helps her to create a safe and conductive classroom for children. Ranjini will be conducting Author In courses on Maths and Innate Intelligences.