The Dumbest Generation?

[deleted account] ( 59 moms have responded )

Do you agree with this article or not? Why? Is this next generation really the dumbest? So they can't use can openers, but how many of us have the computer skills of today's teens? Should we be worried that our kids can't do simple tasks without technology, or should WE get with the program and throw away our antiquated ice cube trays for push button refrigerators? Funny story: my parents are so slow when it comes to technology. I'm only 26 but we had a rotary phone until I graduated high school (2002). None of my friends knew how to use it. But is that a bad thing?

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articl...

NEW YORK—Second-graders who can't tie shoes or zip jackets. Four-year-olds in Pull-Ups diapers. Five-year-olds in strollers. Teens and preteens befuddled by can openers and ice-cube trays. College kids who've never done laundry, taken a bus alone or addressed an envelope.

Are we raising a generation of nincompoops? And do we have only ourselves to blame? Or are some of these things simply the result of kids growing up with push-button technology in an era when mechanical devices are gradually being replaced by electronics?

Susan Maushart, a mother of three, says her teenage daughter "literally does not know how to use a can opener. Most cans come with pull-tops these days. I see her reaching for a can that requires a can opener, and her shoulders slump and she goes for something else."

Teenagers are so accustomed to either throwing their clothes on the floor or hanging them on hooks that Maushart says her "kids actually struggle with the mechanics of a clothes hanger."

Many kids never learn to do ordinary household tasks. They have no chores. Take-out and drive-through meals have replaced home cooking. And busy families who can afford it often outsource house-cleaning and lawn care.

"It's so all laid out for them," said Maushart, author of the forthcoming book "The Winter of Our Disconnect," about her efforts to wean her family from its dependence on technology. "Having so much comfort and ease is what has led to this situation -- the Velcro sneakers, the Pull-Ups generation. You can pee in your pants and we'll take care of it for you!"

The issue hit home for me when a visiting 12-year-old took an ice-cube tray out of my freezer, then stared at it helplessly. Raised in a world where refrigerators have push-button ice-makers, he'd never had to get cubes out of a tray -- in the same way that kids growing up with pull-tab cans don't understand can openers.

But his passivity was what bothered me most. Come on, kid! If your life depended on it, couldn't you wrestle that ice-cube tray to the ground? It's not that complicated!

Mark Bauerlein, author of the best-selling book "The Dumbest Generation," which contends that cyberculture is turning young people into know-nothings, says "the absence of technology" confuses kids faced with simple mechanical tasks.

But Bauerlein says there's a second factor: "a loss of independence and a loss of initiative." He says that growing up with cell phones and Google means kids don't have to figure things out or solve problems any more. They can look up what they need online or call mom or dad for step-by-step instructions. And today's helicopter parents are more than happy to oblige, whether their kids are 12 or 22.

"It's the dependence factor, the unimaginability of life without the new technology, that is making kids less entrepreneurial, less initiative-oriented, less independent," Bauerlein said.

Teachers in kindergarten have always had to show patience with children learning to tie shoes and zip jackets, but thanks to Velcro closures, today's kids often don't develop those skills until they are older. Sure, harried parents are grateful for Velcro when they're trying to get a kid dressed and out the door, and children learn to tie shoes eventually unless they have a real disability. But if they're capable of learning to tie their shoes before they learn to read, shouldn't we encourage them?

Some skills, of course, are no longer useful. Kids don't need to know how to add Roman numerals, write cursive or look things up in a paper-bound thesaurus. But is snail-mail already so outmoded that teenagers don't need to know how to address an envelope or put the stamp in the right spot? Ask a 15-year-old to prepare an envelope some time; you might be shocked at the result.

Lenore Skenazy, who writes a popular blog called Free-Range Kids, based on her book by the same name, has a different take. Skenazy, whose approach to parenting is decidedly anti-helicopter, agrees that we are partly to blame for our children's apparent incompetence, starting when they are infants.

