How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future(Or, Don 't Trust Anyone Under 30)
Author: Mark Bauerlein
Category: Social Science
This shocking, surprisingly entertaining romp into the intellectual nether regions of today's underthirty set reveals the disturbing and, ultimately, incontrovertible truth: cyberculture is turning us into a society of know-nothings. The Dumbest Generation is a dire report on the intellectual life of young adults and a timely warning of its impact on American democracy and culture. For decades, concern has been brewing about the dumbed-down popular culture available to young people and the impact it has on their futures. But at the dawn of the digital age, many thought they saw an answer: the internet, email, blogs, and interactive and hyper-realistic video games promised to yield a generation of sharper, more aware, and intellectually sophisticated children. The terms “information superhighway” and “knowledge economy” entered the lexicon, and we assumed that teens would use their knowledge and understanding of technology to set themselves apart as the vanguards of this new digital era. That was the promise. But the enlightenment didn’t happen. The technology that was supposed to make young adults more aware, diversify their tastes, and improve their verbal skills has had the opposite effect. According to recent reports from the National Endowment for the Arts, most young people in the United States do not read literature, visit museums, or vote. They cannot explain basic scientific methods, recount basic American history, name their local political representatives, or locate Iraq or Israel on a map. The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future is a startling examination of the intellectual life of young adults and a timely warning of its impact on American culture and democracy. Over the last few decades, how we view adolescence itself has changed, growing from a pitstop on the road to adulthood to its own space in society, wholly separate from adult life. This change in adolescent culture has gone hand in hand with an insidious infantilization of our culture at large; as adolescents continue to disengage from the adult world, they have built their own, acquiring more spending money, steering classrooms and culture towards their own needs and interests, and now using the technology once promoted as the greatest hope for their futures to indulge in diversions, from MySpace to multiplayer video games, 24/7. Can a nation continue to enjoy political and economic predominance if its citizens refuse to grow up? Drawing upon exhaustive research, personal anecdotes, and historical and social analysis, The Dumbest Generation presents a portrait of the young American mind at this critical juncture, and lays out a compelling vision of how we might address its deficiencies. The Dumbest Generation pulls no punches as it reveals the true cost of the digital age—and our last chance to fix it.
"This book calls us to rethink what it means to practice intellectualism in the twenty-first century. It surveys the evolution of contemporary limited notions of intellectualism and then reexamines the literacy and learning practices of three nonelite sites of adult public education in light of a more inclusive definition of intellectualism"--
The Neverending Education Crisis and the False Promise of the Information Age
Author: Ivelin Sardamov
Publisher: John Hunt Publishing
Professor Ivelin Sardamov draws on key findings in neuroscience to explain the waning interest in and knowledge of complex social issues in the United States and around the world. Attributing this trend primarily to the effects of information overload, ubiquitous screens and constant access to the internet, Sardamov argues that chronic over-stimulation generated by the current sociotechnological environment fosters addictive tendencies in today's young people.
In the past, correct spelling, the multiplication tables, the names of the state capitals and the American presidents were basics that all children were taught in school. Today, many children graduate without this essential knowledge. Most curricula today follow a haphazard sampling of topics with a focus on political correctness instead of teaching students how to study. Leigh Bortins, a leading figure in the homeschooling community, is having none of it. She believes that there are core areas of knowledge that are essential to master. Without knowing the multiplication tables, children can't advance to algebra. Without mastery of grammar, students will have difficulty expressing themselves. Without these essential building blocks of knowledge, students may remember information but they will never possess a broad and deep understanding of how the world works. In The Core, Bortins gives parents the tools and methodology to implement a rigorous, thorough, and broad curriculum based on the classical model, including: - Rote memorization to cement knowledge - Systematic learning of geography, historical facts, and timelines - Reading the great books and seminal historical documents instead of adaptations and abridged editions - Rigorous training in math and the natural sciences
Traditions and Transitions: Curricula for German Studies is a collection of essays by Canadian and international scholars on the topic of why and how the curriculum for post-secondary German studies should evolve. Its twenty chapters, written by international experts in the field of German as a foreign or second language, explore new perspectives on and orientations in the curriculum. In light of shifts in the linguistic and intercultural needs of today’s global citizens, these scholars in German studies question the foundations and motivations of common curriculum goals, traditional program content, standard syllabus design, and long-standing classroom practice. Several chapters draw on a range of contemporary theories—from critical applied linguistics, second-language acquisition, curriculum theory, and cultural studies—to propose and encourage new curriculum thinking and reflective practice related to the translingual and cross-cultural subjectivities of speakers, learners, and teachers of German. Other chapters describe and analyze specific examples of emerging trends in curriculum practice for learners as users of German. This volume will be invaluable to university and college faculty working in the discipline of German studies as well as in other modern languages and second-language education in general. Its combination of theoretical and descriptive explorations will help readers develop a critical awareness and understanding of curriculum for teaching German and to implement new approaches in the interests of their students.