Anti-intellectualism in teaching or professional Education: a case against

Table of Content

Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.” – Marcus Aelius Aurelius

        Intellectualism simply means the development of power to think i.e. the development and use of the ability to think reason and understand. Philosophically it means the belief that knowledge comes from reasoning; the doctrine that all that can truly be called knowledge is derived from reasoning.

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 It can also define a thought process i.e. involving in the mental processes of abstract thinking and reasoning rather than emotions. It also define a state of having highly developed ability to think, reason and understand, especially in combination with wide knowledge. Intellect is the term use to describe someone’s mental ability to think reason and understand. Its also describe the knowing-how phenomenon. Knowing-how is entails having the right ability to act in an intellectual manner. Knowing-how is a directive state which also requires motivation to perform the mental tasks. The motivation of which can only be gotten from teachers, hence education especially the teaching aspect is the prerequisite for intellectual pursuit.

 Anti-Intellectualism at a glance

Anti-intellectualism simply defines a sentimental hostility to intellectuals and their pursuit and it’s usually expressed in different ways and situation. Its usually oppose the advantages of various field like science, education, art, history, humanities and literature.

Anti-intellectual are the conservatives who often think they are champions of the ordinary citizen. This is the way of their mind. And this poses a major challenge to the educational sector of the U.S

Those conservatives’ views are;

“Why do you care so much about teaching all this dreary old stuff? The children should just be free to explore whatever they want to explore and to learn only what is immediately useful.”( Anti-Intellectualism Run Rampant in U.S. Education by George Clowes .May 29,2001) §  Some anti-intellectualist belief that intellect are of a more specialized area of knowledge and they are only functional when it comes to the issues pertaining to their areas and tend to be useless when it comes to those that are of a common man in the society.

Some argue that the teaching of foreign language in elementary school should be excluded from the school curriculum. They also belief that sports should be avoided in the elementary and junior high school.

They belief that the professors should stick to the following in classrooms, firstly by properly  introducing the students to the real bodies of knowledge and traditions of inquiry that had never been part of their experience and also equip the same set of students with the proper analytical skills, statistical modeling, laboratory processes.

Another view of the critics is of the perception professors have increasingly inculcated their own political ideologies into pedagogical interactions and professional research at the cost of the quality, objectivity, and appropriateness of each.

The conservatives of history also believes that children can be encircled with different beautiful materials and leave them with the materials so they can do wonderful things with it.
Some also belief that simple people are the good ones and that the intellect are not so honest compare to the common people.

They also argue that teaching, learning and thinking are stress and it’s a source of difficulty for most learners and makes them unnecessarily anxious.
Some form of criticism is that the education is a powerful tool for forming the culture of country. They criticized the intellectual for not properly teaching the student the core values that would help them stand the test of time in the society and that they are not properly prepared for the challenging jobs.

                                Causes of anti-intellectualism

The reasons why the conservatives belief in the

ü  Religion

ü  Politics

ü  Populism

                The case against anti-intellectualism in education

The ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience which simply means intelligence is one of the most important goal in any form of education. Taping into this huge reservoir of power is not just what we can achieve naturally and it’s not in-born. Every individual must undergo a form of education (formal or informal) to be able think and act constructively. Those conservatives are those individual that weak mental capability and are lazy.

       Taking into considerations the arguments of all the anti-intellectuals

Why should the teaching of history be irrelevant to a young chap, I call that stupidity because “basis is the mother of all knowledge”. When we lack the information about the past, how are we going to be aware and prepare for the future? If there’s no adequate understanding of the past there’s not going to be predictions of things that can happen in the future.

In medicine the history and the old things matters a lot because it gives an insight into the prognosis of most treatment. The past is the fundamental of the future. If we don’t teach the children the history how can we transmit the values of the past to the next generation. The young should be taught the values such as self-respect, fundamental human rights and freedoms of others. They need to be taught the ability to defend their own principles even when he or she is in the minority. Knowledge is acquired, it is not in-born, hence we need to be taught the importance of a society and how, what it meant to be a citizen. If such idea is perishing with the elders of today, what will the leaders of tomorrow thrive on? We learn from mistakes if we don’t take those experiences into consideration we liable to fall again.