"There is an onslaught of stuff being sold to us from the second they come out of the womb trying to convince us that they are nincompoops," she said. "They need to go to Gymboree or they will never hum and clap! To teach them how to walk, you're supposed to turn your child into a marionette by strapping this thing on them that holds them up because it helps them balance more naturally than 30,000 years of evolution!"

Despite all this, Skenazy thinks today's kids are way smarter than we give them credit for: "They know how to change a photo caption on a digital photo and send it to a friend. They can add the smiley face without the colon and parentheses! They never took typing but they can type faster than I can!"

Had I not been there to help that 12-year-old with the ice-cube tray, she added, the kid surely would have "whipped out his iPhone and clicked on his ice cube app to get a little video animated by a 6-year-old that explained how you get ice cubes out of a tray."

Friends playing devil's advocate say I'm wrong to indict a whole generation for the decline of skills they don't need. After all, we no longer have to grow crops, shoot deer, prime a pump or milk a cow to make dinner, but it was just a couple of generations ago that you couldn't survive in many places without that knowledge.

Others say this is simply the last gasp of the analog era as we move once and for all to the digital age. In 10 years, there won't be any ice cube trays; every fridge will have push-button ice.

But Bauerlein, a professor at Emory University who has studied culture and American life, defends my right to rail against the ignorance of youth.

"That's our job as we get old," he said. "A healthy society is healthy only if it has some degree of tension between older and younger generations. It's up to us old folks to remind teenagers: 'The world didn't begin on your 13th birthday!' And it's good for kids to resent that and to argue back. We want to criticize and provoke them. It's not healthy for the older generation to say, 'Kids are kids, they'll grow up.'

"They won't grow up," he added, "unless you do your job by knocking down their hubris."

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 10/02/2010

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"I think it's moot. It doesn't matter that kids can't address an envelope because sending letters by post is becoming extinct. That's what emailing is for."

Well, aren't we lucky you don't operate one of these booming online stores who have to send things by mail order if you think mail is becoming extinct. It absolutely is NOT becoming extinct. If anything, parcel post is growing with the shift to online shopping. And to mail parcels, you still need to know how to address an envelope......it is the same principle that is used.

ME - posted on 10/02/2010

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I get it...and I agree to a certain extent...My college students turn in essays, homework assignments, and send emails to me written in text speak. I don't know that it matters that these kids cannot address a letter or use a can opener, but their helplessness is pretty sad. My students don't know how to use their syllabus, don't know how to write a complete sentence, cannot read above an 8th grade level (in many cases)...
Just knowing how to use technology isn't sufficient either...I can't tell you how many of them plagiarize, or use wikipedia as a source, or spend the whole class text-messaging their friends...they are practically braindead they're so dependent on technology...and that IS problematic!

Desiree - posted on 10/12/2010

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Never mind the dumber part what about sheer laziness. Why should they do anything for themselves it the have everything in life to make thier lives easier. makes you wonder what would happen if like that Bruce Willis film Die Hard 4 everything shut down. What would we do just stare and the traffic light that is flashing red becasue that is what it says. This is the reason i love to go camping, no digital anything just nature and nothing else food has to be cooked you yourself, water have to fetched by you, a fire has to be started. No gas, No TV, No Computers, no cell phones, No technology around. I have taught my kids to enjoy the simpler things in life they seems to have more to offer. Why do we need ebooks or ipads whats wrong with using your hand to turn a page. The only people who truely need those types of equipment are the disabled and isn't it funny they prefer not to use them because they want to do it for themselves. Yes I believe we are bringing up a dumber society, as they are not being taught to fundementals of how to do thing for themselves. as a Working mom this is my fault because I give them everything out of guilt of not being there.

Stifler's - posted on 10/03/2010

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The only difference now is that people use society as a scapegoat and think the government should be responsible for everything.

