Intellectual development emphasizes the importance of the individual and the importance of the individual’s environment, particularly a child’s social environment. Intellectual development may be largely influenced by a child’s interactions with others, as a child sees others thinking and acting in certain ways and then internalizes what they see.
The key to intellectual development is called “mediated learning experience.” Parents and people interacting with children mediate the environment for a child, and it is largely through this mediation that a child learns to understand and interpret the world.
Much of being intelligent involves being able to work with others effectively. Brighter children invest more effort in acquiring practical skills. Parents and care givers have more impact on a child’s IQ than any other person or institution, including schools. The impact is greatest in infancy and early childhood, much less after ages eight or nine.
Open-mindedness comes hand-in-hand with logical thinking. Intolerance comes from bias and false beliefs. Children should be able to evaluate statements, analyze the facts, and create their own opinions about everyone and everything, rather than just relying on ideas presented by others. For children to be open minded, they must be independent thinkers.