Are you smart? Are you educated? Or are you intelligent? Maybe, you are all three. Most people would consider these three different ways of asking the same question. Some people might read between the lines. And some might chastise you for making their head spin. Because even though terms like smart, intelligent, and educated can be spoken in the same vein and breath, the truth is that each one of them denotes a specific, separate meaning.
How do you differentiate between terms which might mean the same thing, but are in essence, vastly differing in their interpretations? A mom tells her kids while they are growing up that they are smart. Sometimes she says they are intelligent. And as these kids go through the schools-college-university trifecta of learning, the mom might start throwing around the line that her kids are educated.
Let us find out what mom meant when she said these words:
Smart or Not?
As people grow up, they are told that they are smart, but not as smart as they think. They might also end up hearing that some people seem smart, but in reality they’re not. The kids in the hood possess ‘street smarts’ whilst those with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge are pegged as ‘book smart.’
What’s going on here? Really what do we mean when the term ‘smart’ gets thrown about?
Smart is when you react to a situation in the most perfect way that you can. Smart is learning to make the best of your circumstances. Smart is about being quick-witted and nimble footed. Smart is dressing sharply for the occasion. Smart is being best with different people around you. Smart is getting ahead in life.
Smart is making the best use of either some or most of these attributes in an individual:
- Physical – learning something b doing such as activities, pastimes, etc. In general, just by moving.
- Visual – drawing, illustrating, making thoughts materialize on paper, board. By forming a clear picture in mind and getting that point across in reality by putting them down.
- Verbal – getting ideas across to other people by reading and writing. Creative with words and phrasing. Being good with words generally.
- Interpersonal – relating and responding well to other people around you. Striking up friendships and networking with people in all circles. Mediating between arguments, connecting with people as well as teams.
- Introspective – preferring some time alone with their thoughts. Daydreaming and brainstorming about things around people. Reflective and thoughtful to explore their feelings about other people and subjects.
- Logical and Mathematical – orderly, systematic, incisively logical about situations. Great at analyzing, planning & calculating things.
- Musical – artistic and quick about absorbing new melodies, tunes and lyrics to songs. Using music as a tool to learn. Has a sense for rhythm and timings. Focused on sounds and sonic.
Educated or Not?
Education is more about being well-versed in subjects of your studies. It is also about adopting a more civil demeanor. It’s a process of learning where skills, knowledge and habits of people are transferred from generation to generation. All this is done through teaching, training and researching.
Each person is unique and has their own set of favorite subjects and interests. Learning and acquiring knowledge about these subjects can expand one’s mind to more possibilities. Education is not all about learning from books though, there’s also an element of real life involved as well. Education gives individuals the means to explore the boundaries of their passion.
Intelligent or Not?
The simplest way to determine intelligence is to observe how an individual learns things. Does it take them long? Does it take numerous tries for them to grasp some important concepts, ideas, patterns, and so on? Does it take someone way too long to know what’s happening around them?
This sense of awareness and quick knowledge absorption – are hallmarks of intelligence. A highly intelligent person will pick up more skills and knowledge in the same time as compared to the average person.
The next time you hear these three terms been thrown around, it would be a good idea to pinpoint the context behind it. Being smart is not the same thing as being educated yet a person can be educated without being smart or intelligent. At least now these terms should make sense to everyone.
About Steven Arndt
Steven Arndt is a passionate writer, educator and a former History teacher. He tends to reconsider the role of modern education in our society and watches with awe the freedom the youth now has.
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QUESTION; There is nothing that an uneducated person can teach educated person
I do not agree with the idea that there is nothing that uneducated people can teach educated people. I certainly agree that education is very complementary for one's knowledge and wisdom. However, it is not the only way that a person gains knowledge or wisdom. People gain knowledge from experience as well. Therefore uneducated people too possess valuable knowledge which they have acquired through experience.