Denikka - posted on 10/03/2010

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It's actually been proven in scientific studies that people (specifically under 25) are loosing the ability to communicate effectively and are loosing the ability to empathize with others.
I can't remember (or find) the exact study, but the basis of it was that because of all the communication going on electronically (texting, instant messaging, e-mailing, even phoning can be included) is reducing the real human communication and interaction. This means that kids aren't learning how to read the subtle cues that are integral to communication with other human beings. Things like body language, tone and inflection.

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Jenny - posted on 10/12/2010

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I support this article and believe is is true. I am a big believer in teaching children a whole education. That includes things like providing your own food, basic mechanics, preparing meals, finances, penmanship and all sorts of other examples. We have a basic food garden which I hope to expand as we clear more space out. We go camping often where they learn many things and have fun. We will be hunting next weekend after my partner picks up our tags and we go fishing. I predict my daughter will know how to dress a deer by 10.



When she wanted her training wheels off, we passed her a wrench. She put her own bunkbeds together too (with Dad doing the lifting). She has chores as does my 3 year old. We say it is our home and we all have to participate to make it work, that includes picking up after each other too.



My partner is one of those guys who can fix anything from woodworking to replacing my clutch in my truck. I am very thankful to have access to a knowledgable person to teach our kids.



I need to learn sewing now, I've always wanted to make clothes and stuff for the house.



We have pushed back against technology though. She has limited access to computers, TV, video games, her Ipod and other electronics. She does know how to operate them but I don't see positive behaviour from her if she spends too much time on them. I just don't like it.



It would be nice to set up some sort of parent co-op where skills could be shared between the families for those who don't otherwise have access. I believe kids can accomplish WAY more than we give them credit for. And I refuse to raise dumb children.

Nellie - posted on 10/12/2010

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I just wanted to add, and this is for sure going to make a lotta people mad, comes back to the parents. My frieds kid is one and out of diapers because she was determined. So in a lotta cases, it`s not dumb kids, it`s dumb parents!

Nellie - posted on 10/12/2010

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This conversation reminds me of my father who spent my entire childhood explaning how he was a better child then me. According to him, his generation NEVER argued with siblings, rspected their elders and walked 10 miles to school in snowstorms. It seems that every generation thinks they`re superier and I thik this is BS! No, kids these days probably don`t know how to mail a letter, but at the same time my parents struggle with the computer. We are all humans, we evolve as the technology evolves. I thik we need to stop pointing the fingers. I can`t even begin to explain how much it pissed me off being forced to listen to stories of how I`m inferior.

Sherri - posted on 10/12/2010

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REALLY is this true???

Second-graders who can't tie shoes or zip jackets. Four-year-olds in Pull-Ups diapers. Five-year-olds in strollers. Teens and preteens befuddled by can openers and ice-cube trays. College kids who've never done laundry, taken a bus alone or addressed an envelope.

My kids have NEVER owned a pair of velcro shoes, they were taught to zip there own coats by 4yrs old. They were potty trained by 2. I am guilty of still using a stroller for my 4yr old. We still use a manual can opener all the time, we only have old fashioned ice cube trays, and they can address and envelope. I am also guilty of them not doing laundry because they do such a terrible job that there is NO WAY I am having them break my washer or dryer. However, they are responsible for bringing all the laundry down, folding laundry and putting it away.

I only cook home cooked meals and we quite often do this all together as a family. They are responsible for many things so that the running of the house goes smoothly. From emptying trash, cooking, doing dishes, taking care of the dog, bringing down the laundry, cleaning the bathroom etc. Not all those things all the time but whenever I need a hand to get them done.

[deleted account]

Thank you April! =)

I'm not sure Eliza knows what's coming...lol!

But the other day we saw a tiny baby. She immediately lifted my shirt and said, "Mama's baby!" much to my combined surprise, embarrassment and pride!

April - posted on 10/12/2010

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@ Sara Hopkins...i didn't know you are pregnant! congratulations!! is Eliza excited to be a big sister?

