Thursday, June 28, 2018

Why Are American Students Falling Behind? (The Collapse of Parenting: Chapter 4)

As a teacher, I would say this chapter is very much applicable to Canada as well.

Academic Performance and Creativity  are both on a sharp decline. Why?

  • Over investment in technology (tablets, smartboards, laptops).
    • The best countries (academically) have classrooms that are "utilitarian and sparse" with old fashioned chalk boards.
  • Overemphasis on sports.
  • Low selectivity in teacher training.
  • Culture of Disrespect.
    • Schools seeking to make education cool and fun because it then requires less classroom management.
      • No! Solution isn't to make school an arcade. It's to create a culture where students want to please adults, not look cool to peers!
    • There is a decline in college degrees and critical thinking barely improves over four years even when they do go to college -- the education is mediocre.
"Simply being exposed to American culture in the interval between 2000-2012--the era of Lady Gaga, Akon, Eminem, Justin Bieber, and Miley Cyrus--might have a corrosive effect on rational thinking (Sax 90)
The Upshot

  • Don't jump on the tech bandwagon by being fooled by its proposed "educational value".
  • Inculcate the desire to please adults not peers.
  • Creativity is necessary for success and academic performance.

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