Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Trouble With Outliers, Pt. 1

Haley Scholars Fall 2012 Reading Groups

In his “Trouble with Geniuses, Part I” chapter, Malcolm Gladwell begins to clarify his argument that we continually have trouble understanding outliers. Researchers and an array of commentators often rely too heavily on conventional measures of aptitude to predict the ingredients of those who become extraordinary successes. For example, we label those who perform exceptionally well on IQ tests “geniuses,” and that designation falsely presumes that they will become highly successful.

According to Gladwell, individuals hardly need to be exceptionally intelligent or super smart to do really well. Instead, they merely need to be “smart enough.” And those who are smart enough do not need to attend the very best schools to gain the knowledge and training to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine, for example. They just have to attend a school that is “good enough.”

What's one important thing we should consider if we want to ensure that our local learning environments are “good enough”? Why?

14 comments:

Jamal Sims said...

With the goal of enhancing our local learning environments, one vital asset that should be considered is the quality of teachers. When students are provided with teachers who are thriving and enthusiastic, they are more able to be passionate with what they are learning and appreciate the quality of education they are receiving.

Jamal Sims said...

With the goal of enhancing our local learning environments, one vital asset that should be considered is the quality of teachers. When students are provided with teachers who are thriving and enthusiastic, they are more able to be passionate with what they are learning and appreciate the quality of education they are receiving.

Stelisa Johnson said...

In order to keep learning environments “good enough”, educational institutions should make their curriculum innovative. Not only should they place emphasis on academics, they should showcase how the skills learned and studied are imperative in real life. Being very intelligent means nothing if you cannot apply your knowledge in real life situations. Life is not concrete and predictable. Many people assume that because you are “smart enough” you can do anything; however some situations call for imagination. Imagination is not always fully developed through educational institutions. I believe that learning environments should teach students to expand their knowledge and develop untraditional approaches to a variety of situations. By doing so they are versatile and able to do well in the “real world”.

Maya Estell said...

American society can ensure that our local environments are “good enough” by allowing teachers to teach their students with a more unconventional, less structured approach. Society has been brought up to believe that the people with high IQ’s are the smartest, and therefore will be the most successful. However, this is not true because it is unfair to base someone’s intelligence on a test that was created by one person, a group of people, or even the government. Schools have set guidelines of what their curriculum needs to be, this restricts them from being able to be creative in getting through to the children. This way of teaching needs to end, this will ensure that students are allowed to utilize their imaginations which will in the long run help to produce more critical thinkers, rather that people who are taught how and what to think. There will no longer be a standard for what is good enough in society’s eyes and they will be able to reach far beyond any set limit

Makiah Purvis said...

To make sure our local learning environments are "good enough" we have to believe that we are "good enough" and see everyone else is "good enough". For us to make sure our environment is going to benefit everyone we must uplift everyone in that environment. We must ensure that the education and the teachers are up to part as well. With all this this, our environment will be "good enough".

Kayleigh E. said...

To ensure that our local learning environments are “good enough” we need to realize that test are not everything. Some people just do not test well. They may be very intelligent but do not do well on tests. Also tests and grades do not prove you will do well in life. For example you need to have good social skills to succeed in life. If you cannot talk to people and make relationships then it will hinder you. Good social skills are what help you get hired at jobs and internships. Those internships and real life experiences are what make you successful, not just intelligence. If schools make you practice real life experiences then it will help you be "good enough."

Jeremy H. said...

If the goal is enhancing our local learning environments, then I believe funding for learning environments must be split equally to ensure this. We pay for quality and if the quality isn't good enough then our learning environment wont be either. I believe if we all want equal opportunity it starts at an equal learning environment for all.
-Jeremy Huckleby

Terry Taborn said...

To make learning environments "good enough" they should be made smaller. Smaller classroom size with fewer students will take away from distractions and allow a more direct form of teaching from the instructor. All students would be able to participate in class discussions and become well rounded in all aspects of the course. Through such an environment those who are are not strong test takers could become better test takers; if for no other reason than better understanding the curriculum.

Anonymous said...

To ensure that local learning environments are "good enough", all students need to be allowed the same opportunities. Students that are labeled smarter based on higher standardized test scores, should not cause students with average or slightly lower test scores to be overlooked. Especially with many factors other than IQ scores affecting success in life, schools need to find better ways of helping ALL students become more successful.

Jhalia Barber said...

To ensure that learning environments are "good enough", local school systems should train teachers on how to deal with misbehavior in the classroom. Children who misbehave in the classroom disrupt the learning of other students, which can hinder them from succeeding. Many times, the teachers of those classrooms do not know how to properly handle the child, so the bad behavior continues. Teachers need to be trained on how to correct such behavior and what to do if it continues after attempted correction. Coming from personal experience, I have been in many learning environments where one person distracts me from retaining vital information and the educator did nothing to intervene. This is a growing problem in public elementary and secondary schools which needs to be addressed to help students succeed in the classroom.

Robert F said...

We should consider the quality of people we hire to teach the students to ensure that all of them have a equal opportunity to be "well enough". Allow the teachers to teach the curriculum the best way they can rather than designating they a certain way to teach us for the year. This way the teacher can teach with the best of their ability and consequently the students can learn better too.

Charisma Bankston said...

To make sure that our learning environment is good enough, you have to make sure you are a very focused person. You also have to good people that are willing to learn around you. You can't always blame bad learning environments on the teachers. It's all based upon how the students are. If the student isn't willing to be open to learn, then they'll only set their selves up for failure.

Sandra Nnoung said...

Basing the intelligence of students solely on their standardized test scores does not benefit them. When students are told they are not smart enough based on a test that does not accurately show what they know, they grow up believing they are not "good enough". Students will never increase their knowledge if they are constantly discouraged. For students to get the right education, schools need to hire qualified teachers. Teachers that will instill a love of learning in the students and take the time to make sure their students are learning.

Joneshia Y. said...

The educational system should evaluate the quality of the teachers and access their learning techniques in order to make sure that our schools are "good enough". Not only that, but their curriculum needs to satisfy every student's learning style, not just one concrete style that is viewed as the standard way of learning. Every student has the ability to be intelligent and innovative when given the right tools that let's their knowledge flourish.