Pros and Cons of Gerald Graff's Essay Hidden Intellectualism

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Gerald Graff is the coauthor of this short essay Hidden Intellectualism. Graff is a professor of English and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Graff used to be the president of the Modern Language Association, the world’s largest professional association of university scholars and teachers” (Graff, Pg.248). Gerald Graff is arguing the major differences between street smart and school smart.

Gerald Graff is arguing that street smart is better than being school smart. According to Gerald Graff a professor of English and Education, “What doesn’t occur to us, though, is that schools and colleges might be a fault for missing the opportunity to tap into such street smarts and channel them into good academic work” (Graff, Pg.248). In other words, the author is saying that schools need to start noticing students for their street smarts and not their school smarts. I both agree and disagree about Gerald Graff short essay on Hidden Intellectualism. There are many different ways in which I disagree with but, also many different ways I agree with or feel neutral about specific points in Hidden Intellectualism.

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There are many different ways in which I agree with Gerald Graff short essay about Hidden Intellectualism. First, I agree with Gerald Graff when he states that school smarts should be overlooked by street smarts. According to Gerald Graff a professor of English and Education, “’ Nor do we consider one of the major reasons why schools and colleges overlook the intellectual potential of street smarts: the fact that we associate those street smarts with anti-intellectual concerns.’ ‘We associate the educated life, the life of the mind, too narrowly and exclusively with subjects and texts that we consider inherently weighty and academic’” (Graff, Pg. 248). In other words, Graff believes that schools should not just look to see how smart you are academically but, also look at how smart you are with your ability to use your street smarts to accomplish things in society.

There are many different ways in which schools overlooking street smarts, as in ways of us being able to do daily activities of living. Schools want us to be academically smart but, they overlook the street smarts. They teach us stuff that we are forced to learn but, in reality some of the things they teach us we never use in life. Colleges accept us based on test scores that tell them how much we learned in high school which, is being referred to as academically intelligent. Some individuals don’t score well or do well on test, and some colleges won’t accept them because they don’t meet that standard of being academically smart. In reality those people can be really street smart and be able to succeed in college but, will never be given a chance because they’re not academically smart. With high schools they stress the academic side of it but not so much street smarts. Colleges accept the students based on how academically smart they are but, won’t accept you based on how street smart you are. So, if an individual wanted to be an engineer or, mechanic but didn’t have the academic smart they would be rejected from college.

The reason for that is because schools don’t teach or stress that ability of being street smart. It would be the same for if an individual wanted to become a financial adviser, they would be denied access because they are not academically intelligent. The main point is high schools stress more on academically intelligences they street smarts. They need to teach more life skills that give us the ability to successfully achieve tasks in everyday living such as, finances, taxes, debit and credit, cooking, easy fixes around the house, changing a tire, check oil in a car, sewing, and other basic living skills.

There are many different ways in which I disagree with Gerald Graff short essay about Hidden Intellectualism. First, I disagree with Gerald Graff when he states that sports teach you to be more Intelligent than schools. According to Gerald Graff a professor of English and Education, “’ Only much later did it dawn on me that the sports world was more compelling than school because it was more intellectual than school, not less.’ ‘Sports after all was full of challenging arguments, debates, problems for analysis, and intricate statistics that you could care about, as schools conspicuously was not’” (Graff, Pg. 252). In other words, Graff believes that sports teach you everything that a school would and more.

I disagree with Graff because sports teach you many different things that schools cannot but, schools teach you a lot more then sports will. In sports you learn valuable skills such as, communication, leaderships, teamwork, selflessness, decision making skills, building friendships, and to react to any given situation. Schools do not teach those skills and, without those skills humans would not know how to communicate and work with each other. High schools teach you the academic part of it which, you need in order to read, write, and do math.

High schools teach us the valuables of reading, grammar, and the proper way of talking. All of which, sports cannot provide us with. If it wasn’t for schools teaching us math, we wouldn’t be able to find things like bating averages, distances, launch angles, speed of bat swing, pitching speed, or biomechanics of sports. Math teaches us so much more than what sports can. With schools we learn how to think critically and solve problems through developmental thinking which, is a skill that sports cannot provide us with. Lastly, high schools teach us our great history of our nation along with others, and our sciences. All of which, is equally important as math, reading, and writing. Which, sports cannot simply provide us with. Overall schools teach us our skills that we need in life that sports cannot do. Which is why schools will always be more valuable in learning than sports.

There are many different ways in which I feel neutral with Gerald Graff short essay about Hidden Intellectualism. First, I feel neutral with Gerald Graff when he states that schools should let students write more about what they are interested in instead of writing about Shakespeare or Plato. According to Gerald Graff a professor of English and Education, “” But if this argument suggests why it is a good idea to assign readings and topics that are close to the students’ existing interests, it also suggests the limits of this tactic.’ ‘For students who get excited about the chance to write about their passion for cars will often write as poorly and unreflectively on that topic as on Shakespeare or Plato.’ ‘Here is the flip side of what I pointed out before: that there’s no necessary relation between the degree of interest a student shows in a text or subject and the quality of thought or expression such a student manifests in writing or talking about it.”” (Graff, Pg. 253-254).

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