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Students getting dumber?

When I read "American kids, Dumber than Dirt" I thought to my self what is intelligence? Is it just reading writing and arithmetic like my grandparents say? I don’t think it is. When you think of the way kids write it is almost like they have their own language like lol, brb or ttyl. It does not make a lot of sense to an older person because technology has been such a great influence on the kids today. Some of the kids are so intrigued about video games that they take a look how the games work and become designers in the computer industry.
When this Oakland school teacher gets older the world changes around them but the material in the class room stays the same. Their is not a whole lot of change when it comes to writing papers or doing math problems but what changes is the experience with the preciseness of what he is teaching. Students rely on their computer to check for spelling or calculators to check their math. Even when they work at a fast food restaurant or at the lumber yard they don't use the pen and paper they use computers and the computer due the work for them. It isn't because they don't know how it’s because the computers can be more accurate and faster. When computers are more accurate and faster why wouldn't you use them? This is why schools should have more computer classes to get the most out of each of your computers.
I agree that kids need to go out and play more. It isn’t because they lack imagination it’s because they need the exercise. Kids are just as imaginative as ever the only thing is they have more tools to do this inside. If kids go outside and run, jump, skip and play they become better physically and emotionally because they will spend time working on social skills that they would not learn if they were inside.
I think social skills are another thing that gets missed when kids spend too much time inside. They don't know how to act with fellow kids. They tend to sit by themselves to shy to say anything to anyone because they realize they are bigger than other kids or they are smaller or they have a different skin color. If kids go out and play they then can see that we are all the same and we can get a long with each other. When you have social skills you can then learn to deal with problems and deal with them in a civil manor.
I think that when people go to college to get their degrees they tend to go into something that they are interested in like technology or if they are interested wildlife or natural resources. This is a reason some of the more practical classes can be the most beneficial. The cooking classes Agriculture classes or the shop classes can be the most beneficial by installing common knowledge that once was instilled by your parents is now going to be installed in the classroom. This is where some of the classes need to be geared to so people get the proper education of the world around them.

Comments

Justin,
When I started to read your position statement I agreed with you. I know that being able to calculate math in my head is important, and that is why I was taught how growing up. However, I agree that with the advances in technology, it is much easier to use a calculator or to use map quest to get directions than to use a real map. Things are more updated now and we should not ignore them.

When I read the article I laughed when I read the part where cell phones and junk food are melting our brains. Almost every college student I know owns a cell phone and most of us are so broke and in debt that we live off of junk food. Besides junk food is not just for "American Kids" how many times have you been to a poker party or a tailgating party where full grown adults are not eating junk food? my guess is few. We are considered the next generation and we will succeed, I don't think junk food will stop us... Anyway, I thought that was a little rediculous.

Also when he mentions that we are the worst generation yet, is he forgetting those generations where a large population of America did not attend school?
I want to know where this man is teaching if, "not a single student actually knew how to use a ruler." What grade is he teaching? 1st? This whole article seems quite bias to a small group of students, yet this is from my perspective of a freshman in college who may not be aware of a problem elsewhere that may or may not exist.

His argument seems unsure because he approaches both sides of the spectrum. I am first angry when reading this article wehn he says I am stupid then I can relate when he says it's not my fault,yet still a little angry, then I am flattered by what he says of my generations success. I don't know what to say about this arcticle, it's all over the place, yet I still enjoy reading it!
I am so frustrated!!!

Here is the part I could relate to, sound familiar to anyone else?:

"Hell, why should they? After all, the dumber the populace, the easier it is to rule and control and launch unwinnable wars and pass laws telling them that sex is bad and TV is good and God knows all, so just pipe down and eat your Taco Bell Double-Supremo Burrito and be glad we don't arrest you for posting dirty pictures on your cute little blog."
yikes! he is right about that.

Anyway I have gone off on a few tangents, I think you are right to say kids should go outside more and that they should take more hands on courses such as cooking and industrial tech. It teaches one the basics of existing and is just as crucial as the basics of knowledge of math english or history, if not more. I know I was required to take them at my high school, but some schools may not have this requirement, and if it is the differences in the school's teaching that he is arguing over then I can better understand Morford's argument. yet according to him us college kids may just be "flukes." However, at the end he mentions the "flukes" being kids from rich families who went to private schools and don't watch any TV. Well I did quite well at my public school, I am doing just fine at college, and I was raised on the Simpsons! I think he needs to learn not to generalize a whole generation here.

My grandpa once told me that there is a difference between intelligence and education, and that I should always remember that uneducated doesn’t always mean stupid and vice versa. Your comment pondering what intelligence is made me think of that. Intelligence is intelligence, but education and situations change. What we interpret as smart is all relative because it changes by what individual people consider to be smart. It agrees with what you said about how older people may consider our generation as dumb because we can’t relate to each other as well. Technology has become such a major part of our lives, and it has made several things from the past obsolete.

Like you, I disagreed with the comments made in the article about kids having a lack of imagination. I work with tutoring first-graders after school, they always surprise me with the things they do. I’ve seen a group of kids play with an imaginary dog for over an hour and even fight over who the dog like more. And I agree that kids these days spend too much time indoors, but I don’t think you should be too harsh on their social skills. You say that kids are shy and don’t want to go up and talk to one another, but can you remember the first day of kindegarten? Kids are just naturally shy around one another and hesistant to start conversations.

