Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Members' Lounge (General Discussion) › American kids, dumber than dirt; is it really this bad?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

American kids, dumber than dirt; is it really this bad? - Page 3

post #31 of 163

The solution starts with us. Our child's room is full of books, we go to art centres and museums regularly, he eats well, is encouraged to be active, we show an interest and respect for him and we have saved for his future so he will not graduate with a huge debt and have a leg up onto the housing ladder. To do all of that we have made sacrifices, as our parents did for us.

 

The answer is simple, but far too few people are doing anything about it. Rather than despair or right off the future generations we have to act now.

post #32 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

 


I agree about the parenting as well as nutrition but currently accepted studies say that ADHD is 75% genetic. I don't buy it.



Could very well have to do with genetics, but there is far more at play here than biology in my view. How could this have gone undiagnosed for so long? If it is 75% genetic that means it has been here all a long, which historically really doesn't seem to be the case. Life gets easier, and people get lazier making it harder for themselves. People werent like this when you had to slave over the land, or study long long hours at church or the monastery. 

 

And as far as I am aware, many countries do not recognize it as an illness or disorder. The US and Canada represent like 90% of the worlds ADHD medication consumption, and it is EXTREMELY profitable. ADHD is spoken about here as common knowledge and apparently everyone has it, while not all the world is convinced it even exists.

 

There certainly is a biological a component -there has to be, but whether or not it comes before (genetics) or after (psychological, environmental facts etc) the problem we do not know. I would strongly argue it comes after. If not, you could just lump ADHD people in the same category as depressed people and call it a day.

 

These medications increase the production and/or block the reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) is used extensively in the military, as far back as World War 2 actually. These medications have very predictable, well documented, and consistent effects on the human body and mind. They "light up" areas of the brain that are in use, and "dim" areas that are not, effectively making very easy to focus. You would think if there really was something different, there would be a medication that would make non ADHD people ill, but that is not the case.

 

ADHD medications, for all intents and purposes, are what people really want but don't know about it/don't have access to - so they take coffee or smoke cigarettes... or both.

 

So, the nature of the treatment, and social factors involved make it REALLY hard for me to see this as a product of ones' fate due to genes.  THE WHO seems to agree with me :P.


Edited by sokolov91 - 10/22/10 at 4:10am
post #33 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

I blame the parents. The baby boomers and Generation X have shown a level of disregard for the future of the next generation and the environment that history will show them to be the most selfish, inconsiderate generations of them all.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post

The solution starts with us. Our child's room is full of books, we go to art centres and museums regularly, he eats well, is encouraged to be active, we show an interest and respect for him and we have saved for his future so he will not graduate with a huge debt and have a leg up onto the housing ladder. To do all of that we have made sacrifices, as our parents did for us.

 

The answer is simple, but far too few people are doing anything about it. Rather than despair or right off the future generations we have to act now.


Looks like we found something to 100% agree upon.  A topic far more relevant than burn-in.    Kudos on doing the right thing for your child!

 

post #34 of 163

I still haven't seen any compelling evidence that would indicate that Gen Y/Millenials are coming out any worse than previous generations. Standardized testing scores have held steady, crime rates have plummeted since their peak in the late 80's/early 90's, and educational attainment levels are still on the rise.

Are there still issues? Sure. Inner city schools remain terrible despite enormous influxes of money and decades of academic tinkering. The black-white achievement gap has barely shifted. Minority graduation rates still lag by quite a bit at all levels. But these issues are hardly isolated to Gen Y/Millenials. The major issue that can be isolated to Gen Y/Millenials are effects related to the ongoing devastation of the traditional family. But blaming the children for the sins of the parents went out of style quite some time ago, so it's a bit tough to pin this one on them.