Heather - posted on 10/05/2010

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Computer skills are necessary today, but it won't do you much good if you can't carry on a conversation in person, can't compose a written letter, can't do basic math without a calcutator or balance a checkbook, and basically can't think for themselves because they rely on computers and media for EVERYTHING. There are some skills that everyone needs to retain even if they seem outdated.

[deleted account]

Thank you JuLeah, that was part of reason I posted this. I'm sure when clothes were starting to be mass marketed and people didn't have to make their own anymore, the older generation was appalled that the younger couldn't use a spinning wheel. Which, by the way, I actually know how to use. I can sort of use a loom too. I used to work at a museum. But those skills are not necessary today. Computer skills are.

JuLeah - posted on 10/05/2010

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Well, I don't know how to churn butter, or make clothes from a sheep :) I have read books about how folks used to sheer the sheep and somehow ended up wearing the stuff. It kept them warm and dry. I can't do that. I can plant a few things and grow a simple garden, but if I had to live on that as my main food source, I'd be in trouble.
I can harrness a horse, but don't know how to make the harrness.
I don't know how to make leather boots out of a deer. I don't know how to make a house out of a tree.
My daughter was installing softwear at age 2.5. I didn't even know how to dial the phone at that age.

Denikka - posted on 10/05/2010

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Isn't it such a pain not to remember where you read stuff??
You're right Maria, it was in connection with bullying. I just wish I could remember what article it was!! XP

Maria - posted on 10/05/2010

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Denikka I was reading that too but I can't remember where. In fact it is connected with the increase in bullying especially cyber bullying because you can write, text or message awful things without ever looking someone in the eye. You don't witness the pain of your words in someone's face so you miss non-verbal cues- social literacy is lost.

[deleted account]

Denikka, I can agree with that.

Heather, I don't think the examples from the Welcome page are anything new. There have always been illerate, uneducated people. They tend to produce more illerate, uneducated people. I don't think there are more people like that compared to the past.

Heather - posted on 10/03/2010

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After reading the Welcome page...I think I'm inclined to agree with the article. It's really scary that people can't do the basic stuff anymore....like WRITE! God knows, when one of those solar flares hits and takes out all of wonderful technology people aren't going to be able to speak to one another because they're so used to just typing/texting everything. Although....considering those are the same people I can't stand to hear speak, the silence might be a nice change too. lol

Rosie - posted on 10/03/2010

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i don't know if it's where i live, but i don't see any of this stuff happening. people seem competant as ever. now, my sister in law has a few screws loose, but she has always been in special ed classes and doesn't have a great home life, so i get why she is the way she is. my best friend teaches comp I, and comp II at 2 of our local community colleges, and the stories i hear from her make me want to scream i guess. she says that alot of them turn in their papers with text speak, and can't understand the basic functions of reading and writing essays. although she says that it mostly happens in the college in waterloo. waterloo is about an hour north of us, and it's more of a ghetto town. more crime, less money-so i guess i can see why that is like that as well.



i don't think that this generation is stupid, they just havn't been taught the skills they need. that's the fault of the education system, and to an extent their parents, not theirs.



and i like my push button ice maker, thank you very much!! that was a requirement when we were buying a new fridge, lol!

C. - posted on 10/03/2010

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@Sara.. I agree with Jodi. If they're being taught to use them and only that, it's totally different than being reliant on them.. In that case, I would approve of that. But if they start allowing children that young to use them all the time, then I'd have a problem with it.

Maria - posted on 10/03/2010

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I first used a calculator as a senior in High school and I was taking a statistic class where the scientific calculator was necessary for the complex calculations required. An overdependence on technology to the exclusion of being able to perform basic tasks is a form of stupidity. You can be a computer genius but if you cannot calculate 50% off at a store without a calculator you are missing a basic skill. 15 years ago I worked in a retail chain a rack of $20 items was on sale for 50% off. A woman asked me how much they cost. I was so surprised that she couldn't calculate this I just said "its 50% off $20", when she continued to stare at me blankly I said "its $10” This kind of functional illiteracy is handicapping a generation. Sentence structure, grammar, and spelling are necessary business skills, and what isn't taught in elementary schools, high schools or even college, falls on corporate trainers, and seminars to complete. I proofread everything my boss writes because her grammar is atrocious and if she sent some of her emails to her boss without them being reviewed she would look like a fool.

