Hidden Intellectualism

Topics: Education, Critical thinking, School Pages: 2 (467 words) Published: November 6, 2011
Hidden Intellectualism
In Gerald Graff's “Hidden Intellectualism,” Graff argues that by not involving non-academic elements to the curriculum, schools are missing out on opportunities to encourage their students to learn. Students may be more prone to pick up intellectual identities if they were encouraged to do so on subjects that interest them. Graff recalls moments in his youth when his interests in academic subjects were minimal. Although his interests in non-academic subjects were vast, his careful examination of sports teams and critiquing of moves had very similar aspects to an intellectual's analysis of a subject. Through these non-academic activities, Graff was able to learn to make an argument, weigh different kinds of arguments, generalize, and enter into an argument of conflicting ideas. Graff does not blame schools by stating that academic subjects do not carry the same entertainment value of sports and other non-academic subjects. However, Graff does put the onus on the schools for not finding ways to tap this vast pool of intellectual material. Sports is full of challenging arguments, debates, and problems for analysis and intricate statistics that students might be more interested in studying. Tapping into this material and making use of its potential would allow students to become interested in academic studies and practice more intellectual thinking. While Graff encourages schools to use non-academic subjects, he also warns that non-academic subjects should not be overused. Non-academic subjects should help deter boredom. The main point is to teach and encourage students to use their academic abilities. Graff's belief is that students will transfer their interests from non-academic subjects to academic subjects. Schools could also benefit from adopting more of a non-academic attitude. Schools fail to capture the game-like element of sports. In sports, students compete against each other instead of against the system. Students should be...
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