But anyways, I think it’s true that when people go into something their interested in they’ll apply themselves more because it’s something they care about. How can kids do well in learning stuff that they have no interest in, stuff that no longer applies to life in today’s technological culture? Like you said, people will do best when they are learning something practical towards a topic they are interested in.

Kids are not inherently stupid. I believe that any child can thrive in education with attention from their parents and friends. Let’s face it: we are exceptions to the general population. Although it seems that most everyone goes off to a four-year college, many people do not. There is a great percentage of kids who drop out of college after the first semester. However, less education does not make one stupid.

I once read that human intelligence is in the shape of a bell-curve graph. The overwhelming majority of people are right in the middle, with just a few truly “stupid? people and very few geniuses. I feel that the current educational system does not mimic this theory. It seems that people are expected to either very, very smart or very, very stupid. We have our honors classes, some of which are ridiculously hard; harder than some college courses here. Or, you have the so-called “regular? classes which are beyond easy, constructed for people who are not legally retarded but wish to just skate by, picking up a diploma along the way. In the public school system, there are programs for the special needs kids which are available to the “most needy? population. However, it would seem that the “most needy? students would be those relatively average, non-genius kids. They are not challenged at all and are not expected to amount to anything great. I feel that public education needs to re-address their expectations of the average student. I believe that kids drop out of school because they’re bored to death! If school isn’t fun and their parents are unsupportive, why bother? It’s a waste of their time because they don’t want to learn.

I believe that this article is a little extreme when it comes to analyzing the intelligence of this generation. Like Justin said, they aren’t taking into account the new technologies and other skills that current students have for example computer programming skills or engineering skills. I agree that we may spend more time inside or in front of a TV, but that doesn’t mean that we are all fat and stupid. I have yet to meet a student who doesn’t have a passion for something or for that matter, isn’t good at a particular interest. We all have some type of motivation in life that might not coexist with a certain topic or subject in school. I think that it is really bold of Morford to say “we are essentially churning out ignorant teens who are becoming ignorant adults and society as a whole will pay dearly?. He doesn’t believe in our ability to problem solve, when in reality, we could possibly be more efficient than his generation. I believe our generation has a better ability to seek help from those who excel in certain areas; in a way being resourceful to become successful.
In addition to that, I believe that the public school system, as well as higher level institutions, have acknowledged this fact of possible “ignorance? and are enforcing a more rounded educational experience to compromise. Our system has become so focused that we don’t have the time to explore in other areas; so it is easy to claim that kids cant “identify basic plants, or handle a tool?. We grew up in different generations so logically things aren’t going to be the same. I have confidence in myself as well as in my peers.

When I read your position statement I agreed with you that with computer the majority of the American population has become dependent of the computer. Math problems to writing have become a part of technology. Through everything that we do we rely heavily on the computer and this lies the problem. This is where I think the author Mark is trying to make his point that the next generation population is not dump in general but because of our reliance on computer and technology that we have become blind by technology and that is causing us to become dumber then the last generation. With technology in gaming and other field the major populace as Mark refer to it has become so drawn into it that they have made it a priority and losing track of what needs to be done therefore they then next generation is becoming dumber.
We, the next generation, are not particularly dumb, but our focus is the cause of our dumbness and the school system is not helping us in changing our focus therefore we are becoming dumber. Because of technology by pushing a few buttons we can get an answer from a math problem solved without thinking of the mechanics that are behind the problem. With technology from writing a paper to calculating has become so simple that the next generation takes it for granted. With the computer so handy writing a sentence is nothing because you can type in a few words and the computer can construct the sentence for you. This is why we the next generation is becoming dumber because our reliance on technology is so high that we can not think for our self without the help of technology.

Dear Justin,

I couldn’t agree with you more when you explained to us “how teachers change, but the material stays the same.? Another thing you brought up was how computers do a lot of work for us these days to help us become more precise. The first thing I thought of when you stated this was when I was job-shadowing a pharmacist. Once I saw what he was doing a little more I simply asked him, “So you needed to memorize all of these medications and what medications shouldn’t be mixed with another one?? and he laughed at me and told me that pharmacist haven’t had to memorize anything since the mid-90’s. Nowadays all they do is plug in the patients name and what medication they are going to take and it tells you the hazards of it and if it could be dangerous with the other medications the patient is taking.

Are we getting dumber these days or is society’s mind usage being made simpler by computers? I was angry when I read this article because he bunches us all together as a whole generation. Obviously we are all going to fight back to say that we aren’t stupid. If I remember correctly the first week of school on the front page of the Minnesota Daily and the Pioneer Press had how smart the U’s first-year students were this year; the highest in U of M history. The way Mark Morford talked about the health and well being of my generation is simply pathetic. This article has been done over and over and over again—its time to think of a new subject to write about when you have writers block.

Kids can really learn good social skills when engaged in outdoor activities where they get to practice their communication skills with other kids or even grown ups.

Communication skills is important in developing one's social skills. They communicate with other people and thus, they have to communicate effectively to get along with them well.