Heidi Cruz says her husband, Ted Cruz – the Republican Presidential nominee – has a ‘deep, deep intelligence, but at the same time, he’s a lot of fun.‘ But what is ‘deep, deep intelligence’ and how can we capture it in the classroom? After all, if there’s one thing we should all aspire to be it’s a Republican Presidential nominee. And, given that intelligence is one of the most important C21st skills (some would argue as high as second to creativity), how can we ensure that our children grow to be not only deeply intelligent, but also entertaining on a global scale?

To find out more about ‘deep, deep intelligence’ (or Intelligence2), I did some brief looking at pictures using Google’s wonderful ‘image search’ function. Aside from the photos of people in suits pointing at stuff, I came across this amazing intelligence hierarchy from the University of Sutton Hoo.


Clearly, this changes everything. Learners, according to the Cone of Deepening Intelligence, learn more when they begin to learn deeply. But what are the implications for us as teachers?

Once we have the basics sorted in our classes, such as knowing everything, we can begin to be deeply intelligent by asking more probing questions. For example, once our learners know about racism in the Low Countries we can ask questions such as:

  • If you were racist, how would you react to a racist incident affecting you?
  • If we accept that ‘the pie is in the sky’, to what extent is rain non-binary gravy?
  • Pigeons, wool and abolitionists: we know what they are, but why?
  • Waffles?

These are, and must be, central tenets to our deeply, deeply intelligent C21st curriculum. But much more is vitally necessary for a truly, deeply, madly progressional educationalative learning matrix. After all, the red ‘knowing more’ level only appears to plateau: if we look carefully we can see that the arrow to Intelligence(the hitherto unobtainable ‘God lesson’? – ask your line manager to add this to your observation forms) is also in red. This is unlikely to be a coincidence. In fact, to really understand deep, deep intelligence, and to be able to facilitate our young learners with said intelligence, then participatory entertainment might just be the solution.

But if humour is the answer, what is the question? Research at the Peak Performance Centre suggests that participatory entertainment might just lead to ‘deep cognitive processing.‘ Their work is supported by the National Training Laboratories in Bethel, Maine. Interestingly, their learning theories are also pyramidal in both structure and appearance, which seems to suggest a correlationary symbiosis. Therefore, the question must be: how can I best facilitate learner-led entertainment, both in the classroom and globally, à la Ted Cruz?

Again, the Peak Performance Centre have helpfully produced this diagram (reproduced below) to demonstrate how educators might enable their learners to become deeply intelligent.

Student-led participatory entertainment processes. Note the direction of the arrows.

I’m convinced that if we can apply these principles to our classrooms then we might just be changing the very fabric of reality for our young learners. Just look at the creativity on show here from junior Texas Senator Cruz. Deep, deep intelligence, with a lot of fun, I’m sure you’ll agree.

We can all help our learners to be like Ted Cruz if we stick to the five core values of deep, deep intelligence:

  1. Knowing a lot is nothing unless your learners are answering deeply intelligent questions.
  2. Red is an important colour, but God is more important.
  3. The arrows travel in both directions.
  4. Allowing learners to create their own, collaborative freedoms within a participatory facilitation is a staple concept.
  5. Ensure your learners are VAKD: visualised, audible, kinaesthetised and deep.

Good luck, and do let me know how you get on!

Edit. Greg Ashman has kindly pointed out that I may have neglected the role of ‘thinkiness’, explained here, and as a result I now question whether I am working at the blue level. Deep indeed.