It's Time To Admit 'Natural' Intelligence An Outdated Idea

It's Time To Admit 'Natural' Intelligence An Outdated Idea

It's not about how smart you are, but about how hard you work.
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Elementary school was a weird time. MAP tests, AR reading comprehension, PACT and PASS and virtually any other acronym you can think of for the standardized tests that ultimately distinguished whether or not you were considered relatively gifted. And, while in theory, this may or may not have prepared students for the rigorous curriculum of more challenging courses, I still have to ask: Is this really necessary at age 8?

Don't get me wrong, preparing kids with the highest quality education is what I'm here for... but it's also relatively difficult to decide who's "gifted and talented" and who's not.

Maybe I'm wrong, but with the rise of the gifted and talented curriculum in the early 2000s, came the plateau of the "honors kid burnout" in the 2010s.

Similar to the stigma of the participation trophy in kids sports, the establishment of a "more advanced curriculum" for students as young as 7 or 8 (I put that in quotations because, realistically, these courses were not significantly more advanced), in my opinion, unintentionally reinforced the idealized form of "natural intelligence".

Natural intelligence ultimately presents the idea that "smart" individuals should be able to learn or even simply have the knowledge, without the need to practice, memorize, or really study anything. You weren't considered "intelligent" if it took you more time to learn something, or you had to ask for help. Facts and memorization, intellect and intuition, came naturally and you either had it or you didn't.

This is problematic on multiple fronts.

The process of reaffirming elementary school students (again, this comes from my own personal experience and observation of those with similar experiences), and reinforcing the idea that they are "naturally" smart, gifted, or talented is great in ego-boosting throughout public school.

BUT.

Entering into an actually academically advanced environment, whether it be Advanced Placement courses, or Dual Enrollment, or even as far as into college, there becomes a problem.

Students that have been told throughout a vast majoring of their lives that they were naturally gifted with intelligence have very early in life placed a negative association with studying, working hard, or having difficulty with something.

Students that have gotten straight A's throughout middle and high school simply by glancing at notes before the exam or by using common sense are have already been conditioned to associate something as simple as making flashcards or asking a teacher for help with failure.

Natural intelligence, natural talent, and virtually any idea that individuals have to be born with a skill in order to be significantly gifted is more often than not, counterproductive.

Making the goal of public education something as one dimensional as letter grades, and conditioning students to view them as more of a ranking system than as a showcase of hard work, does more than just discourage morale. It encourages efficiency. It encourages academic dishonesty. It encourages getting an A by any means necessary because, for someone who has been defined as "naturally intelligent" most of their life, they have no room for disappointment.

Children, especially in this day and age, need to be conditioned to view hard work as honorable, as respectable, and in no way a weakness, or something to be ashamed of. There are no "August Rush"es in this reality, but there are more than enough "Rudy"s.

Teaching kids that it was their hard work and their dedication that really got them that grade, alter how they view more than just grades. Encouraging hard work, diligence, dedication, and even something as simple as effort goes farther than just academics. Kids that are more encouraged to take risks and think creatively become kids that are more willing to try, regardless of the outcome.

Because life isn't really a grading system, but a test of skills and attitude.

It's not how smart you are, but how hard you work.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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15 One-Liners College Girls Say To Each Other When Out Partying

Don't you know girls go to the bathroom in packs?
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Girls are all the same when it comes to going out and partying.

So when the weekend rolls around and all the girls get together to go out it's always the same routine. Many times it can feel like you're having deja vu when out because we always say the same stuff to each other, every damn time.

Here are 15 things us girls say to each other every time we go out:

1. "Can you come to the bathroom with me?"

2. "Is my hair a mess?"

3. "Omg, it's Chad from sigma Apple pi."

4. "I'm literally sweating."

5. "Omg, our song is on!"

6. "Can we get pizza after this?"

7. "Help me get this creep away."

8. "Do I look bad?"

9. "Is Chad talking to another girl!?"

10. "I will fight this girl if she pushes me again."

