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Melony



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 364



PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject: The Dumbest Generation  Reply with quote

Ok, here is another American bashing America - you all have chastized me for that before.  But, has anyone read or heard of Mark Bauerlein's book that came out earlier this year called The Dumbest Generation?

I am reminded of Socrates's complaints about the ignorance of the youth in his age.  But since we are all sitting here typing into cyberspace, would you just give it a look and tell me what you think.  Dr. Bauerlein's web page is here:

http://www.dumbestgeneration.com/home.html


Please....I value your opinions.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A grumpy old man having a good rant about kids these days ... I don’t need a book for that! I can do it perfectly well myself!


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miranda



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 758


Location: over there somewhere

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm.... he may deny it but it sounds like generational bashing to me.   Teenagers do tend to be self-obsessed, it's how they are at that age.  We were all the same.   But that doesn't make them stupid.  And surely, it's quite often as you get older that you get interested in classic literature, art and what not.  

I think this generation is no worse and no better than any other generation.



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TheRejectAmidHair



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generational bashing ain’t what it used to be in my day…


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Melony



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 364



PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A+ review, Himadri!  Very Happy

I do think you yourself made reference to your daughter's secondary school, which has received high marks despite the fact that the students have not read a complete novel.  Perhaps if we were completely truthful with ourselves, we might find that we didn't completely read one novel either at their age?

Seriously, though, as a teacher, technology does frighten me a bit.  The kids can't keep their hands off their cell phones, no matter what you do.  I asked one young man, an honor roll student, to put his cell phone up after the bell rang and he said, "OK, in a minute."  On the third time I had to raise my voice, which I hardly ever do.  Granted, he was reading and writing a text, but that's not the equivalent of reading literature or attempting to learn the craft of writing.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Melony wrote:
I do think you yourself made reference to your daughter's secondary school, which has received high marks despite the fact that the students have not read a complete novel.  Perhaps if we were completely truthful with ourselves, we might find that we didn't completely read one novel either at their age?


Actually, I had actually read quite a few novels (and poems and short stories and non-fiction books) by that age. Some of the books I had read by that age were required reading from school.

And our daughter has read a fair amount as well (she is 13 now), but my gripe is that she has not been required to read anything from school. The stimulus has come solely from home.


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Melony



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 364



PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I was trying to be kind to the younger set....I agree, I had actually read (and been required to read) several works by Huxley, Orwell, Shelley, Twain, Poe, the list is too long to recite.  If reading is passe, why are we here?  It's not just because we are old.  The literacy researchers tell us over and over again that an appreciation for reading can be instilled in a person.  If not a love of reading, then at least a desire to know literature and appreciate it, whether you read it or not.  I would never doubt that you have ameliorated the educational system by inculcating a love of reading in your child - how many parents like you would you say there are in the U.K.?  I could venture a guess about our percentage and it would not be high.




Last edited by Melony on Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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miranda



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But is that any different from any other generation?  I think reading runs through families.  After all, it's normally parents that buy the child's first book.



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Melony



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I think you are right.  I think what is different today, though, is the expectation that for all our affluence and technology, things would have improved with young people, but they haven't.  Physical conditions have improved, but the quality of education has not improved with it, nor the quality of the students we are producing.  In 1968 Marcuse and Marxists would blame it on the government, but governments have tried just about every way possible to ameliorate human ignorance.  I'm starting to just think it's a human thing.  Which would explain what you say, Miranda, that certain families love reading.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2105


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand it the problem is the 'box ticking' approach to education, with a centrally-controlled key curriculum and a focus on key skills (reading, writing, arithmetic) to the exclusion of all else. Hence the focus on reading and comprehending sentences, paragraphs, or short extracts, but not on appreciating the complex, multi-faceted splendour of a novel as a whole.




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