Jodi - posted on 10/03/2010

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Oh, that's different Sara. Learning to use one, but not being permitted to use them all the time is totally different.....I'd hate to see kids that age reliant on them. We need to know our times tables and basic long addition, subtraction, division and multiplication, even as adults, without using calculators!!

[deleted account]

Oh, and about the calculators in lower elementary classrooms....

I never taught math. And granted I was teaching fourth grade, not second. But the math teachers would pass out calculators for certain lessons, then pick them up again. The students were not allowed access to them all the time by any means. I don't see a problem with that.

[deleted account]

Haha I'm excited to be getting a sit/stand stroller for Christmas. I go for walks with my 2.5 year old all the time and I can't see her keeping up once the baby has taken over her stroller. She'll be almost 3 when the baby arrives, but I think she'll enjoy the sit/stand. I think I will too!

C. - posted on 10/03/2010

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Aww!!! Makes me sad to think how I'll react when my son becomes a teenager lol!

Jodi - posted on 10/03/2010

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Tell me about it......my oldest baby just became a teenager :( Proud of him, but it was like yesterday he was my baby!!!

C. - posted on 10/03/2010

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I don't, either.. Maybe some people just don't want their 'babies' to grow up. I can understand that, as I have a love-hate relationship with my son growing up b/c he is my baby.. BUT at the same time.. You HAVE to cut the apron strings.

Stifler's - posted on 10/03/2010

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2 you need a stroller for long walks but 5?! I saw a pic in a magazine once and I swear Brian McFaddens kids looked about 8 and they were riding in strollers.

C. - posted on 10/03/2010

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I don't know about using a stroller for a five year old.. But I DO use a stroller SOMETIMES, still.. But my son is 2 and sometimes it's still needed :/

Jodi - posted on 10/03/2010

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I can't believe people are still pushing 5 year olds in strollers....but I will say I DID see one the other day and did a double take. This kid was much bigger than Taylah (Taylah is % 1/2 but she is very small for her age), and I honestly did stare and had to stop myself because I felt I was being rude.

Charlie - posted on 10/03/2010

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Yes those caculators Jodi !
Before we had those not even basic calculators were allowed in our class .

Stifler's - posted on 10/03/2010

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We had calculators in primary school for large sums, not 1+1. In high school we were expected to know times tables and long division, calculators are for algebra and quadratic equations etc.

Stifler's - posted on 10/03/2010

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This generation are only this way because of the generation who raised them. who's opushing the stroller with the 5 year old in it? Who's still cleaning up after their 15 year old instead of teaching them how to do it themself?

Jodi - posted on 10/03/2010

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Would that be because they are the scientific calculators these days Loureen? When I was a kid, it was a REALLY basic calculator in Year 7, the scientific ones we didn't get until Year 9 because they were too expensive back than. Jayden now has a scientific one, and I have tried using it, but he lost the instructions, so I'm clueless. But I can still work it all out manually!!!!!

Charlie - posted on 10/03/2010

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WOW , we were not allowed caculators until grade 8 ( second year of highschool ) and that was 1998 !

C. - posted on 10/03/2010

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@Denikka.. That's nuts! I wasn't allowed to use a calculator in school until 5th grade.. FIFTH GRADE!!! And I thought THAT was too soon. I'm telling you now.. If my son ever comes home from school and he's only in 2nd or 3rd grade and a calculator is on the list.. His teacher and I will be having a nice long talk. That's just ridiculous.



@Sara.. The earlier kids learn to use calculators, the more apt they will be to become reliant on them, which is not good. Calculators are fine if you're doing bills, have like 10 different things you have to add up that are not single-digit and want a very accurate amount.. But for simple addition of 2 or 3 numbers? That's totally not necessary, IMO.

