Jump to content

Home

Increasing stupidity...


Writer
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ever take a moment from watching TV, playing video games, or listening to music and notice that the world around you is growing stupid? Let me give examples.

 

The SAT: This test has been dumbed down a great deal over the past several years. The College Board, the company that produces it puts out a book of previous SAT tests. You know what? Every test is different and each has its own scoring sheet. What does this tell you? I don't know, but it tells me this test is losing ground.

 

Public School: What used to be taught in 4th or 5th grade is now being taught in 7th... maybe the lost ground in the SAT is a good thing... without it, nobody would be able to go to college.:rolleyes:

 

My point: Why are we making our children stupid? We don't intend to, believe me! It's happening gradually and it effects us as well. TV, music, and games are major influences in our lives. (as much as I enjoy them too...) They're probably not the best influences... think about how little brain power actually goes into them. It's next to nothing, isn't it?

 

If we don't want this to happen, why are we letting it? Let's just say that it's likely that somebody wants us to. If we're stupid, we'll be easier to control... that is, I think, the ultimate goal. Somebody's preparing us for a new government, one in which we have fewer choices. Eventually, we'll be stupid enough for complete control.

 

Ugh... what are your thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 87
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Not being an American citizen, I can't comment on the SAT's and how they've changed over the years. I do however understand that they are a standardized test and the main purpose of them is to gauge the students abilities and how well suited they are for college/university and that's what the marks of the SAT are generally used for. I'll simply take your word on how they've changed over the years.

 

The main point of this post will be something you've touched on, which is the public school system. I'm not of the same belief in that students are intentionally being made stupid in order to prepare for a new government that will be able to control us more easily and all that jazz. Not much for conspiracy theories, don't really believe in them. Though, that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't true, just that I don't believe it ;)

 

In my opinion, the "increase in stupidity" is directly influenced by the public school system, but I don't entirely blame the teachers or any of the other staff, they are just doing their jobs and what they are told. I believe it's the system that's the problem, and the entire friggen thing needs to be revamped. The school system is designed in such a way that it caters to everyone, and that everyone should be able to pass the grades without too much trouble. The fact that there are people who still manage to fail a grade in public school is just absolutely mind-boggling to me.

 

The system has a tendency to focus much more on the lower echelon of students, "dumbing down" everything else so that they can keep up with their more gifted classmates, the ones that really lose out in this system. The ones who really are genuinely GOOD in these subjects are not encouraged enough to use these talents and are hardly challenged at all in public schools. Throw in the popularity factor, and that these smarter children will be made fun of because they are BETTER at school than others, and it will cause many of them not to want to be above average anymore. In school, when a student is better at football than everyone else, he becomes popular and a school hero. When a student is incredibly good at math and other school subjects, he is labelled a "geek" and often shunned by his peers. They're actually being ostracized for being better at something than everyone else. Does anyone else see something wrong with this? Why is it that academics are the only thing where excellence is being discouraged by the students peers?

 

One problem that I keep coming back to when thinking about this, is that it's just hard for some people to accept that others are better at certain things. In particular, I think it's difficult for parents to accept this, accept that their child is sub-par in some aspects. I believe that a major part of the problem has been in recent years with some parents trying to "level out the playing field", for lack of a better euphemism. I believe enough parents have been complaining to the school boards that their little Billy is not doing well enough in school, and rather than spending extra time HELPING their child to understand and deal with the problems they have with this subject, they simply claim that the work/course is too hard for the child. Given enough complaints and pressure, the curriculum’s will change, and I'm sure they have. Instead of trying to raise their child up to the standard set by others, they prefer to have the standard lowered to fit their child. A system that is discouraging excellence, and encouraging mediocrity is not going to help anybody.

 

Something needs to be changed; I believe that much is clear. I am of the mind that there really need to be separate classes depending on the marks of the students. Those with excellent grades in math, physics, chemistry or whatever, they should be encouraged to focus on these courses and not have to worry so much about such electives as things like shop class and what not, if they're not good at them. This will just detract from the time and focus that these students could have for other courses. For the opposite end of the spectrum, got a kid who can't do higher level math to save his life, but give him a hammer and some nails and he can build you anything you want, or give him an acetylene torch and he could weld the arse on a cat? Encourage him to take shop and woodworking classes to his hearts content instead of things like physics or biology. Making a student do something he's not good at, and making him do something he doesn't want to do, is not going to magically make him good at it, only make him resent it more. Note that I'm not talking about the core programs here, courses such as basic math and language courses that are an integral part to any person’s development. I do believe that kids with below average marks in the core programs should be in classes that are designed to really help them and work through the problems that they're having with these courses. However, don't make "special" courses that are even further below average when the average is already being set low enough. Make courses that challenge and encourage the students that are below average in certain courses, to become above average in these courses. Schools really need to become more focused on the individual student, and what his individual merits are, instead of just making a cookie-cutter curriculum that is supposed to be used to judge every student, despite the ever present fact that everyone is different and we're all good at different things. Not everyone can be doctor, because not all of us are that good at the things required for it. But a doctor would be pretty screwed if he didn't have a carpenter to build his house for him, and he'd have a hell of a lot of trouble getting to the hospital to save lives if the mechanic wasn't there to fix his car for him.

