Why IQ Isn’t Everything and How OLEA’s Foundational Pillars Are Paving The Way For A Modern Approach To Education

Why IQ Isn’t Everything and How OLEA’s Foundational Pillars Are Paving The Way For A Modern Approach To Education.

By OLEA Education


Throughout the 20th century, Western nations have perpetuated outdated education systems by teaching children how to rote learn, think within the box, and mindlessly follow a rigid system of conveniently compartmentalised subjects. If there is anything positive to be taken from the ongoing pandemic, it is the opportunity to turn education on its head while the world readjusts to a new normal.

Having worked as an international private tutor across Beijing, London, Monaco, Shanghai and Dubai, I have seen first-hand how children are leaving school without the necessary tools to think outside the box, innovate, apply common sense, problem-solve, concentrate for a sustained period of time - the list goes on.

Is it the school curriculum that is at fault? Is it the deeply ingrained reliance on technology and social media? Is it the reliance on grades and exam results to justify intelligence? Perhaps an unhealthy mix of all three.

OLEA Education Ltd. was launched  to make waves in education. Instead of offering tutors who give exam support like most private tutoring agencies, our OLEA Mentors function as academic mentors who instil passion, bring a subject to life and cultivate confidence. Our model is more effective than your bog standard tutor - certainly in the long run. Said model is derived from the OLEA’s Foundational Pillars.

OLEA’s Foundational Pillars were theorised while attending a brunch with a fascinating mix of Oxbridge alumni. After the thin layer of mundane self-introductions and CV content had been peeled away, the ex-headmaster I was surreptitiously sat next to started recounting his experience leading an all-boys’ public school some decades prior.

He told tales of trying (but failing) to install lists of Latin grammar and vocabulary scripts to a room of bored teenage boys. Boys who, I must add, were bound for a life in the English countryside maintaining the family estate. They had absolutely no intention of learning Latin. Ever. What the boys lacked in (what archaic textbooks defined as) “IQ”, they made up for in terms of emotional intelligence, creativity, and adversity.

The headmaster stated, “IQ was certainly not everything; for these boys, the sense of camaraderie, supporting one another and learning tangible skills such as rearing cattle and maintaining accounts was the real crux of what a good education entailed for them.”

Suffice to say that after our conversation, I proceeded to scribble everything he had said into my notepad, and the rest is history. OLEA’s Foundational Pillars comprise of IQ, EQ, SQ, AQ and CQ. Follow-up articles of these quotients, or rather, approaches to modern intelligence, will be published in coming weeks, but for now we shall start with an overview of how and why these aspects of intelligence are important for children.


EQ: Emotional regulation is as important as one’s innate intelligence, if not more so. Having tutored students from almost ten different nationalities now, a common denominator we see is an over-reliance on technology and social media for entertainment and, at its worst, one’s self-worth. Knowing how to express, illustrate and handle one’s emotions is key. Through this, children can become better sympathisers, communicators, and multilingual/cultural coordinators.

SQ: Integrating a spirituality quotient into our Foundational Pillars is often met with a raised eyebrow. It has nothing to do with religion, but rather one’s sense of self, identity, and our relationship with the world. Now more than ever, as various stressors quicken the pace of life, understanding who you are and your place in the world is so important. The spiritual quotient also brings in the environment and how to look after planet earth.

AQ: Adversity is no doubt the most challenging of the quotients to explicitly “teach”. I am not sure adversity can be taught, rather experienced and realised through general life events alongside a mentor to offer guidance. Nonetheless, handling adverse situations and coming through the other side a stronger person is optimal. For children to take constructive criticism and ownership over their actions represents an invaluable head start in life.

CQ: Creative capacity seems to be a given to do well in the modern world. In a business setting, you can be the smartest person in the room (or on paper), but if you cannot create something novel that will shake up the status quo and offer clients something new, you’ll fall behind the competition. Being creative goes hand in hand with the other Foundational Pillars and is the most fun to teach I find.

OLEA’s Foundational Pillars are continually evolving and being expanded upon.  As we prepare for the first of our OLEA’s Electi workshops this summer, for which we will be bringing in real life world events, scenarios, and problems for students to solve, we will be strengthening our curriculum to enhance students’ 21st century skills. This will be a brilliant opportunity to be among the first students in the world to engage with this brand-new curriculum.


If you are interested in applying for OLEA’s Electi (for students aged 8-11) this summer, please contact Olivia at olivia@oleaeducation.com or +44 7563414137

More information about the application process and booking can be found here.

AuthorOLEA Education Ltd is an elite education establishment that enhances 21st century skills through OLEA’s Foundational Pillars of IQ, EQ, AQ, SQ and CQ. Founded by Olivia A. Halsall (MPhil, Cantab), students aged 8-11 start with our weekly Sunday workshops (OLEA’s Electi), before moving onto our teenage academic mentorship program (OLEA’s Oraculti) for ages 12-18. All our OLEA Mentors are educated from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, are specialists in their respective fields, and exhibit OLEA values of empathy, ambition, and intercultural awareness.

For more information, contact Olivia at olivia@oleaeducation.com or +44 7563414137

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