How Wrong Should You Be?

Dmitri

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While it peeves me slightly that Wilson et al. (2018) aren't peer reviewed, the information presented is interesting and does have some merits. If you go out of your league too fast and too far, no groundwork to build off of, you're bound to fail and not learn much, or incorrectly. And on the flip side, if you're just taking easy classes, you're not challenging yourself much. However, I have some disagreement on that being the perfect number for all. It's basically saying you have to fail some part; not taking into account the work a person can put into their coursework or their natural affinity for the subject or intelligence. Plus it's more for STEM classes.

Philosophy I feel is a field that wouldn't fall into this 85 Percent window, because there are just so many view points and people come to their own conclusions.
 

GABA

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There is a lot of talk of needed school reform that addresses how children are challenged and encouraged to learn. Clearly, there are several factors that may contribute to someone getting straight A's other than being "smart". Grades have been much of debate in education in the manner of how they are interpreted and because the culture in the US primarily is individualistic, there is encouraged competitiveness to get A's for grades because it translates intelligence and furthermore many parents, especially of the dominant culture encourage academic success in order to be successful later on in life. Even with using letter and number system, there has been talk about the impact of the +/- system on the impact of the individual experience, such as how does a B+ compare with a B-. Once again, I think it loops back to that competitive mindset of society.

In one study I read, researchers had given praise to their intelligence to children who completed overly simple tasks and when they moved on to things more challenging and would fail and wished to no longer pursue the new task and want to go back to the overly simplified task. So if you have someone who doesn't want to go out of their comfort zone, they are like the English Major in the article, at some point this bar was set and never moved in order to expand on what she/he knows. This may also be a protective factor for the individual to not explore outside their set limits; they may not like confrontation or hold anxiety about trying new and different things due to previous experiences. It can also be an issue of a person's confidence and self-esteem - do they feel threatened if they receive anything lower than perfect scores?

However, if someone wants to grow, then they will have to explore outside their comforts; research is growing to point that intelligence is not a set construct and it can grow like a muscle as long as we keep challenging ourselves. I think putting numbers on anything is tricky, I guess it would depend on what is being measured exactly and what type of comparison they are looking to do...like does that 85% mean the same thing on a standardized test and who are we comparing these scores to, what is being factored in regards to variables...so there are a lot of unanswered questions with this study.

There isn't one simple answer to the extent of how wrong or right someone should be in academics...wrong or right in really anything else is a subjective experience based on schemas or core beliefs of the individual. But when it comes to education...deep down it is a hot mess of systemic Western values that still sits on the foundation of values from the 19th century.
 
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