First, it is not fair to undermine the level of intelligence or wisdom of an uneducated person. Due to various socio economic reasons such as poverty, political instability, cast constraints, etc., some smart people are deprived of receiving a good education. However, they can be intellectuals with very high wisdom and may be in a position to guide many educated people in the right path. For example, Mao Tsetung, the first chairman of the Chinese Republic, did not receive any formal education and therefore he can hardly be called an educated person. However he vividly exhibited his outstanding intellectuality and visionary thinking to the world. Many educated people can still learn important lessons from Mao's character.
Secondly, some uneducated people who are not very intelligent may still be smarter than many educated people in their respective fields. For example, our car mechanic has never stepped into a school. He is illegible and quite low in his intellectual capacity. However he has mastered the job of a motor mechanic. Therefore my father, a doctor with a sound educational background, relies on the advice of this mechanic when ever his car gives engine problems. I have seen in many instances that this mechanic teaching my father how to fix minor engine issues.
Finally, there is no difference between educated or uneducated when it comes to humanity. There are instances that educated people get inspired by the uneducated people who influence them with great sense of humanity. Today, I am an educated person having a master's degree. However it was my grandmother, who has never attended school, who influenced all my academic accomplishments. She taught me very important lessons by setting examples herself. I observed her working very hard to achieve her simple goals and followed her steps until I reached my grand goals.
Therefore, I believe it is unfair to judge people on their educational backgrounds. After all everybody has something special about themselves. Therefore, in my conclusion, I stress that educated people have lot to learn from the uneducated people.
Boy, do I commend you for your essay! This is outstanding! And, it happens to be true, as well. You know as well as I do that book knowledge is not worth much without some common sense, and we all know that we don't teach common sense. Moreover, we also know that anyone can read a book and grasp the information -- as long as that person is equipped to learn -- that is in the book; but that does not make him or her better than the person who has not read that book. Formal education is what it is -- a means to employment (at least it is now, in the Western world). But, it has nothing to do with the IQ. It has nothing to do with the ability to learn! The uneducated person is just as valuable as the educated person in all respects. The sad part is that the uneducated person is not treated with the same respect, and that should change.
Your essay was great! I enjoyed reading it. I didn't see any grammatical or spelling errors in the text. Good job -- and thanks for taking on such a topic. It needed to be said.
Thanks Mark....That's very encouraging
However, I did it to practise toefl writing. It was not the actual final version when I finished within 30 minutes. I polished it a bit more before posting to the forum.(all in all it took about 40 mins). I keep on practising with various topics because I have this time management issue. I hope you would give me good feedbacks for my future essays as well. I hope others too would post their views.
Thanks again Mark.
In that case, I would recommend to you what Kevin recommends to some of the students on this site, which is -- copy some of the sentences that gave or give you the most trouble, and write them at least ten (10) times. In that amount of time, you will remember the rules of grammar and you will also remember the spelling.
Hi, upul! I read it and I think you are good at writing, especially grammar!
Come on!ａｎｄ Ｉ ａｍ ｓｕｒｅ ｙｏｕ ｗｏｕｌｄ ｗｒｉｔｅ ａ ｂｅｔｔｅｒ ｏｎｅ！
Google this: Sojourner Truth
Use commas in this kind of situation:
Therefore uneducated people, too, possess valuable knowledge which they have acquired through experience.
Whenever there is "too" in the middle of a sentence, and it is used to mean "also" you should use commas.
First, it is not fair to undermine the level of intelligence or wisdom of an uneducated person. Due to various socio economic reasons such as poverty, political instability, cast constraints, etc., some smart people are deprived of receiving a good education.
Wow, very impresive! You write strong sentences.
In the Tao Te Ching is says "much knowledge means little wisdom."
Chapter 48 says, in pursuit of knowledge, every day something is acquired. In pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.
Look at Richard Rodriguez's "The Achievement of Desire" if you want to see a great essay about this.
You did very well.