A research programme aimed at increasing intelligence is to be extended in Leixlip’s Confey College this coming term.
Research conducted by the Psychology Department of NUI Maynooth has led to the development of SMART Training, a programme that increases intelligence. This is important, ground-breaking research as up until now it has been believed that intelligence is fixed and cannot be significantly enhanced. The research from NUI Maynooth has attracted a lot of interest both nationally and internationally since its launch in May 2013.
In January this year, the researchers in NUI Maynooth spoke to parents at the school which accepted an offer from Confey College
to become the first school to adopt the programme on a whole-school basis.
Dr. Bryan Roche, NUIM Psychology Department, said some small research had been done at Scoil Ui Riada primary school in Kilcock.
Last year, first and fifth year classes at Confey College (130 students and 25 teachers) took part in the research, which involves spending three hours a week on a computer.
From September, all of Confey’s 750 students and 60 staff are taking part. The SMART Programme is a computer-based programme which requires participants to log on for three sessions per week over 12 weeks. The logistical challenge of
providing this access during the school day for more than 800 people is considerable and will take until May 2015 to complete.
In the research phase of the SMART Programme the average increase in participants’ intelligence quotient was 23 IQ points. This represents a very significant increase in intellectual functioning.
SMART improves vocabulary, abstract thinking, concentration, memory, judgment, task management, alertness to detail, eye-
to-hand co-ordination, non-verbal reasoning, planning ability and processing
speed for information.
Dr. Roche said IQ “roughly” predicts educational success.