“Blue-Collar Brilliance” by Mike Rose

In his essay Blue-Collar Brilliance, Mike Rose pointed out that some assumptions, intelligence depends on formal education, run through our cultural history. Most people believe that if the requirements of application do not include the degrees or high education , it means these jobs do not need intelligence. While Mike Rose asserted that formal education is not the only way to obtain intelligence. Rose took his uncle,Joe Meraglio, as an example to affirm his point of view. Joe left school in his ninth grade and eventually joined in General Motors over 33 years. Working in the shop floor, Joe learnt things which could not be provided in schools. Finally he advanced to supervisor of a G.M.paint-and-body department, with an eighth-degree education. Rose also shared with us what he found at the study of thought process which he began eight years ago. In this study, people chosen from blue-collar, pink-collar and white collar were observed. To blue-cillars, the skills they learnt from daily work is another kind of intelligence which is different from what we get from formal education. Rose emphasized that “Affirmation of diverse intelligence is not a retreat to a softhearted definition of the mind.”(Rose, page 254) We should not make the judgement of people’s intelligence just from what type of schooling,how long and how much a person has. Intelligence has a broader range of definition and this model of mind is worthy of a democratic society.

support Rose’s claim that people should not been judged if he/she is intelligent or not just by what kind of job he/she has. Although people who work as white-collars received higher education and longer schooling compare with blue-collars, they may not know more of their jobs than those who work in the shop floor. The working experience we gain from direct participating sometimes teaches us more.


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