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Intelligent children bullied in school? - Nerd culture

By Creative(54,965) Creative

Posted Saturday, April 05, 2008
View All Blog Posts submitted by Creative

Someone asked the question recently on a science forum as to why it is that clever children in schools are generally bullied, ridiculed and labeled nerds, while the simpler yet more 'dazzly' looking children are often the most popular.
Myself I think that lack of popularity has less to do with intelligence and much more to do with difference and perceived threats. Thus a child seen as different - perhaps they are obese, may be bullied and similarly a child seen as a threat - very pretty girl, can also be bullied. Those who do not conform to the accepted norms of class behavior will also be seen as a threat to the groups cohesion and effectiveness and thus may also for that reason be bullied.
Which brings me to this: if you're not herd you're nerd! In other words, if you do not conform to the classroom herd mentality, it is likely that you are an individual, perhaps dress differently, act differently (neither worse or better) and are rejected by the group for those reasons and labeled 'nerd'.
The good news for nerds though is this!
A school is an artificial environment, one that unless we remain students, serve life imprisonment or work in a factory is unlikely to be replicated in adult life. We will not as adults be sharing a full day in the company of the same 30 adults for a period of 11 years!
The only animals that live this existence of sharing the same space day in day out with so many group members for years at a time, are herd animals. Other animals are either solitary or separate into small family groups within the larger group. But herd animals for survival reasons share the same space and are not seen to separate off into smaller groups.
When animals live as a herd, they are affected by herd mentality. What this means is that the actions of a single herd member can have a  knock on effect on the entire group rather like a domino effect. If someone spooks a member of the herd, they all become spooked.
We all know the influence of popular kids in schools and how they can make or break pupils in their class. Gossip, secret notes, they may never have to act themselves, just sow the seeds of dissent.
But what happens when these children become adults, the herd versus the nerd?
In the adult world, being unique is often a selling point one that can lead to great success. A nerd in school may thus become the inventor, innovator, entrepreneur. Someone who reaches out into a career which is dominated by a few very talented unique individuals.
Being a 'herd' animal may confine you to a life of mediocrity. Following perhaps in the family trade, or the popular college course of that time. You may enjoy this life or you may never quite be satisfied with where your life is going, but go along with it anyway.
A herd leader may go on to lead in other capacities.
So it's not all bad news for nerds it seems. They may luck out at school but they can succeed and excel as adults. So if you are a teen struggling with your 'nerdism' have no fear, the future is yours, own it!

This Blog Post has been read 297 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Saturday, April 05, 2008
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