Cognitive Privilege

Darren Miller, Linking and Thinking on Education, Aug 04, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This post offers a clear example of how the argument around privelege is (deliberately?) misrepresented. It discusses the concept of 'cognitive privilege', which writers purport to have discovered: "Daily Iowan author Dan Williams argues, people have no control over how smart they are… 'Consequently, you have nothing to be proud of for being smart.'" Darren Miller rejoinds, "I guess Olympians and professional athletes have nothing to be proud of, either." Now I'm not an Olympic athlete, but I am one of the cognitively privileged. And I know (and have been very clear about) not only the years of work and practice it took me over the years to achieve this position, but also the very good fortune I had to be born in Canada, raised with good nutrition and mental stimulation, and educated by one of the best systems in the world. These advantages are not a source of pride for me, but rather, and quite properly, a reason for humility. People with an IQ of 86 are just as important as the ones with an IQ of 166.

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