James Conant

James Bryant Conant believed that too many schools, both small and large, were not
sufficiently challenging the academically talented. He states that "too many boys were
neglecting courses in the humanities in favor of science and mathematics, and too many
able girls were avoiding science, math, and foreign languages." His philosophy can be
reflected in today\'s society and it has both negative and positive aspects.
Many high schools today separate the so called "academically gifted" from the
"academically challenged". They have developed special classes for both groups of
students. At our high school, Crystal Lake Central High School, there were classes called
E.C. classes, or extra curricular classes, for the honors students. On the other hand, there
were remedial classes for the students who were a slower at learning than the other
students. The biggest group of students entails the "average student" who basically takes
average classes. This idea of designating certain classes for students depending on their
academic abilities is good because it allows students to learn at an appropriate level. A
student who can read at a speed of 125 words per minute should not be in the same
English class as a person who only reads 50 words per minute. On the opposite end, there
is a downfall to this idea of separation of classes. Students are put into certain groups and
therefore they become stereotyped into certain categories. A person at a high intelligent
level may be called a "brain" while a person at a low intelligent level may be called
"stupid". The students therefore form an identity with the group they belong to and use
this identity to predict their future success. For example, a person of low intelligent
probably does not feel much hope for obtaining a white collar job and he probably feels he
has to resort to a blue collar job based on his academic status.

Category: English