What is it to be clever? I sometimes feel as if society, and the education system believe that a clever person must have good academic knowledge. Yet can someone not be clever without great grades?

Not everyone is clever in the same way, you may be very science/maths-orientated, be getting As and A*s in class, whereas another person may be magnificent at sculpting, and perceptively creating their art. I think that both are still ‘clever’ at what they do-even though they’re very different things.

Often a person is accepted as clever if they get good grades at school, excelling at subjects such as maths, science and English. However I think that a person can be ‘clever’ in other ways, like filmmaking, art and drama. I feel that the arts are not usually seen as ‘clever’ subjects as they aren’t always ‘typical’ graded school subjects. However, it takes a lot of practice to become amazing at sports or the arts, I think you should still be considered ‘clever’ if you excel at something like dance yet are getting lower grades in school- as you still have good knowledge and ability when it comes to that subject.

I believe that intelligence comes in different forms-which is why the new GCSEs and A-levels kind of bug me due to their very linear set-up. Everyone is different when it comes to learning. Some people do very well in exams, yet others may struggle with exams though they still have a brilliant subject-knowledge. Therefore the new system only really benefits those that can work in exams as there is now no coursework. Though it’s good to put pressure on people- I think it’s unfair to measure a person’s intelligence in just one way, as we’re all different. It’s like asking an elephant, a monkey, a snake and a panther to all climb a tree, if they can’t-they’re not considered ‘clever’. Yet the animals that struggle to climb have other skills- but does this mean that they can’t be accepted as ‘clever’?Personally, I like having exams rather than coursework as I think that the pressure that they give helps me to work-and forces me to procrastinate less and revise. Yet other people could feel that being assessed in different ways is more beneficial to them.

Is it just me that feels there is a bit of a stigma surrounding the arts, and sports?-That they’re not typically seen as a ‘clever’ subject, even though people train hard, practice, are perceptive, and very skilled etc. to be able to do them.

What are your thoughts?


*feature image isn’t mine