Monday, March 30, 2009

A culture of underachievement in Britain

This story almost sounds familiar:
Clever children are saving themselves from being branded swots at school by dumbing down and deliberately falling behind, a study has shown.

Schoolchildren regarded as boffins may be attacked and shunned by their peers, according to Becky Francis, professor of education at Roehampton University, who carried out a study of academically gifted 12- and 13-year-olds in nine state secondary schools.

The study, to be published in the Sociological Review next year, shows how difficult it is for children, particularly boys, to be clever and popular. Boys risk being assaulted in some schools for being high-achievers. To conform and escape alienation, clever boys told researchers they may "try to fall behind" or "dumb down".
...
Clever girls, meanwhile, can be seen as less attractive and less popular in some schools than girls who manage average grades.
I remember when I was in 8th grade we were expected to write an essay (well they were compositions to us in those days) about an article about young black children forced to dumb down because making excellent grades in school was seen as acting white. Almost as if young black children believed to act ignorant in class is a black value. That would be very unfortunate.

Where does this come from? Does it come from the parents? Do the parents look down on intelligence or academic achievements? Is it that parents look at other things beyond academics?

Well whatever the case we can see in this article that I found via Instapundit that well this type of activity is everywhere. There are certainly some questions to be asked of this phenomena.

And for those of you out there who are subjected to this, please don't be discouraged. Whether you know it or not what you do right now can pay off in the future. Is it more important for you to be popular or socially acceptable today? Or is it more important to be a hard worker today? All you have to do is make the call!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are now moderated because one random commenter chose to get comment happy. What doesn't get published is up to my discretion. Of course moderating policy is subject to change. Thanks!