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  • Anton Gramscescu
    replied
    Kids today...

    I see Ursus is in a mean mood. But as to shitting in the woods, I'm pretty sure Milanese law firms have indoor plumbing.

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  • Gangster Octopus
    replied
    Kids today...

    Beware of bears...

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  • cantagalo
    replied
    Kids today...

    I have read it through a few times, and I'm not sure I can see much wrong with the "Pope" conversation, meself.
    Do bears shit in the woods?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Kids today...

    erudite...

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  • Wyatt Earp
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    Kids today...

    The famous Jewish lady went to Rome to see the Pope
    The famous Jewish lady went to Rome to see the Pope
    The famous Jewish lady went to Rome to see the Pope
    And this is what he said: "FUCK OFF!
    "Who the fuck is Woody Allen?"

    Etc.

    Sorry.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Kids today...

    Amor de Cosmos wrote:

    Poor general education? Over-specialised learning? Overly narrow recreational interests? Lack of incidental/accidental learning opportunities? Something else...? Lack of family discussion and interaction perhaps?
    I think over-specialised learning is a huge factor. I grew up in a place where we were expected to study six subjects to 18, and where a first degree was composed of two major subjects and up to four minors. This lends a good, solid basis to more specialised learning, and an awareness of the interconnections between disciplines. I was a little horrified when I arrived in the UK to see how narrow education here can be.

    I think there's also an overregulation of content through the construction of national syllabuses and 'benchmarking'. As a psychology lecturer, it really bothers me that my students rarely know anything about philosophy or sociology. But neither are in the core BPS syllabus, and so they don't get covered. As a student in second year, in my home country, we read Goffman's Asylums, Foucault's Discipline and Punish, and in third year, we read Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. But that wouldn't happen here in the UK, because it's not part of the BPS core content.

    The consequence is that my students lose out on the kind of material that would help them to think critically about the core content of the BPS syllabus (which is all pants) and they also have an increasingly narrow, very subject specific knowledge.

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  • Femme Folle
    replied
    Kids today...

    Read it another 37 times and I think you'll understand.

    I'm off to Times Square now. It's a square, you know.

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  • TonTon
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    Kids today...

    I have read it through a few times, and I'm not sure I can see much wrong with the "Pope" conversation, meself.

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  • Amor de Cosmos
    replied
    Kids today...

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  • Anton Gramscescu
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    Kids today...

    You're on form today, FF.

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  • Femme Folle
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    Kids today...

    You rock.

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  • Amor de Cosmos
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    Kids today...

    I want to teach students who take ownership of their own learning, to use the hideous buzz-phrase, not students who don't know how to take the initiative or who expect to be spoon fed.

    I couldn't agree more.

    "To explain too much is to steal a person's opportunity to learn, and stealing is against the law."

    A Yurrock indian saying that I print at the top of all my course-outlines.

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  • Femme Folle
    replied
    Kids today...

    Antonio Gramsci wrote:
    Having just spent some time with undergraduates in the Gulf...
    What are they, porpoises?

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  • Femme Folle
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    Kids today...

    Inca - I know, and I found it very disturbing.

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  • Anton Gramscescu
    replied
    Kids today...

    Sure, but how do you get them to take that ownership in the first place, SP? That's the key question.

    Having just spent some time with undergraduates in the Gulf, I have been given an enormous lesson in the benefits of the fear of failure. It's enormously difficult to motivate students who all have their own Mercedes and are guaranteed very high-paying government jobs at the end of their studies. Where's the incentive to do well? I wonder if it is not in fact the sheer comfort of everyday life in the west that is the cause of the disengagement people are seeing.

    You're a teacher, SP - how do you find your students do in the "ownership" department?

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  • SpanglyPrincess
    replied
    Kids today...

    There's a bit of a conflation of ignorance with unintelligence in some of this discussion.

    I think it's easy to forget how many things kids today know about or have had to learn that 20 or 30 years ago were not around or not relevant. All kinds of technological interfaces, for instance. And also that certain things look more or less important. Environmental issues, globalisation, world hunger - these aren't things that used to occupy time & space on the curriculum.

