Street smart and book smart have long been two ends of a spectrum, but it’s about time the world stopped looking at them as mutually exclusive.
Street smartness has seen a lot of emphases, often being ranked over “geeks” and “nerds” who are belittled for their academic prowess. Street smartness translates to situational awareness and the ability to get things done, while book smartness is shown as solving problems analytically and logically rather than emotionally.
Polarising the two concepts has negative consequences on a new rank of children who would sooner identify as “geek smart”– and here’s why they are in the right.
#1 Street smartness needs knowledge
To be able to make quick decisions in times of crises requires a solid background of theoretical knowledge and practical experience, both of which stem from the “geek” factor. Street smartness needs to be influenced by logic and insight to classify as smart and not rash (and there’s a fine line between the two).
#2 Street smartness is the application of theory
Granted, to be buried in books all day long without exposure to the real world can be more of a bane than a boon for children. However, street smartness is the application of “geeky” knowledge, theories and fundamental concepts to everyday life. In fact, many popular courses that children love often involve a display of geek smartness where they apply what they’ve learnt in the classroom to situations they’ll face in the future.
#3 Geek smartness offers broader perspectives
To make decisions without thinking or rationalising can have adverse consequences, especially for children. They must be encouraged to think before they act or speak– and this develops into a wider, more rational perspective of the world.
#4 Geek smartness encourages creativity
As the popular quote goes, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”. Creativity and innovation often stem from a solid understanding of fundamental technical concepts that can be gained only through “geeking out” over books, concepts and theories. Only when a student is a master of these basics can they bend the rules to their will and make something unique and creative.
The final word
Geek smartness is invaluable in children who are to be successful in the tech-led future to come. It combines the foolproof knowledge of theory with the ability to think on your feet and communicate well. In short, geek smartness will make the leaders of our future. Modo Edulabs envisions a world where our children are digitally savvy and technologically literate. We prepare kids for the 21st century through our innovative online courses and custom-designed products.