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Hidden Intellectualism Essay

In his essay “Hidden Intellectualism,” Gerald Graff argues that intellectualism is not something that can only be archived through proper education like school or college, but with subjects that people consider non academics as sports and cars. The writer considers “street smart” to those people who learn things outside of an academic environment, for example in the streets of their neighborhood. The writer argues that educators should let students decide on the subject that they are more interested to learn, this opened up possibilities for the student to excel in his academic environment as well as his own interests. To support his point the writer tell us his personal story of transformation from been a “street smart” to an intellectual.

He explain the necessity of implementing hidden intellectualism into academic intellectualism by introducing a more academic approved vocabulary, while maintaining that same level of intellectualism used with the nonacademic interests of the students. For example the language that we use in street is not the same as the language we use inside a classroom. There for schools should encourage students to learn more academically, it doesn’t mean that students have to change their original ways of speaking rather add new ways to use it correctly.

He also goes into depth about his own life and how he grew up.” I hated book and cared only for sports,” he states that he was more interested in sports than Shakespeare.”I was desperate for the approval of the hoods,” He talks about how he wanted to fit in with the “hoods” and also tries to be smart, but not show it too much, for fear of being beat up. These are excellent examples of how schools should try to tap into these hidden intellectualisms.


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