11. "Can you come with me to get another drink? "(Clearly, we can't do anything alone)

12. "Let's take a Snap"

13. *finds random girl in the bathroom* "Omg, you're like so pretty!"

14. "Did you bring *insert makeup item*?"

15. "Omg, Chad texted me. What should I say?"

Cover Image Credit: Draught Horse

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Wait, Judy Genshaft Wasn't the Only USF President?

A glance at the five preceding presidents to grace the University of South Florida prior to Judy Genshaft.

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With the buzzing news of Judy Genshaft's upcoming retirement, I decided to read more on her career and her success. She has done so much to propel the University of South Florida forward, achieving all of her set goals in the process. But in one of the many articles I saw reporting on Genshaft's retirement, there was a statement made by Betty Castor in reaction to the news. Who's Betty Castor you may ask? Well Betty Castor is USF's fifth and most recent president preceding Judy Genshaft. Meaning yes, Judy Genshaft is USF's sixth president.

Here's an introduction to ALL six USF Presidents:

1. John S. Allen, 1957-1970

Previously an astronomer, professor, and the Executive Vice President at the University of Florida, John S. Allen was appointed as the first president in USF history July 27, 1957. When John S. Allen arrived in Tampa, he had to literally craft the University of South Florida from the ground up. His opposition to major college sports fueled his desire to make USF the best academically. During his tenure, USF was considered to be the "Harvard of the South." Pretty cool to consider. After his retirement, our accomplished founder was honored with the "John and Grace Allen Center", named after himself and his wife.

John S. Mackey https://fcit.usf.edu/coedu/coedu_timeline.html


2. Cecil Mackey, 1971-1976

Once the director of the Office of Policy Development for the Federal Aviation Agency, and the assistant Secretary for policy Development for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maurice Cecil Mackey, Jr. joined USF's administration February of 1971. During his presidency, Mackey opened USF Sarasota and dispersed the College of Liberal Arts into four new colleges. After leaving the University of South Florida, he went on to be the President of Michigan State University, and Texas Tech University.

M. Cecil Mackeyhttps://fcit.usf.edu/coedu/coedu_timeline.html


3. John Lott Brown, 1978-1988

After a period with two interim presidents in place at the University of South Florida, John Lott Brown was finally inaugurated April 15, 1978. Brown also had a history in aviation, and he had conducted research related to early space flight. He utilized his time as president to establish the Moffit Cancer Center, USF Psychiatry Center, and the USF College of public health.

John Lott Brownhttps://fcit.usf.edu/coedu/coedu_timeline.html


4. Francis Borkowski, 1988-1993.

During his career, Francis Borkowski was an administer at five different Universities. But on February 5th, 1988, he took over as president for the University of South Florida. With his short tenure at USF, Borkowski hoped to raise the University's status in both academics and athletics. In 1991, one of his goals was achieved with the foundation of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Francis T. Borkowskihttps://fcit.usf.edu/coedu/coedu_timeline.html


5. Betty Castor, 1994-1999

Betty Castor's time at USF was historical because she was the first female president the school had ever seen. When she became a part of the administration team USF already had four campuses, a medical school, and over 40,000 students. She walked into a well established institution and still managed to fulfill an advantageous agenda. Castor expanded the Honors Program, earned recognition for the University's Research achievements, and took USF abroad to countries such as China and Africa. Betty Castor Hall was famously named after her, and her legacy continues to show relevance at the University.

Betty Castorhttps://fcit.usf.edu/coedu/coedu_timeline.html


6. Judy Genshaft, 2000-2019 (Pending)

Judy Genshaft has the longest tenure in the University's history, and she was recently ranked as the 11th highest paid university president in the United States. We know and love her for her many accomplishments, as of recent USF's emergence as a preeminent university, but she has also been involved in a few controversies. Even so, she has tremendously transformed the University of South Florida and will be retiring at the peak of her administrative career.

Judy Genshafthttps://fcit.usf.edu/coedu/coedu_timeline.html

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