Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ignorance and Superiority

An incident occurred this morning in my Educational Measurements and Assessments class. I honestly half ran to my computer when I got back to my apartment so I could blog about it.

The class started out innocently enough, discussing the different grading policies that are implemented within various school districts. One policy came up that stated a "D" would be considered a passing grade for any class except Math, in which you had to achieve at least a "C" in order to pass the class. Immediately this policy irritated me a little, because why is this one subject being held at a higher standard than the others? What if students have a harder time understanding the concepts of mathematics, this seems to be discouraging from the start. Then a hand went in the air from the back of the room (I thought it would be someone asking these very same questions I was wondering to myself) and I heard this girl say, "Well I understand why they would have this policy because it is a known fact that there is a higher level order of thinking involved in math, and those who are better in math have a higher I.Q. than say someone in literature." You could have heard a pin drop in the class we were all that silent. Now, just to give you a picture, I sit in the front of the class with about three or four other English Education majors and I think you could visibly see all of us stiffen and look at each other silently expressing the words "Excuse me? Did I really just hear that correctly?" This girl then proceeded to give examples of Newton and Galileo being geniuses that are far beyond anything literature could accomplish. I was grateful when the student next to me uttered a single name, "Shakespeare" making most of the class laugh and agree. 

I understand that we all tend to be partial to our own specialities, but I just could not understand the need to put another subject so below your own. I think it is a combination of all the subjects, and each student's likes or dislikes that creates learning as a whole. If someone can look at numbers but can't read or write a sentence correctly, how does this place them above a student who can crank out a well written paper but can't grasp the concepts used in mathematics? It scares me that this person is on their path to becoming an educator and cannot clearly see that every specialty has its own worth and importance.


  1. I can certainly understand your frustration. I'm wondering (and you don't have to reply here if you don't want to) how the instructor responded. Also, I think it might benefit that student to do a little research on Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences. Is that something that you have covered in your other classes?

  2. I am kind of bummed I was not there to argue with people. I am assuming the person who made that claim about math did not have any research or studies to back it up?