Mental age vs Chronological age: what is our education system designed to assess?

It is not to anyone’s surprise that for a long-time mental age has been equated to chronological age. The prevalence is such that the same understanding is still being used in schools, which is the most crucial period for mental development. The whole system is designed to put the capabilities and potential of a child within the rigid limits of academic performance. However, 21st-century skills demand these limitations be broken.

What is cognitive learning
An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.

While, both the ages are expressed numerically, the difference essentially lies in what is being measured. People often use the two interchangeably which becomes a reason why enough emphasis is not laid on the advancement of mental age.

Wisdom comes not from age, but from education and learning! – Anton Chekhov

Chronological age is the number of years that have passed since birth, whereas mental age is related to intelligence and the learning quotient. Before we discuss how you can work on the mental age of your child, let’s understand the key differences between mental age and chronological age, and then we will share Konshius’ game-based learning framework for bridging these gaps.

What is Mental Age?

Mental Age is a person’s mental ability and capacity, which can be assessed through various tests. These tests encompass problems, that are not conventionally taught in schools, to measure aspects like:

  • The ability to do logical analysis and comprehending the interrelationships of the concrete and abstract.
  • The ability to use blocks for analyzing and reproducing abstract designs; working from whole to part and reconstruction.
  • The ability to perceive a 3D model and its translation into a linear model.
  • The skills of visual perception, organization, and reasoning with visually presented nonverbal material.
  • The adeptness required for mental sequencing and mental manipulation of information.
  • The ability to organize attention, short-term auditory memory, visuospatial imaging, and processing speed.
21st century skills
“Anyone who stops learning is old. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

And, many other aspects to ascertain whether mental faculties have developed beyond the chronological age to unravel inherent talents the child embodies. They reveal what capabilities are consistent with normal average age and what areas are showing the signs of limitations or challenges.

Unfortunately, such an assessment is conducted sparingly during the child’s development period. Thus, any gaps left in the development of particular mental abilities are left unattended and most of the children end up not realizing their full learning potential as they step up in our education system.

Chronological age

The chronological age is one of the most straightforward and simple concepts to understand. To calculate your chronological age, all you got to do is subtract your date of birth from the date of assessment. Chronological age is expressed in terms of years, months, or even days. One can’t control chronological age. And no surprises here, but chronological age is widely seen as the legal age for progressing in the school system.

Our existing education system depends on measures of certain academic and non-academic performance defined as per the chronological age. And, achievement in these pre-decided measures is seen as the benchmark of utilising the learning potential of a child. It assumes that if a child is fit to participate in the economic activities of society by achieving certain scores and grades, the child has accomplished the full potential.

How does Konshius improves a child’s mental age?

As parents, who understand the value of 21st-century skills, often the following thoughts cross our mind – ‘How to enhance my child’s learning capabilities?’ or ‘How do I help my child realize his/her full potential?’ These parents understand that learning cannot be dependent upon the academic performance measurement system alone. Their worry is genuine and natural as we ourselves can easily gauge how two children of different mental capacities have the exact same academic performance.

The good thing is that there are a lot of ways in which we as the parental figure can become facilitators in enriching our child’s mental age. Having a concerted focus on improving a child’s mental age is especially necessary during the initial 12 years. If children are exposed to the right kind of thinking experiences (plays, storytelling, physical activities, mind games, etc.) from an early age of 18 months, they are usually capable of developing various facets of their mental faculties.

higher order thinking, game based learning
Game-based learning can help enable collaborative learning across diversities and facilitate domain neutral learning.

The Konshius game-based learning framework and its various levels work to enrich the mental age of children. It’s the game-based learning activities that make the lacunas in the development of various mental faculties visible and act as a tool to bridge such gaps. These games are inclusive; they can be utilized for children with diverse social and cultural backgrounds, as a progressive learning tool. As these games largely require the use of the brain’s executive functions; the games and their intended outcomes produce a life-long impact.

At Konshius, we are dedicated to this movement of bringing focus on development in a holistic manner. The aim is to make each child feel that their needs are well represented. Our method patented games are backed by a scientific structure to optimize the enrichment of a child’s mental abilities. With well-detailed modules and game-based learning experiences that call for participation and engagement, Konshius is all set to redefine the education system to bring focus on mental age development. We wholeheartedly welcome you to be a part of this journey packed with excitement, fun, and vigour.

Let’s change learning, one step at a time!

A pioneer in using games as learning tools for developing thinking skills and learning potential of children. His 'game-based learning' pedagogy has been adopted by schools in India, valuing it as integral part of child development process. His movement to formally include games as learning aids in Indian schools has already impacted lives of 250,000+ children. His game-based learning system has been awarded Method Patent by USA Patent Office, and has several prestigious national and international recognition to his name.

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