Tah - posted on 10/02/2010

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i agree and it's the parents fault as well as technology. My children are in the kitchen helping me cook, so they are learning to measure and use can openers, they have to fold and hang clothes. What was on my daughter's class supply list, a calculator for 3rd grade and we weren't allowed to use them at that grade. i think some things need to be taught to show them independence and life may not be so easy all the time.

Jodi - posted on 10/02/2010

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Sara, I think once children learn to use a calculator and are permitted to use them, they become lazy, therefore using their calculators when really, gaining practice of their basic math skills by NOT using it is the better option. I don't believe calculators should be used UNTIL the basic skills have been mastered. Just my opinion though.

Jodi - posted on 10/02/2010

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I will add that my children know how to do all those things listed in the article. Heck, my 5 year old even knows her herbs....she can point them out in any garden. My kids have a uniform where they MUST wear lace up shoes to school.

It's not that this generation of kids are dumber, its that the parents of this generation of kids are wiping their noses for them.

[deleted account]

Why couldn't schools use calculators and teach math skills simultaneously? I understand that it's bad news to be totally reliant on calculators. That's not what I'm talking about.

Jodi - posted on 10/02/2010

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"When I was in grade 4, we started being allowed to use calculators. That was 1998-99."

When I was a kid, we weren't permitted calculators until we started high school (Year 7). That was in the early 80s. We had to know how to do it all manually.......

But my son has had to learn to do it all manually at his school too, he only started using a calculator regularly last year when he was in Year 6 and they started doing Algebra. I think any school who allows such young children to use calculators is being lazy, because it means they are not having to teach them how to do it manually. Being able to do basic math manually is a skill that will always be used in everyday life and everyone should know how to do it, regardless of the technology available.

Denikka - posted on 10/02/2010

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Christina, I sincerely WISH I was kidding about the calculators in 1st and 2nd grade...but I'm not. When I was in grade 4, we started being allowed to use calculators. That was 1998-99. By the time I was in grade 7 and was leaving that elementary school (01-02) I was seeing calculators in use occasionally in the grade 2 classroom and frequently in the grade 3 one. I went back to visit in 2006 or so and yup, grade 2 classroom was using calculators just about every day.
I also have siblings that are 5, 8 and 11 years younger than me. My youngest brother (who is 11 now and in 4th grade this year) cannot do simple double digit addition or subtraction with ANY kind of accuracy. He occasionally gets *Mad Minutes*. 50 math questions (either addition OR subtraction, not both on one page) In grade 2 I was doing those same sheets and completing them in a minute accurately (getting 45+ correct out of 50). My brother completes MAYBE half (25 questions in a minute) and out of those, gets less than half a dozen correct. He's not the only one, I've seen this trend with many other kids too. That's the state of the school system where I live anyways.
And just to mention, I did not go to the same school as my siblings, so it's not just an individual school that has gone downhill.
The oldest (my sister who is currently in grade 10 and 16yrs old) cannot spell and can only do very basic math. Granted she is much more oriented towards skills using her hands and not booksmarts, but without the basics, she can't even think to qualify for any kind of trade.
That's where my city's at. It's pretty universal (from what I've seen) that what I've mentioned is an accurate cross section of the state of our students. It sucks...and it terrifies me.

[deleted account]

I don't think kids are dumber today, they just have different skills. I'm concerned about the number of children who don't have any life skills though. I'm also a little bit concerned that kids are being taught computer skills and using calculators befor they have even mastered the basics. It seems like schools spend a lot of money on fancy classrooms with the best technology available, but they still fail to deliver. I would love to see a proper return to the 3 R's. I would also love to see kids being encourged to make up their own entertainment with more unstructured play time in school and less TV channels targeted at children and teens when they're at home.

C. - posted on 10/02/2010

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Denikka, PLEASE tell me you're joking about the calculators in 1st and 2nd grade???

I agree.. If technology fails, a LOT of people are going to be in deep trouble b/c they don't have all the basic skills to do much of anything.