            What are the benefits of the less privilege when they are surrounded with the beautiful materials? Think about it. Those children will strongly miss out the hidden potentials because they wouldn’t understand the principles that make certain things work while others might not. They will also miss out because there’s none to motivate them even when his or her spirit is weary. Their scope of interest will be narrow, they’ll lack maximum attention when required and will be myopic in their pursuit. Hence they need adult guidance ‘a teacher’.

Most education reforms have had a negative impact on the lives of the less privileged because they were in need of education compare to those from the affluent background. Just because anti-intellectualism it’s now the in-thing in the American society thus not mean it should be incorporated into the educational system.

            If anti-intellectualism had really been allowed to influence all the reforms in the schools, I strongly believe that all our great leaders wouldn’t have been able to lead us to this stage in the world politics. With the advocacy for self-centered education, less privileged children were further affected.

We should be aware that success comes with hard work and right attitude and there’s no victory for all lazy mind.

Most teachers can make this work but are not equipped to help those in need of direction. You need to teach a child how to read and not left to struggle with a shape just to be able to understand what it represents.

                                                American culture

An important question to ask ourselves is that should us all anti-intellectualism which is problem of American society to enter into our educational system. I strongly say NO. The founder of this great nation had great vision and this has manifested into reality today to give us the most powerful nation in the world. The vision comes from the mind and not just ordinary mind but the great intellectuals of the history. In the American society of today the anti-intellectuals who are youth are those students who are more interested in the social life or athletics’ rather than their studies. So while should we incorporate anti-intellectualism into the educational system with it consequence. We should be aware that without critics of knowledge there can be no advancement. What we need to know is that the teaching be it professional or at the informal level is still the best career and what the teachers do is the impartation of this masterpiece into the mind of their student. To the issue of funding of the higher education, I took a deeper taught about the lives of the under-privileged and what they stand to benefit from the society, where democracy has been said to be the mode of governance, this came to my mind that politicians are trying to deny others from their right. I strongly believe that under-funding is not the cause of anti-intellectualism in teaching or professional education but anti-intellectualism the sole culprit of this offense.

What do you think, of a farmer who is not privilege to be a professional and had the opportunity of influencing the life of a student or be in a place of authority, such an individual will not see any good thing in an intellectual pursuit such as enrolling in a professional courses whereby the way of the right use of our mind creatively can be acquired.

                                               The good and the bad

When we say the ‘‘common man’’ is better than the so called intellect, I tend to ask the question, where are the facts? When we look at the most criminal cases in the society, the culprits are mostly the common man. This is simply because an average professor we have to protect his or her integrity, this is a product of their intellectual capability

               Teaching or professional education, a prerequisite for intellectual pursuit

Teaching, systematic presentation of facts, ideas, skills, and techniques to students (Encarta

Encyclopedia, 2008)

There is a distinction between knowledge and knowledge process. The two of which are bridged by teaching. This simply means that there can’t be an intellectual state without an art of teaching. Teaching simply facilitates learning and sharing of knowledge.

It has been said that the teaching career required mostly human-caring skills rather than a high degree of instructional proficiency. If professionalism is not important I don’t think really need not further their education or go to major in a specialized field.well I strongly belief that the teachers role in professionalism and intellectualism is not really something to bother ourselves about because anti-intellectualism will not stand the test of time. We should always give the perception a second taught because all the advancement we do see and enjoy today is as a result of the creative thinking of those intellect of our time and also the teacher who direct and impact the knowledge.


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David,Manes.(2008, March 3). Intellectualism in America. Retrieved July 4, 2008.


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William, Arnold, Jason, Dulle.(2008). Pentecostals and Anti-Intellectualism.                      From

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