EDUC 391 Intelligence in Everyday Life
P/F Writing Assignment for Day 25
The tradeoff between equality and
- Gardner's Excellence,
chaps. 1-3, 5-9.
("Brains, rather than...")
Soundly repudiating the aristocracy of the Old World,
inhabitants of the new United
States attempted to create a "land of
opportunity" where everyone could get ahead on the basis of their ability
and effort -- not on the basis of who they were born. The aim was to
establish a meritocracy. Gardner
describes how many Americans are ambivalent about or even hostile to
meritocracy the closer we come to achieving that aim.
1. According to Gardner,
what is the "downside" (the negative side-effects) of meritocracy?
Please explain. (Be sure you understand what "meritocracy" means--to
get ahead on the basis of your ability and effort, not because of the
circumstances of your birth--that is, not on the basis of race, sex, religion,
family background, etc.)
2. Is it fair to reward people for their natural talents (including
intelligence)? Is it fair not to?
3. Is it fair to compensate people for a lack of natural talent
Note: the answers to the last two questions will be your opinion, but they
should reflect knowledge of the reading.