Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dumber than dirt?

I've just finished an alarming article on the state of today's youth in American and it is chilling. The article is titled, "American kids, dumber than dirt Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history" by Mark Morford for the SF Gate. It is very interesting so I encourage you to click on the link, read it and tell me what you think and do you think this is a pandemic in Europe as well?


KC said...

I think the article may be a little exaggerated, but without question based in reality. I was a college professor for several years, and while I started out idealistic and thinking I had the best job in the world, I finished bitter and cynical. I had many excellent students who were curious, diligent and just plain interesting. The vast majority of kids, though, were lazy, uninterested in pretty much anything, and unwilling (or incapable?) of thinking deeply or critically. I can't say much of their intellectual abilities because they never displayed them to me.

What is more disturbing than being an advisor and having to deal with a student who comes to a pre-registration meeting unprepared because among the pages and pages of courses in the catalog, there are none that interest him? I found those moments even more troubling than reading half-ass papers and having to give grades in the 40s and 50s on exams that I'd conducted review sessions for.

Still, there were good students. I don't know where they came from because they weren't much different from their classmates in other ways. I did always think that their scarcity was a sign of decadence in American society, but then I remembered that I had always attended very rigorous schools, and I decided that my perspective was skewed. When I thought back to how things were when I was younger, I was looking at what was most likely even then an unrepresentative sample of students.

As for other countries, I have to admit that many Italian teenagers I meet remind of the freshman I used to teach...

Alex said...

kc -I hope you are right in that it is an exaggeration. Although, I live downstairs from a private middle school teacher and she tells me that students today are pretty uninterested and lazy as well (more than she has ever seen).

This worries me especially when I see other moms around here who don't really push the importance of academics, thinking, reading or just creativity. Though I must admit living here (in paese) I should not be surprised at the lack of interest in those subject matters anyway. As you'll soon find out once you have your own little one -all bets are off. You'll want the best education for your child and that just isn't possible around here without a lot of extra help.

pat said...

I was a teacher for quite some time and ended up teaching at the University for 12 years. From what I have seen I believe that the society has become more and more dependent on Technology. Instead of going to see people they call them even if they are in the next cubicle. We tend to take all those bad habits home. The microwave saves us time but what do we do with that time? Do we spend that time giving our kids undivided attention. How much time do we spend looking into the eyes of our children and talking about something that they are passionate about? Or looking at and listening too. I think that with all the changes in our environment we have to do the best we can. Reminding our kids of how much we love them is more important and most people think.