Matheos Viktor Messakh , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Thu, 12/18/2008 11:19 AM | Potpourri
Parents and teachers sometimes have problems in noticing a child's talent. There are some cases where adults mistakenly show children the wrong direction due to their lack of sensitivity in spotting his or her abilities.
However, a new method has evolved which may help solve the problem. The Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Assessment (DMI) will help a person to fully understand his strengths and weaknesses which in the end, can guide him toward the most suitable learning technique to improve his innate specialty.
The test combines computer scanning technology and knowledge based on the correlation between fingerprints and human intelligence.
Director of Comcare Interprise Singapore Eric Lim Choo Siang said the DMI technology used known dermatoglyphics statistics to map out a person's areas of potential.
The program's uniqueness is that it photographs one's 10 fingerprints and then feeds the data into the system, he said. The system will then automatically calculate and generate a report.
The report profiles the details of one's innate decision-making considerations, inborn intelligence potential, preferred learning styles, communication styles and work management styles.
"By knowing these potential abilities and preferences, we can tailor, guide and provide the best learning environment, suggestions and tools to nurture and develop one's strengths to the fullest and at the same time, improve on the areas that require strengthening," Lim said in his e-mail.
Lim, who bought the program from a Chinese-Taiwanese joint venture company in 2000, said dermatoglyphics research conducted over the past 200 years had not been intended for this program.
"The research was medically based to study neurologically challenged, learning-ability challenged children," he said.
However, this research and data were leveraged by business-minded individuals and developed into a tool for education and parenting.
Since it was first developed in the early 1990s, the technology has been used in more than eight countries including Australia, China and the United States.
It was introduced to Indonesia by DMI Primagama -- a subsidiary of Primagama learning center -- that bought the software copyright from Singapore's Comcare Interprise in March 2008.
Measuring human intelligence through fingerprint data is more accurate than any other method, Lim claimed.
"Fingerprints don't lie. They don't change when you are sad or happy, they are not affected by mood and environment," he said.
Other similar methods involve questionnaires and observations but while they were acceptable there is always a chance for errors, he said.
"A smart enough person interviewing to become a reporter will answer that he is very good at his linguistic ability even though he may fail his language.
"A person answering a test may be affected by moods. Thus, these tests reflect only that 'instant' assessment of the person at that moment for that test. A similar test conducted under different circumstances may reveal different results," he said.
Lim said the DMI system is believed to have more than an 85 percent accuracy.
"One person may be wrong, two persons may be wrong and three persons may still not be convincing ... but with more than three million people being tested, if this program is not accurate, the business would have collapsed long ago."
With a global shift in emphasis from teaching to learning at every level of education, a variety of active learning strategies have been advocated to optimize learning.
Understanding the way children learn, said Lim, was crucial to delivering the right educational method and its improvement.
"It is accepted that how best a person learns is influenced not only by social, psychological, emotional, environmental and physical factors but also by the individual's preferred learning style."
One of the key elements in getting children involved in learning lies in an understanding learning style preferences which can have an impact on the individual's performance and academic achievement.
"Information about learning styles can help parents and educators become more sensitive to the differences of the children."
It can also serve as a guide in thoughtfully and systematically designing learning experiences that match or mismatch students' styles, depending on the teacher's purpose.
It is not uncommon, however, to have a combination of two learning styles. There is usually a dominant learning preference followed by another less dominant style.
"Every child is unique and they use many different abilities they are endowed with or have developed to make sense of their environment and experiences," Lim said.
Dermatoglyphics is like a mind-map showing how the brain works. In the DMI, there is no child who is not great.
"There is only the child who does not know how to use his talent to maximum benefit."
However, Lim said many parents and teachers wrongly guide the child based on the most popular learning theories, knowledge and experience at the time, instead of each child's individual learning talent, preference and superiority or advantage.
The imposed or forced guidance, he said, means parents and educators spend a lot of time forcing the child to fit into some specific mold.
"Consequently, the lack of or incorrect knowledge about the child leads to many learning obstacles, such as misbehavior, psychological interference and learning deficits and might result in a frustrated child."