Honesty Versus Competence

"Donald Trump won the electoral college against most predictions. Looking at the voters’ pre-election evaluations of the candidates on key characteristics, we discover that most voters generally perceived Trump as more honest and trustworthy but less competent than Clinton." This is what Fabio Galeottia and Daniel John Zizzo wrote in their paper, "Identifying voter preferences: The trade-off between honesty and competence". The authors did note that although Trump won in electoral votes, Clinton won the popular vote. Is competence more important then for voters? While Galeottia and Zizzo worked on an experiment involving college students to find what is more important to voters and found that in this specific study, voters tend toward honesty, one must note the fact that even in this seemingly homogeneous group of voters, it is still plausible to categorize voters into the following groups: ‘Profit-maximizing’, ‘Absolute competence’, ‘Absolute honesty’ , ‘Relative competence’, ‘Relative honesty’ , ‘Profit-minimizing and Inconsistent’, and ‘Non-classifiable’ voters. Thus, when the daughter of current Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte pronounced that "honesty is not an issue" in politics, she might just be stating a simple fact.

This is politics, knowing the pulse of the voters. In a way, it likewise illustrates what is important in teaching. A teacher needs to know his or her students. A teacher needs to connect with each student in his or her class. A teacher must have his or her eyes and ears on the ground. This is what makes teaching really challenging as it demands a great deal of adaptation.

In a post on Facebook I saw this morning, a children's book author and teacher shares his experience of being able to take his students to a different world. And without doubt, this is because he knows his students.

"Gusto kong magkukuwento kasi nagiging makapangyarihan ako. Nagagawa kong makuha ang atensiyon ng mga bata! Nadadala ko sila sa ibang mundo!"
- Genaro Ruiz Gojo Cruz
"I enjoy telling stories because it gives me power. I am able to draw the attention of children. I can then take them to a different world."