Hidden Intellectualism Summary & Analysis - Gerald Graff

Topics: Anti-intellectualism, School, Intellectual Pages: 3 (830 words) Published: February 21, 2014
In Hidden Intellectualism by Gerald Graff, he begins with the argument of “street-smarts” versus “school-smarts”. Graff explains that school-smarts can be hidden within street smarts and can be learnt through not just talking with friends, but also from the media and our surroundings, hence the “hidden” intellectualism. He goes onto explain that “schools and colleges overlook the intellectual potential of street-smarts” (198) because these types of intellectualism are actually considered anti-intellectualism. Graff then begins to discuss that intellectualism is often looked down upon within schools, and people that are considered “school-smart” are seen as nerdy, or boring. We learn that as a child, Graff was afraid of bullying and name-calling so he did not show his intellectual side out of fear. As he wanted to be accepted so badly, he decided to become an “inarticulate, carefully hiding telltale marks of literacy like correct grammar and pronunciation”. (201) Through this, he discovered that he was still able to show his intellectual side by using arguing and reasoning strategies while talking about subjects such as sports and toughness with his friends. Graff describes how important it is to teach hidden intellectualism to children that don’t realize it’s inside of them. He describes that if children are able to discuss topics such as today’s music, entertainment, and sports then they can hopefully progress more easily into subjects such as literature, and courses of more difficulty throughout their schooling. Also, if students are asked to write papers on articles such as “Sports Illustrated” or “Vogue” they would become more comfortable writing and analyzing books or articles of a more difficult nature. Graff explains that he is not insisting that children write about cars, sports, or fashion etc in a “cop-out” kind of way, but to write about them through “academic eyes”, and in an analytical and reflective way. Gerald Graff believed that street smarts...
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