5 September 2011
Interest Initiates Learning
In Gerald Graff’s essay, Hidden Intellectualism, one is exposed to the author’s view of different means of intellectualism. Graff gives the reader an uncommon perception of what it means to be an intellectual. He expresses his views by stating that a person can be an intellectual in fields that have nothing to do with academia, such as street smarts or particular interests. He also states that if you incorporate these particular interests in the classroom, students deemed as unintellectual would be more likely to grasp the taught materials. These students could then perform to their true potential. To begin with, Graff uses many forms of logic to persuade the reader into his point of view. By employing logos into his writing he states logical arguments of how many students are street smart or interested in other things. Graff guides the reader into the realization that if a student is interested in a subject, it is only logical that when the subject is incorporated into the learning material then the student will comprehend the concept more easily. Graff states that “they would be more prone to take on intellectual identities if we encourage them to do so at first on subjects that interest them rather then ones that interest us” (Graff 199). Next, Graff uses his personal experiences to help the reader connect with his ideas through pathos. He tells us how, as a young man, he did not consider himself an intellectual and was not interested in scholarly matters. “I offer my own adolescent experience as a case in point. Until I entered college, I hated books and cared only for sports.” (Graff 199) He later reflects his newfound thoughts on intellectualism as he states, “I have recently come to think, however, that my preference for sports over schoolwork was not anti-intellectualism so much as intellectualism by other means.” (Graff 200) He then allows the reader to...