And, while it may not just be that the more technology we use and may be in part by attitude, the technology certainly doesn't help. Yes, it makes life easier.. But what are people really learning?

Denikka - posted on 10/02/2010

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It's not so much the technology (although I admit it IS a problem to rely so heavily on it) I think the problem is much more about the ATTITUDE that kids are displaying. Helplessness is right.
Teens and young adults can't do basic math anymore without computers, so what happens when the electronic till goes down? The store goes down.
What about budgeting? Most can't do a simple tally of the items they're buying to figure out an estimate of what it's going to cost them.

School is skipping over the basics and society is letting them. I have know grade 1 and 2 classes that were allowed to use calculators in day to day lessons. That doesn't teach the kids ANYTHING.
We've become complacent in skills that are needed, and a lot of people even tend to completely disregard skills that, while maybe not needed day to day, are still reasonable to have, or at least be able to figure out (like the ice cubes). We're gonna end up like the people on Wall-E. Fat and lazy and completely incapable of thinking or doing anything for ourselves.

I dunno about you, but my kid's gonna learn basic math before ever being allowed to use a calculator. He's going to learn the basics of running a house. And he's damn well gonna learn how to get ice cubes out of a tray along with all the other archaic skills (like priming a pump and milking a cow) if it's at all possible, because what happens if technology fails? My kid will survive just fine.....yours...well lets hope they find some initiative somewhere.

(PS: this isn't directed at anyone in particular....I'm just getting more and more frustrated with society in general)

Jessica - posted on 10/02/2010

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I totally agree, but I don't think it just has to do with technology. It has to do with the fact schools won't fail kids anymore because it might hurt there self esteem and that kids can't be taught a lesson because that might hurt there feelings,so instead divert there attention to something else... The up coming generations are going to be full of a bunch of whiny,full of themselves dumb shits...with great self esteem. I plan on raising my little girl the way I was raised and I feel some hope in knowing alot of my friends feel the same way. I've actually gone so far as to think about home schooling when the time comes..except I want her to have the social aspect of school as well...I just want her to be a hell of alot smarter then the school systems teach kids to be these days. (ps- for the teachers, I don't blame you, i know you have to follow guildlines and such)

C. - posted on 10/02/2010

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I don't even really have to read the article to know I agree with it.. Reminds me of a similar thread started just this past week. It's sad, really.

JOCELYN... That's just plain sad.

I have always felt that the more technology we use, the dumber everyone gets. People have it too easy anymore that they can't do even the simplest task w/O asking someone older.

Petra - posted on 10/02/2010

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I think a dependence on technology is fine, as long as you have at least a basic understanding of how said technology works. Your average kid can use a cell phone and send an email, but do they know how it actually works? Parents still have an obligation to educate their children at home and teach them above & beyond what they learn in school. My mind was blown as a kid when my parents explained what was actually happening when I picked up the phone and dialed my grandma's number and she and I could have a conversation. If you took away modern technology, could our kids come up with a replacement? If the answer is no, then there is most definitely a problem. I think most kids have are clueless about the complexity of modern gadgets but are heavily reliant upon them - and therein lies the problem.

Jessica - posted on 10/02/2010

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My students don't know how to use their syllabus, don't know how to write a complete sentence, cannot read above an 8th grade level (in many cases).

This is an issue with education, allowing children to get through to the next year/grade without the required reading and writing skills or even the understanding of Maths and Science is dooming them to failure. Not giving proper support and help to those who need it, at home as well as in school, is the issue at hand. Not technology dependence. I find a lot of the time that kids don't have an urge to learn, don't want to better themselves and most of the time that is the attitude they have adopted from their parents. 'We can't do any better, so there is no point in trying'.

I still think that, in general, kids are quite smart and are routinely underestimated by the 'older generation'. But I think this is more to do with having information at their fingertips in the form of the internet and I think that the education system is severely lacking in terms of instilling a love of learning and allowing authority figures to discipline.

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