Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

I used to hate the television show because it seemed to make a mockery of the education system.  After all….. they were showing successful doctors, lawyers, physicists losing a trivia competition to ten year olds!

Then I thought about it a little more…..

And decided that really what the show seems to prove is that the facts, knowledge, and trivia that are required to be a successful Grade 5 student seem to have little to no impact or bearing on how successful you will become later in life.  What you learn in Grade 5 can be easily forgotten because beyond that grade, you didn’t need that information for anything other than trivial pursuit or other such games.  Do they ever ask anything that I couldn’t google and find the answer to in exactly thirty seconds?

I used to think that maybe the TV show needed changing.  Now I’m thinking maybe it’s the curriculum that needs changing.

Sure it’s funny to have a company CEO with four degrees say, “I am not smarter than a fifth grader,” once he answers wrong the question about what the world’s largest continent is by population.  Are they embarrassed?  Probably.

What I find more embarrassing is that ten years ago when I first started teaching, I think I put that question on a test.


About Cherra-Lynne Olthof

I've been a middle school teacher for my entire career (which began in 2001). Like my students, I too am a life long learner. My goals include helping my students to achieve their goals, support them in their learning, and to encourage them to think "beyond the grade".
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