Megan Merrick Humanities and Social Science
Intelligence as a Virtue: Peer Judgments Around Test Based Academic Performance
How does the act of schooling impact childrens moral development? More specifically, do children equate academic intelligence to virtuous attributes? During my study, I will explore if and how 7 and 8 year olds associate high academic performance through test scores and effort level, to increased popularity, positive reviews from authority, and potential future success. Schooling reinforces the notion that intelligence for its own sake is an inherently good attribute, leading to success in other domains outside of academics. I am looking to further explore how children in San Diego, California and children in Northern England judge their peers based on perceived academic ability (testing performance), and if effort plays a role when these judgments are being formed. The goal of this research is to better understand the early stigmas that are formed around academic intelligence, more specifically, exam performance. If educators better understand the ways in which young children judge their peers based on academic performance, they can work to better educate students that test performance does not define their potential abilities in any realm of life.