Sunday, October 31, 2010

Introduction & Chapter 1: Knowledge Deficits

Mark Bauerlein starts his book with an introduction of how hard students are pushed in high school to achieve perfection. But then goes on to show with surveys that very little time is used for homework on a daily basis. (pages 1-6) He states on page 7, "This book is an attempt to consolidate the best and broadest research into a different profile of the rising American mind. It doesn't cover behaviors and values, only intellect of under-30-year-olds. . . . It sticks to one thing, the intellectual condition of young Americans, and describes it with empirical evidence, recording something hard to document but nonetheless insidious happening inside their heads."
We start chapter 1 with a reminder of the "Jaywalkers" segments for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Mark Bauerlein goes on to say that high school students are not uninterested in world realities (history, literature, civics) but that they are "cut off from them." They are more involved with "friends, work, clothes, cars, pop music, sitcoms, Facebook." (page 13)
The middle of the chapter is devoted to surveys and statistics about what high school and college students know (or don't know) in history, civics, math, science, technology, and fine arts.
The next section discusses why students test scores have not increased in social studies over the last few generations. Students know no more now that the generation 50 years ago. (pages 26-30) Yet they have more resources such as libraries, museums, internet, and news broadcasts any where they go. (page 31)
In the last section of this chapter, the author does some comparing of leisure time vs. educational time and the impact the two have on each other.

A quote I kept coming back to is on page 32. "This is the paradox of the Dumbest Generation. For the young American, life has never been so yielding, goods so plentiful, schooling so accessible, diversion so easy, and liberties so copious. . . . The 18-year-old may have a Visa card, cell phone, MySpace page, part-time job, PlayStation 2, and an admission letter from State U, but ask this wired and on-the-go high school senior a few intellectual questions and the facade of in-the-know-ness crumbles."
My question is, "WHY?"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Super summarizer

Hi everybody--
I got the assignment today that I am the first summarizer and it is due today. So I will try and have something put together by Sunday night. (That can mean midnight in my life.) Have a great weekend and relax until Monday.

I chose this because I sometimes think that the future generations will be able to do more work from their "private space" than out in the "real world."

I chose the image of Fruit Loops cereal because of a connection I made with my book, The Dumbest Generation. I am referring to Fruit Loops as slang to being dumb.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I chose this image for "The Dumbest Generation" because it personalizes it to each individual with the word "me." It is almost as if, not only do we do these things on the computer, but it is almost as if we can do it to ourselves also.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This magical image of books seeming to float in mid-air represents a view that the youth of today might have of books. I wonder how many students are still active readers of books, and how many are more likely to read websites, blogs, and social website posts. This view of books as magical things of the past may contribute to the intellectual and social destruction of man.

Welcome to Literature Circle Twenty-eight!

Your Super Summarizer schedule is as follows:

Section One--Due October 28, Jamie Karabatsos
Section Two-- Due November 4, Nicomas Dollar
Section Three--Due November 11, Brooks Bowman
Section Four--Due November 18, Tasha Ellingson
Section Five--Due December 2, Lynanne Greer
Section Six--Due December 9, Susan Satter and Charles Arsenault