    The point about learning how to learn is an interesting one. I do think it's important. I want to teach students who take ownership of their own learning, to use the hideous buzz-phrase, not students who don't know how to take the initiative or who expect to be spoon fed.

    All that said there is a vast and scary process of dumbing down under way.

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  • Incandenza
    replied
    Kids today...

    Femme Folle wrote:
    Kid: Are you going to see the Pope?

    Ellen: (somewhat nonplussed) Why would I? (she's Jewish)

    Kid: Well, he's the head of a major religion and Judaism is a major religion...

    ~silence~
    This sounds like the thinking of the American media all last week.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Kids today...

    It's so damn distracting though. Here I am in the library trying to find out about Antipater of Thessaloniki and, on finding that all the articles listed seem to be about Macedonian costumes, what do I do but this displacement activity while I try and work out what to look for next.

    I do think the whole shorter attention span thing has something to do with it. too much information so none gets absorbed. if you watch the news now they try to keep you watching with cliffhangers and try to make it accessible with little dramas to illustrate everything. and then I feel bad because obv I am being elitist and wrong.

    Someone I know who teaches at a university says that essays she reads wouldn't pass A-level and partly that is because they've all used wikipedia and the same online thesaurus and not understood any of it.

    not to blame the information sources but perhaps to blame the teaching of how they should be managed.

    anyway. there's an interesting sounding clue about beeswax I must try to follow up.

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  • Ginger Yellow
    replied
    Kids today...

    The general obsession with being connected to a technological portal — computer, phone, iPod — of some kind is certainly powerful and something I admit to having a hard time understanding.
    It might make more sense if you think of it as a cultural portal, instead. A computer gives you the whole glorious internet, a mobile phone lets you talk to anyone, anywhere, and an iPod lets you listen to all your music, all the time. I have a hard time understanding people who aren't obsessed.

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  • Femme Folle
    replied
    Kids today...

    The penultimate paragraph makes me wonder if Bob reads OTF...

    April 22, 2008
    Op-Ed Columnist
    Clueless in America
    By BOB HERBERT

    We don’t hear a great deal about education in the presidential campaign. It’s much too serious a topic to compete with such fun stuff as Hillary tossing back a shot of whiskey, or Barack rolling a gutter ball.

    The nation’s future may depend on how well we educate the current and future generations, but (like the renovation of the nation’s infrastructure, or a serious search for better sources of energy) that can wait. At the moment, no one seems to have the will to engage any of the most serious challenges facing the U.S.

    An American kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds. That’s more than a million every year, a sign of big trouble for these largely clueless youngsters in an era in which a college education is crucial to maintaining a middle-class quality of life — and for the country as a whole in a world that is becoming more hotly competitive every day.

    Ignorance in the United States is not just bliss, it’s widespread. A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900.

    “We have one of the highest dropout rates in the industrialized world,” said Allan Golston, the president of U.S. programs for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In a discussion over lunch recently he described the situation as “actually pretty scary, alarming.”

    Roughly a third of all American high school students drop out. Another third graduate but are not prepared for the next stage of life — either productive work or some form of post-secondary education.

    When two-thirds of all teenagers old enough to graduate from high school are incapable of mastering college-level work, the nation is doing something awfully wrong.

    Mr. Golston noted that the performance of American students, when compared with their peers in other countries, tends to grow increasingly dismal as they move through the higher grades:

    “In math and science, for example, our fourth graders are among the top students globally. By roughly eighth grade, they’re in the middle of the pack. And by the 12th grade, U.S. students are scoring generally near the bottom of all industrialized countries.”

    Many students get a first-rate education in the public schools, but they represent too small a fraction of the whole.

    Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, offered a brutal critique of the nation’s high schools a few years ago, describing them as “obsolete” and saying, “When I compare our high schools with what I see when I’m traveling abroad, I am terrified for our work force of tomorrow.”

    Said Mr. Gates: “By obsolete, I don’t just mean that they are broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools — even when they’re working as designed — cannot teach all our students what they need to know today.”