As far as I can see, most of the complaints are better explained by the slow intellectual maturation of Gen Y/Millenials. Not that it should be surprising since adolescence now extends well into the 20's thanks to cultural changes set in motion by the Boomers and the Pill.

post #35 of 163

As an education student who works part time in schools I can say that kids priorities have changed.  The biggest difference between when I was a kid (which is not that long ago) and the way things are now is that kids spend a lot more time inside playing video games.  For example, my peers never made references to video games in any of their projects.  My students (grade 6) were asked to create their own planets/solar system.  5 kids decided to create planets in the "pwnage" system, discussing various video games.  Also, incentives have changed.  To accommodate this shift teachers have gone from using incentives like "complete ________, then you can read your book/play card games/talk quietly, etc." to "complete _______, then you can go play on the computer".  Kids stay inside during recess to play on the computer instead of exercising, and so on. 

In High Schools I've found that cell phones definitely play a part since most high school students have cell phones these days which make it easy for them to be distracted from what they aught to be doing. 

Its funny, since when you work with most of these students 1 on 1, the things they are capable of are quite impressive, unfortunately that is frequently not demonstrated in their school work.

 

I can't see this sort of technological inclination changing with students any time soon.  Despite this, I don't think that kids are less capable, just less motivated to focus on the things they should be doing.  To that end, I think the education system needs to look at new methods of teaching kids.  Making educational video games would be one way, another (which is currently being implemented in some school divisions here) is to make the lessons available online in video format.  The way they're implementing the video system here allows students to learn the same information from different teachers as well which helps to give students a broader grasp of the concept being discussed.  Basically what I think we need to do is update our system to accommodate a culture shift, and try to motivate students in new


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post

As far as I can see, most of the complaints are better explained by the slow intellectual maturation of Gen Y/Millenials. Not that it should be surprising since adolescence now extends well into the 20's thanks to cultural changes set in motion by the Boomers and the Pill.

 

This is another good point.


Edited by cyberidd - 10/22/10 at 10:39am
post #36 of 163

All you need to do is observe how the average teenager writes in various forums (such as GameFAQs, Battle.NET), and you will get all the evidence you need that the current generation has sunk really low.

 

I've actually seen people be really surprised because I have a bookshelf in my house. Not that what I read is really mind provoking, but in return I'm the one that's surprised that some people have never read a book in their lives outside of being forced to do so by school.

post #37 of 163


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post

I still haven't seen any compelling evidence that would indicate that Gen Y/Millenials are coming out any worse than previous generations. Standardized testing scores have held steady, crime rates have plummeted since their peak in the late 80's/early 90's, and educational attainment levels are still on the rise.

Are there still issues? Sure. Inner city schools remain terrible despite enormous influxes of money and decades of academic tinkering. The black-white achievement gap has barely shifted. Minority graduation rates still lag by quite a bit at all levels. But these issues are hardly isolated to Gen Y/Millenials. The major issue that can be isolated to Gen Y/Millenials are effects related to the ongoing devastation of the traditional family. But blaming the children for the sins of the parents went out of style quite some time ago, so it's a bit tough to pin this one on them.

As far as I can see, most of the complaints are better explained by the slow intellectual maturation of Gen Y/Millenials. Not that it should be surprising since adolescence now extends well into the 20's thanks to cultural changes set in motion by the Boomers and the Pill.


They are more unhealthy, disguised partly by medical improvements. But with obesity and alcohol and drug misuse we are likely to see a flattening or even drop in lifespan. They are also likely to be worse off due to the massive debt, high property value financial situation we have. They are heading for a more insular. less community related life with higher rates of depression. Lastly, they will run into major energy generation issues as we have used up all the easy to get at stuff without properly replacing it with alternatives.

 

Those who lived and fought and worked through two world wars and a great depression left the world much healthier and better off. That has not happened with baby boomers and Generation X.

post #38 of 163

My father is a university english professor. He's near retirement - has been teaching since the early 70's.

 

He tells me that every year he has to rearrange his 101 classes so that they cover more basic english language and writing skills that he insists that his students already knew in the 70's and 80's. And he has his old syllabi to prove it.

post #39 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post

My father is a university english professor. He's near retirement - has been teaching since the early 70's.

