In one of my favorite essays, Hidden Intellectualism, by Gerald Graff, he
argues that schools and colleges might be overlooking the intellectual potential of
some students by typifying the intellectuals and the "street smart" students as
distinct and opposing roles.
It's possible that schools could be at fault for failing to spark enthusiasm for
intellectualism by not properly demonstrating its benefit as well as its equal ability
and worthiness in all fields.
If "street smart" students were given the opportunity to write on a subject
that interests them first, it would become easier for them to grasp basic concepts.
Graff reminisces on what it was like growing up in a time where it was seemingly
more crucial to appear to be "street smart" than it was to parade around the city as
an intellectual. He feared being unaccepted, even being physically beaten, by his
peers, and it left him feeling torn because he knew he had something to prove in the
He spent a lot of his time reading sports books and magazines, which later
helped him understand the beginning fundamentals of being successful in the
intellectual world. Graff is living proof that if a student can learn about something
that interests them first, they'll be more prone to channeling that into a way that will
allow them to succeed in the academic world and beyond.
I imagine it would be quite difficult for someone to sit at a piano and play
Beethoven's classical, most famous number had they only been to a few piano
The traditional educational system is designed so that each year when you
enter a new grade level, you are expected to know concepts you supposedly
learned in previous years.
How do teachers expect students to make an intelligent argument or write a...