Intelligence is not determined at birth-Malcolm Gladwell's thoughts

   Ignoring his theories about success, Malcolm Gladwell's’ books reveal his bias in education and intelligence. He does not believe that intelligence is an inherent value. Instead, he believes that the gravity of education and a child’s intellect level is based upon the environment you live in, the opportunities given to you, and even your time of birth. He argues that these three factors are far more viable to make conclusions as to how success and education correlate, rather than just factors like race, gender, and social class. One of Malcolm Gladwell’s books that more specifically exposes his bias in education & intelligence is called Outliers. In this book, his bias on the outlook on intellect is enumerated. He believes that everyone isn’t given an equal advantage; only people who have been lucky enough to be framed into a system like school sooner than others and or given an abundant of opportunities as opposed to someone else, they are better off in the future.


         Malcolm Gladwell uses many central points that lucidly refutes his argument. One of them by which is called the Matthew Effect. This was a study explained in the book that was done by the sociologist named Robert K. Merton. Reciting the biblical verse Matthew 25:29 in contemporary text, ‘‘For to everyone who has {more} shall be given, and he will have an abundance: but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away’’(New American Standard Version 1995). Metaphorically, in education, this means that once an advantage is obtained, it accumulates until it becomes disproportionate for the opposing candidate. Malcolm Gladwell elaborates that early advantages in life invariably makes the difference between just how intelligent or unintelligent a child turns up being. We can take a further look at this by anatomizing the way the American educational system works.

         In his book ‘’Outliers’’, we will look at how Malcolm Gladwell views the American educational system. We all know that there is a certain stipulated cut-off date that determines when Children are allowed into Pre-K to start that first family-missing year of school. Boohoo, it’s time to go, but what if some children are not eligible for that first year? Because say that their birth date overarches the cut-off and they are denied access. The parents decide on holding the child back and when the time comes, they skip pre-k and put them straight into kindergarten; eventually the parents come to a consensus that they will catch up following the years of early learning and middle school. Indeed, they have minimized the qualm for having to start school without mom and dad and have more time to plan and prepare. However, things stay the same, and unfortunately they do not catch up and fall lower and lower down the chain of school, and accumulate disadvantages as they come in a year late into school.

         This is because the children who have been born before the cut-off and were eligible to start that first year of school had a definite advantage. Extra practice-they did not miss that first crucial year of instruction that children born after the cut-off already have. And they have already gotten into the flow of school, made a couple of friends and are probably already doing homework. Likewise, they receive the social and academic advantages of already being in school, and by the time those born after the cut-off get to the same vantage they’re in, like college-they are premature.  

        This shows Malcolm Gladwell’s bias because it is explaining that he thinks that America’s educational system is a widely equivocal factor in the way Americans turn out to be and that there is no group of geniuses or dummies. The educational system is actually what decides who will be better off or who will not be. There are numerous stereotypes that dumb people are just innately not intelligent, or that intelligent people are just primordially intelligent, this is critically false. And we see this by the way the Matthew effect portrays itself and Malcolm's bias. This is to say because the ‘’dumb people’’ are actually not dumb, but just a step-below the ‘’smart people’’ and missed out on a crucial year of school that would most likely be the deciding factor of how they are in academics and what they will be in the future. So your time of birth truly does have a huge impact on where you subsequently will be in America, because of the Matthew effect. It will strongly affect the American society and how we will develop the workforce of the world if there is no cultivation.

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