Thinking about education

Thomas Benton has a thoughtful article on the stupidest generation… the one we have now.

I recognized exactly what he was talking about, though not all of his points are strong.

I see too many students who are:

Primarily focused on their own emotions — on the primacy of their “feelings” — rather than on analysis supported by evidence.

Uncertain what constitutes reliable evidence, thus tending to use the most easily found sources uncritically.

We’ve talked about these issues at home as well. Our critical thinking sons will often accept what they read on the net based on what else the person said that they agree with. So someone who is a video gamer and very credible there is also considered credible on politics.

Convinced that no opinion is worth more than another: All views are equal.

I’ve actually seen this be more an issue with teachers than students.

Uncertain about academic honesty and what constitutes plagiarism. (I recently had a student defend herself by claiming that her paper was more than 50 percent original, so she should receive that much credit, at least.)

Well, they see their politicians doing it.

Unable to follow or make a sustained argument.

Uncertain about spelling and punctuation (and skeptical that such skills matter).

At least part of the blame for this lies with the educational system. If we do not expect it of them, they will not develop it.

Hostile to anything that is not directly relevant to their career goals, which are vaguely understood.

Increasingly interested in the social and athletic above the academic, while “needing” to receive very high grades.

Not really embarrassed at their lack of knowledge and skills.

I think these are all of a piece. They need high grades to get a vague job making lots of money and they don’t see why they need to know how to do anything in order to obtain it.

Certain that any academic failure is the fault of the professor rather than the student.

I agree. Many feel academic mediocrity is the result of the professor!

found via Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred

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