 

The main point that I'm trying to get at here, despite my rambling, is that the school system is becoming far too dumbed down. My parents were always amazed at how little homework I had when I went to school, particularly compared to what they used to have, and I would wager that there is even less homework now. It's not that people are becoming more stupid, as I don't believe that anyone is truly stupid, just that people don't know what they've never been taught. And the less our children are taught, the less they are going to know. I talked about those who are good should be in separate classes, and I am aware that there are Advanced Placement programs in place, but I still don't think enough is being done. The Advanced Placement level should be the standard instead of the exception, not the other way around. The system should help those who are below this standard to reach it, instead of limiting the prospects of those who are already above it. Help those who aren't great to become great, and help those who already are great to become greater. If the standard keeps getting lower and lower, then no one is going to be challenged or pushed to grow better, and everyone is going to settle for being less than what we all have the capability to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I generally found that my teachers did the best they could within the parameters set by the school board, plus the resources at hand.

 

I wish there'd been less Shakespeare though. We read it to death for 7th, 9th, and 10th grade English. Hours spent on that crap when we could've been learning algebra or trig. That's kinda weird coming from me too since I don't particularly enjoy math.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shakespeare is pretty necessary to further one's understanding of the evolution of theatre and therefore all modern media. But one can have too much of a good thing. ;)

 

The main point that I'm trying to get at here, despite my rambling, is that the school system is becoming far too dumbed down.
Hear hear. It's all political correctness... give muppets qualifications, and one devalues the qualification for those that genuinely deserve it. In the UK, exams these days are absolutely laughably easy.

 

I don't believe that anyone is truly stupid,
Sadly, I think otherwise. Some people don't have the intellectual capacity of other, more intelligent people, and that makes them relatively stupid.

 

I believe in calling stupidity... stupidity. Because frankly, it's the desire not to hurt the feelings of the stupid and their families that has allowed our education system to be dragged down to this awful level.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Spider AL

In the UK, exams these days are absolutely laughably easy

 

Yep, thats coz his highness, Tony Blair, wan'ts more people in higher and further education. You can now get a degree in "surf science" (surfing), I can't help feeling that it is devaluing actual qualifications.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes you see it gets things ticking over very nicely - one goes in into higher education after getting easy qualifications, one immediatly goes into debt which means a lot of companies make a lot of money (banks especially) from you which then if people do go on and become successful then the government and anyone else that was anything to do with surviving uni can have a nice big bite out of it. everything is rigged up very nicely to benefit the big cheeses

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Spider AL

Sadly, I think otherwise. Some people don't have the intellectual capacity of other, more intelligent people, and that makes them relatively stupid.

 

I believe in calling stupidity... stupidity. Because frankly, it's the desire not to hurt the feelings of the stupid and their families that has allowed our education system to be dragged down to this awful level.

 

When I say truly stupid, I mean people who just can not comprehend pretty much anything you try to say to them about practically anything, people who are just so amazingly dumb that I would have no idea how they would function on a day to day level :D. Barring something such as severe mental retardation, of course, but I'm not going to touch on that subject.

 

I do agree with you about "relative" stupidity however, in that some people are inherently and naturally more intelligent than others, particularly in aspects involving sciences and mathematics, something I mentioned in my previous post. It is simply the way it is, some people will always be more intelligent than others, though that does not mean that these "stupid" people are not without their merits.

 

I have met many people who I would definitely consider not too bright, people who have trouble following along when I try to explain certain things to them, though I personally would not go so far as to call them stupid. However, I have seen many of these same "stupid" people do some simply amazing things with metal or wood, or repair complex machinery in less time than it would take me to even figure out what's wrong with it. I believe that we're all stupid in our own way, and we're all intelligent in our own way as well.

 

I believe that these are the people who should be helped the most, but not catered to in the public school system. The ones who should be encouraged to use their talents for craftmanship instead of being forced to take courses such as physics or biology, things they wouldn't really get that much out of. Also, the ones who ARE good at Physics and Biology shouldn't be forced to take courses such as shop or woodworking class, things they won't get that much out of, but of course, only if they don't WANT to take these courses.