 

He tells me that every year he has to rearrange his 101 classes so that they cover more basic english language and writing skills that he insists that his students already knew in the 70's and 80's. And he has his old syllabi to prove it.


Where does he teach? One thing I've noticed is the steady decline of state-funded universities. As states pull more and more funding away from their university systems, the cost delta between state schools and private gets smaller and smaller. It seems that it's more and more the case that the bright kids choose private schools. Part of the problem also probably stems from the "everyone should go to college" mentality. In the early 70s, he was probably only getting kids who where at the top of their high-school classes and who were only in college because they wanted to be in college. Now, he's probably getting a lot of middling kids who are only in college because it's expected of them. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prog Rock Man View Post


 


They are more unhealthy, disguised partly by medical improvements. But with obesity and alcohol and drug misuse we are likely to see a flattening or even drop in lifespan. They are also likely to be worse off due to the massive debt, high property value financial situation we have. They are heading for a more insular. less community related life with higher rates of depression. Lastly, they will run into major energy generation issues as we have used up all the easy to get at stuff without properly replacing it with alternatives.

 

Those who lived and fought and worked through two world wars and a great depression left the world much healthier and better off. That has not happened with baby boomers and Generation X.


You also have to keep in mind that the WWII generation (when looked at from a global scale) also caused WWII. I will take today's world over the world in 1944 any day. 

post #40 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by nealric View Post




Where does he teach? One thing I've noticed is the steady decline of state-funded universities. As states pull more and more funding away from their university systems, the cost delta between state schools and private gets smaller and smaller. It seems that it's more and more the case that the bright kids choose private schools. Part of the problem also probably stems from the "everyone should go to college" mentality. In the early 70s, he was probably only getting kids who where at the top of their high-school classes and who were only in college because they wanted to be in college. Now, he's probably getting a lot of middling kids who are only in college because it's expected of them. 

 


You also have to keep in mind that the WWII generation (when looked at from a global scale) also caused WWII. I will take today's world over the world in 1944 any day. 


This exactly. 90% of my graduating high school class is at college. You couldn't have said that 30 to 40 years ago.

post #41 of 163
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nealric View Post


You also have to keep in mind that the WWII generation (when looked at from a global scale) also caused WWII. I will take today's world over the world in 1944 any day. 


Not to mention they gave us the baby boomers as well.

post #42 of 163

I'm really hoping this article isn't truly indicative of the average level of education of my peers. I was lucky enough to go through a public school system so excellent that I turned down an offer from my grandparents to go to a private school for no cost to me. My high school had many "unusual" AP and other advanced classes available such as AP Comp. Sci and Entrepreneurship- I took advantage of such opportunities. So many of my peers had the initiative to take AP Chemistry that there was a teacher devoted to that subject. The orchestra program I participated in is so well known that I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

 

Growing up I had no idea that public schools were generally considered to be inferior to private institutions. They're considered equals where I'm from- no joke. If this truly isn't the case in the majority of the US then yes, the public schooling systems elsewhere are broken and need to be fixed. One should not receive an inferior education simply because they couldn't cough up the money to attend a private school. If your city doesn't budget enough for your local education system it is YOU as a voter that needs to make things change. Speak at your city hall meetings. Let your local government know that you object to the lack of proper funding for education. Tell the school board you're not satisfied. Complaining on Head-Fi does nothing.

post #43 of 163


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nealric View Post




Where does he teach? One thing I've noticed is the steady decline of state-funded universities. As states pull more and more funding away from their university systems, the cost delta between state schools and private gets smaller and smaller. It seems that it's more and more the case that the bright kids choose private schools. Part of the problem also probably stems from the "everyone should go to college" mentality. In the early 70s, he was probably only getting kids who where at the top of their high-school classes and who were only in college because they wanted to be in college. Now, he's probably getting a lot of middling kids who are only in college because it's expected of them. 


 

He teaches at a private university where the average accepted student graduated highschool with a 3.8 GPA.


