It’s the age old question. Does school actually make people smarter? We spend most of our early life inside the classroom reading large textbooks and fooling around with rulers and pen caps. But is all this time and effort improving young people’s intelligence? Does it really make a difference where you go to school when it comes to who’s smarter in the end?
I’ve spent much of my early life with the friends I made in grade school. We happened to all go to the same high school which consistently had one of the highest standardized testing scores in the state. Now, I assume that the purpose of those tests was to determine which school systems are teaching their students the best. But, I think what those test scores determined was actually which towns had the smartest families.
I grew up in a very wealthy town relatively to the rest of my state. I grew up in Massachusetts, the same state that Harvard University, MIT, and many other world renown schools host their campuses. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that Boston has a reputation for having arguably the smartest population of residents in the country. But, is that because people are getting smarter as they grow up because of the schools that they went to in Massachusetts? Or is it just genetics that determines how intelligent people are? Well, here’s what I can say. I went to high school with people who had a wide array of intelligence. Some were respectively lower when it came to intelligence and decision making than others. And I was in the same school system with these people for over a decade. So, wouldn’t the theory that school improves your intelligence determine that we all should have had relatively high IQs?
But, when I looked at their parents and what their educational credentials were, it wasn’t really surprising that some of these people weren’t very smart and probably weren’t going to get much smarter no matter how much school they go to. I was close friends with someone who’s mother got just an associates degree from a local community college. That was the highest education that she had accomplished for herself and for some time that was the highest education that he was looking at for himself as well. My parents both graduated from law school Magna Cum Laude and my mother has a judicial doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D from the Harvard School of Public Health respectively. She is a very smart woman and I think I am fortunate to have been blessed with some of that intelligence. And as much as I hated school I really don’t think that I learned anything. I mean I look back and can’t really recall what I know so much more about now that I’m better off for. I really don’t feel any smarter after graduating from college.
And it got me thinking what the point of school really is then? Society has put such an emphasis on education and how important it is to achieve, but does that make people better suited for most jobs? I think what school ultimately teaches us is obedience. Years spent in the classroom and thousands of dollars spent of college all to measure our obedience? I think the emphasis also has a lot to do with older generations believing that because they finished college many years ago that they would only hire people who did as well. But, I think college has changed over the years. The price to attend a university let alone textbooks has skyrocketed. But, do these prices rising mean that the schools are providing better quality for teaching students? I doubt it. But it the end maybe it doesn’t matter at all because we’re only as smart as our parents were and it all lies in our DNA.
Bishop’s opinion coming soon!