 

Anyway, just thought I'd do my best to clear that up :).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not only is it the school system that is dumbing itself down, but many parents are not supporting the schools and their actions, and they are also ignoring much of their child's behavior, causing a significant lack of manners and appropriate behavior in general. I'm not saying we need to be uptight, or blindly support the schools, but we dont need parents who dont care that their kid is 16 and in 6th grade. (which is now the equivalent of the former 3rd grade) After all, it used to be that whatever trouble you got in at school, the punishement there would be nothing compared to what was waiting at home. Now what is waiting at home is nothing or next to nothing. Education begins and ends at home, not at school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reb: I agree with your stance that nobody of questionable intelligence should be catered or pandered to in our school systems, but I still disagree with your reluctance to use the word "stupid" to describe people. Yes, it has negative connotations. Should that stop us from calling muppets muppets because it might hurt their feelings? No.

 

As I stated before, it's our reluctance to openly discriminate between people based on their intelligence that has led us to this sorry state. We shouldn't discriminate based on race, colour or creed... but based on intelligence? OF COURSE we should. Otherwise we get things like... GW in the white house.

 

I believe that we're all stupid in our own way, and we're all intelligent in our own way as well.
We all have areas of expertise. The carpenters/mechanics you describe are intelligent. Those are just the subjects they specialise in. Really stupid people are people who aren't particulary good at their jobs/subjects whatever those might be. It takes intelligence (of whatever sort) to do ANYTHING well, and stupidity is merely a relative lack of intelligence. "Merit" is a separate subject.

 

So we shouldn't be afraid to call stupid people stupid. Enough of this PC "OMG don't offend anyone" culture. Calling someone stupid when they clearly are is merely a factual statement, and nobody has a right to be offended by the truth.

 

After all, it used to be that whatever trouble you got in at school, the punishement there would be nothing compared to what was waiting at home.
My parents instilled manners and respect in me without having to terrorise me. IMO the problem with parents is not that they don't punish their children enough, it's that they don't respect them enough to talk to them and reinforce the set of core moral qualities such as empathy, etc.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do we really want a society where children have to compete each other? Why do children have to pay just because adult moralists believe they aren't working hard enough?

 

IMO, schools are quite good today. At least they are far better than 50 years ago.

Children learn when they're having fun. Forcing them to hard work 24/7, like many of you are suggesting, is just cruel.

 

Also, SAT tests don't give a very good picture of what students learn. Sure, children no longer have to memorize all the countries of the world. But they definatly learn other, more important things, that you won't learn by sitting inside with a school book all day.

 

Why are rightists so cruel with their children?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do we really want a society where children have to compete each other?
Of course we want people to compete! They must compete for powerful jobs, they must compete for university places. Otherwise, we get a random selection of people with variable intelligence and ability, in positions of authority.

 

That's not good, it's no better than hereditary nobility! We scrapped the nobility because it wasn't fair to give silly inbred people high-power, high-income jobs! Likewise it isn't fair to give those jobs these days, to people who simply DON'T DESERVE THEM.

 

Children learn when they're having fun.
Actually children learn when they're taught. When they're having fun, they're learning to have fun. When they're being taught maths, they're learning maths. I've never met a child who enjoyed every school subject as much as playing. Does that mean they should play instead of study? Of course not.

 

IMO, schools are quite good today. At least they are far better than 50 years ago.
The kids of today will not be as well educated as my parents and their contemporaries were. So of course the schools aren't better, of course they aren't as good. They may be less cruel, less horrible... but more efficient at teaching? No.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

WJ, I've noticed. My parents have had me in and out of public schools. I left home schooling for about a year and when I went back into it, I was just getting to the stuff I would have learned a year earlier if I hadn't left home schooling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spider AL, I dont think I made my point very well. What I mean is where, for example, (something that happened just the other day here) a kid beats another kid to the ground and kicks him in the face while he's down in front of a crowd, then runs home, where he tells his parents what happened, and his parents do nothing. Absolutely nothing. This is the kind of problem I was adressing, not the (quite serious) problem that parents do not take the time to teach their kids the morals that they need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That seems to be the same point. I mean, the kid wouldn't be going around bullying other kids and kicking them if his parents had instilled in him a sense of moral responsibility.

 

As for their lack of action upon receiving the kid's story, yeah they should have walked him out to apologise to the kid... but punishment? what would punishment like... a mild beating, or shutting him in his room for ten days do? What would it do?

 

Parents punishing a kid doesn't make the kid feel bad about what he did if he doesn't already feel bad himself.

 

It DOES make him feel bad about his parents though. It makes him resent his folks for punishing him, and resent the kid he beat up for "getting him in trouble". That's the way the mind of the self-obsessed works. Most people, kids included, don't like to admit that they've done anything wrong, especially not to themselves.

