Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Nerd vs. Street Geek... in terms of education

“Hidden Intellectualism” is an article where the author, Gerald Graff defines what “book smart” and “streets smart” students actually are. He specifies how his views in terms of education can help build the school system into something great by explaining the necessity of applying this hidden intellectualism into academic intellectualism. Graff makes several arguments in order to point out how all students should be given the chance to choose subjects they are interested in; whether it's sports, music, cars, etc. Graff draws attention to his audience the different ways students and educators can recognize with intellectualism by pointing out that people are intelligent in several ways and just need to learn how to fuse the intellectualism they enjoy into a school-like setting during classes. He shows this by using his own understandings of sports and cars when he was a teenage boy. While being very informative of the street statuses he and his ruthless friends were a part of, he was unintentionally skilled to be an intellect in the classroom and other school subjects. When figuring all this out, Graff only had to develop this into his course. Graff uses descriptive detail, and similarities by using his own understands and experiences to transfer his thoughts of hidden intellectualism into his academic viewers.
            Graff informs us about the school system, and why it has failed us students in many ways, such as how schools overlook the intellectual potential of “street smart” students who could develop themselves into something gifted and skillful for their futures. In the academic background, students are required to rehearse and memorize a lot of hard and boring everyday tasks in order to prepare them for the future, and increase their academic statuses. Like Graff, Sir Ken Robinson also believed that “As adults, we should teach our children and prepare them for the future and see them making something out of it and themselves.” He strongly believed that the school system basically “blocks” one’s natural talent and creative ability due to their ways of life when forcing the idea that if they don’t have high degrees such as a Masters or PhD they’ll be failures. “Bring on Learning Revolution” is a video based on his ideas on how education and the corrupted school systems bring upon children and brainwash them by learning “the right way”, making them unable to unleash their natural talents.
            Throughout my reading process, I’ve basically done just about anything that could help me avoid doing this assignment such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and even taking care of my nieces and nephews (which is really sad since I’m HORRIBLE with children). Then, the last day I realized that the amount of time and effort spent on this assignment the better the outcomes of my grades are; so I had to basically force myself to read the Intro, Entering Class Discussion and Hidden Intellectualism in They Say, I Say (and thank God the chapters were really small), while still trying to distract myself with other errands (such as the ones my mom has been nagging at me for the past week to do). Although I agree with Gerald Graff on this topic, I still think his article could have been better written. And by “better written”, I meant that I wasn't exactly sure what Graff’s motive was until I read a couple more pages into the chapter. Just saying… in my opinion, I think Graff should’ve made his main focus more vivid and stronger in the first few paragraphs. However, his conclusion became a lot stronger than his introduction. Although a conclusion should be strong and catch the reader’s eyes, I also believe an introduction paragraph should be clear and to the point in order to avoid confusing or boring his audience (not that I’m judging since I’m not good at that myself). Nonetheless, Graff did a good job of presenting his point of view. He uses evidence and details to support his claim, which I’m not good at doing. Also, Graff reflects this amongst his past and how he had little interest in school loved sports, cars, hip hop and such. And the way he catches his audiences’ attention by addressing “street smarts" and his personal experience which everyone can relate to; making him the influential writer he is today.


  1. Excellent work, amenah!

    And I really like that you brought up Ken Robinson. He's at the forefront of this educational revolution that Graff is calling for and that I hope to help progress :-)