    The Educational Testing Service, in a report titled “America’s Perfect Storm,” cited three powerful forces that are affecting the quality of life for millions of Americans and already shaping the nation’s future. They are:

    • The wide disparity in the literacy and math skills of both the school-age and adult populations. These skills, which play such a tremendous role in the lives of individuals and families, vary widely across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

    • The “seismic changes” in the U.S. economy that have resulted from globalization, technological advances, shifts in the relationship of labor and capital, and other developments.

    • Sweeping demographic changes. By 2030, the U.S. population is expected to reach 360 million. That population will be older and substantially more diverse, with immigration having a big impact on both the population as a whole and the work force.

    These and so many other issues of crucial national importance require an educated populace if they are to be dealt with effectively. At the moment we are not even coming close to equipping the population with the intellectual tools that are needed.

    While we’re effectively standing in place, other nations are catching up and passing us when it comes to educational achievement. You have to be pretty dopey not to see the implications of that.

    But, then, some of us are pretty dopey. In the Common Core survey, nearly 20 percent of respondents did not know who the U.S. fought in World War II. Eleven percent thought that Dwight Eisenhower was the president forced from office by the Watergate scandal. Another 11 percent thought it was Harry Truman.

    We’ve got work to do.

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  • Eggchaser
    replied
    Kids today...

    Having just watched The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances on DVD, I should think a lot of children are scared stiff of anything to do with WWII.

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    Kids today...

    On important matters missed, my sister-in-law who is, academically, the most advanced in our family as the only one with a degree once asked my brother "which one's Morecambe?"

    That is one major hole in your education

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    Kids today...

    As far as WWII goes, we have a huge amount of fucked up wars in the last 10 years that children can learn from, are more relavent and children can probably tell you more about because every kid I know seems to see a lot more news with breakfast TV and Newsround and whatnot.

    Children today, across the board, seem to be much more aware of world poverty, the enviroment and nutrition than we all did.

    As it happens, Marley has just done a project on evacuees. I asked a lady from church to come in and talk to his year about her experience of being evacuated. Now none of those kids probably know who Winston Churchill is or why or when the war started but they know how it impacted upon normal people and I would say that this is far more important

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    Kids today...

    The general obsession with being connected to a technological portal — computer, phone, iPod — of some kind is certainly powerful and something I admit to having a hard time understanding. I don't whether it has much to do with perceived stupidity though. There were "bookish" people before online-ish ones who had restricted intellectual vision as well.
    I agree about the obsession with the portal. It is never the portal that is the problem, it is the child's attitude towards and usage of the portal that matters and that is down to parenting.

    When I was a kid, I used to watch TV for an hour or so, get bored and go out and ride a bike or play football with my mates and then came home with my mates to watch TV. This was at a time when kids were "watching too much TV"

    Marley, this half-term, played X-box for an hour or so, got bored then played football with his mates or rode a bike then brought his mates back to play X-box.

    He also spent a lot of time swapping Match Attack cards. Sounds familiar.

    This is because I have broadly brought up Marley similar to how I was brought up.

    I am amazed that I still hear parents talk about kids "Always having their heads in a book" as well which was something I also heard about some kids when I was a kid.

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    Kids today...

    I think that, like pop music*, "kids today" are broadly as intelligent as they were when "we" (assuming no-one here is over 60) were kids if not a little more so.

    This is pretty good considering the amount that adults are trying to fuck up their education on the whole.

    What I do think is that "kids today" are being demonised a lot more by the popular media for no real reason.

    I deal with a lot of kids of a lot of different ages and, on the whole, I think they are great if you speak to them directly, try and interest them and don't try and fit them into some sort of template that we, as children, fought as hard as possible to break away from.

    The comments in the opening post sound like the typical kid that is being asked pointed questions about himself by a grown-up when he is day-dreaming.

    I would have been the same.

    Someone gave me advice the other day that I thought was great. When you are walking home, instead of asking "How was your day?" or "What did you learn?" ask "Did you ask any good questions?.

    I thought this was brilliant as it does imply that children are just recieving information.

    Unfortunately, I still get an answer of "Nah" mostly. Ho-hum

    *Obviously, I don't mean whether or not pop music is more less intelligent than when we were kids, I mean whether it was better or worse

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