 

Instructing the kid is the only way to instill basic morality. But if his parents were likely to talk to him at all, they would have done so when he was very young as well, and he wouldn't be the kind of guy to kick a weaker kid in the face. That's the catch 22 I suppose...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Spider AL

Of course we want people to compete! They must compete for powerful jobs, they must compete for university places. Otherwise, we get a random selection of people with variable intelligence and ability, in positions of authority.

 

That's not what's going to happen. Of course, people in important jobs will have to have the necissary competance. Those motivated for it will of course get the education they need.

 

But that's not what we are debating here. Do you really think we should have 7 year old kids competing against each other in schools? Or should we have a more humane education that takes care of the individual and their own needs?

 

That's not good, it's no better than hereditary nobility! We scrapped the nobility because it wasn't fair to give silly inbred people high-power, high-income jobs! Likewise it isn't fair to give those jobs these days, to people who simply DON'T DESERVE THEM.

 

Hm?

 

As long as they have the necissary competance, are motivated, nice and humane, they should have the job they want.

"Don't deserve them"? Surely, there are more important things than how much they have suffered for the job.

 

Actually children learn when they're taught. When they're having fun, they're learning to have fun. When they're being taught maths, they're learning maths. I've never met a child who enjoyed every school subject as much as playing. Does that mean they should play instead of study? Of course not.

 

When the subject is taught in a fun, interesting and creative way, children learn. Otherwise, they're bored and badly motivated.

 

Now, how many years since you went out of school?

 

The kids of today will not be as well educated as my parents and their contemporaries were. So of course the schools aren't better, of course they aren't as good. They may be less cruel, less horrible... but more efficient at teaching? No.

 

People today are better educated and smarter than the previous generation, even though the school system has softened up. Your argument is not correct.

 

Besides, there are more important things in life than knowing the capitals of the world in alphabetic order. You need to realise that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's not what's going to happen.
It's what's already happened, Breton. Our workforces are notoriously deskilled, and with the constant dumbing-down of our education system and the desire to keep wages low and hours high, it can only get worse.

 

Of course, people in important jobs will have to have the necissary competance.
Many don't have the necessary competence at the moment. That's the point. All the people in the UK with A-levels who can't spell or speak English correctly, for instance. They can get a job or a university place on the strength of those dumbed-down qualifications... that they don't deserve.

 

Those motivated for it will of course get the education they need.
Heh. They're handing out diplomas for free. It doesn't take much motivation to grab one.

 

But that's not what we are debating here.
Yes, it really is.

 

Do you really think we should have 7 year old kids competing against each other in schools?
Yes. Competition is vital to the human spirit, and should be taught at an early age. Those with drive and intelligence will rise to the top and claim that which they are best suited for... responsibility. An atmosphere should be created in which children are MOTIVATED to increase their knowledge, to compete with their peers and to succeed.

 

Or should we have a more humane education that takes care of the individual and their own needs?
Ha! Your "humane" school system isn't very humane to really intelligent kids who get their qualifications... only to find that they're worthless because they've been given to everyone else regardless of intellect or skill.

 

As long as they have the necissary competance, are motivated, nice and humane, they should have the job they want.
Exactly, that's what we'd like. But it ain't happening at the moment, matey. ;)

 

"Don't deserve them"? Surely, there are more important things than how much they have suffered for the job.
Suffered? You're the only one who's used that word. It's nothing to do with suffering, it's how much a candidate has learned that's RELEVANT to the job. Holding a degree in English doesn't even mean you can SPELL anymore!

 

Now, how many years since you went out of school?
Long enough to remember how it started going downhill to end in this sorry-state of a cesspit.

 

People today are better educated and smarter than the previous generation,
...

 

:eyeraise:

 

Are you even SERIOUS? SMARTER? Have you heart of the relevant US statistics? Seen the UK news reports? pfft. Our countries are sinking into utter ignorance, and to be ignorant of that fact is truly counterproductive.

 

Besides, there are more important things in life than knowing the capitals of the world in alphabetic order.
Heh heh heh. If you're a professional cartographer you might find such knowledge very useful. ;)

 

You need to realise that.
Please don't tell me what I "need". That's very patronising.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Breton

 

Now, how many years since you went out of school?

 

 

 

People today are better educated and smarter than the previous generation, even though the school system has softened up. Your argument is not correct.

 

Besides, there are more important things in life than knowing the capitals of the world in alphabetic order. You need to realise that.

 

I for once am in total agreement with Spider AL. While it is very true that the later generations are more "street wise" due to being exposed to the darker areas of life, they are definately not "better educated". My children know more than they need to about guns at school or drug overdoses. But I can't get them to stop using "gots" instead of "has".

 

It pains me to no end to interact with people on a daily basis who have no grasp of elementary spelling and grammer. For example, I admire Spider AL's grammatical skills but you need to look no farther than these message boards to see what I'm talking about. People no longer pay attention to capitalization or spelling much less than basics such as knowing the difference between to, too and two.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...