Edit: But to address the latter part of your comments, Dad is outspoken on his opinion that it is absurd to insist that everyone should get a liberal arts education. That most people would be better served by a good vocational school. I never actually went to college - and i regret not having that social experience - but I'm fairly certain that among my 7 siblings i'm in the top 3 earners.


Edited by ericj - 10/23/10 at 12:02am
post #44 of 163
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC View Post

I'm really hoping this article isn't truly indicative of the average level of education of my peers. I was lucky enough to go through a public school system so excellent that I turned down an offer from my grandparents to go to a private school for no cost to me. My high school had many "unusual" AP and other advanced classes available such as AP Comp. Sci and Entrepreneurship- I took advantage of such opportunities. So many of my peers had the initiative to take AP Chemistry that there was a teacher devoted to that subject. The orchestra program I participated in is so well known that I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

 

Growing up I had no idea that public schools were generally considered to be inferior to private institutions. They're considered equals where I'm from- no joke. If this truly isn't the case in the majority of the US then yes, the public schooling systems elsewhere are broken and need to be fixed. One should not receive an inferior education simply because they couldn't cough up the money to attend a private school. If your city doesn't budget enough for your local education system it is YOU as a voter that needs to make things change. Speak at your city hall meetings. Let your local government know that you object to the lack of proper funding for education. Tell the school board you're not satisfied. Complaining on Head-Fi does nothing.


Your post made me realize another reason why there are such polarized opinions here on the quality of public education in America. I thought it was mostly generational, but obviously there are huge differences in the quality of education between the educational institutes themselves and this also a huge factor. Unfortunately your experience seems to be the exception, and not the rule.


Edited by grokit - 10/22/10 at 10:02pm
post #45 of 163

I recommend giving Thoreau's Walden a read. Whilst the vast majority of the novel do not pertain to the discussion at hand, he does address the issue at various points. He made a point that many students at Harvard, intellectuals no doubt, are not at all familiar with English classics with most students prefer 'Little Reading' (material which do not require much mental activity).

http://thoreau.eserver.org/walden03.html

Keep in mind, this was written in 1854. Nevertheless, as OP's article pointed out, geniuses were still being churned out back then, as well as today.

 

Whether students are becoming dumber is really hard to say. Considering that IQ is constantly rising (Flynn Effect), you could easily argue the opposite. However, a recent study showed that an impact the internet has on people (not exclusive to teenagers) is that it could easily re-wire your brain. As other posters pointed out, this led to a decrease in attention-spam and long-term memory (I can attest to this as I currently have about 20 tabs open in my internet explorer and can move among them faster than my mum could type a sentence). Is this making kids dumber? I wouldn't think so. For one, the amount of information (while most of it useless) they receive and process is infinitely greater than what students in the past would handle. Such is the workings of the internet. 

 

Personally, the reason why students appear dumber solely rests on the education system. According to Wikipedia, Learning is defined as 'Learning is acquiring new knowledgebehaviorsskillsvaluespreferences or understanding, and may involve synthesizing different types of information'. Frankly, I see a waned use of learning in the current education system. Learning is most effective when a person is interested in the topic at hand and willingly understands the information presented. Whilst completely anecdotal, I believe this has some credibility. When I visit my school's library, most of the older books appeared to be checked out by students circa 1980-1990 with little or no borrows post 2000 (so I decided to help myself to some of their books but that is another story). Now, is this because students were reading more? Probably. However, I noticed that a number of these books (mostly economic and political theory related) were replacements for textbooks. Is it possible that the shift from books to textbooks explains the possible decline in education?

 

I believe it makes perfect sense. Students are not learning from school anymore. Rather, they are fed information, in large, dense chunks (I mean, that is what a textbook is, a book detailing absolute facts, isn't it?) So what I propose is, keep the textbooks. Teach most of the students basic math, english, science or history through the use of textbooks. However, after 6 years or so, scrap it. Students who wish to continue learning may continue, others may leave. Students will then be required to conduct their own education the 'natural' way, through direct and personal acquisition, not feeding. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Members' Lounge (General Discussion) › American kids, dumber than dirt; is it really this bad?