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Author Topic: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped  (Read 1532 times)

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2008, 10:31:50 AM »
sorry but all I have to say is....lol daily mail <_<
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Re: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2008, 09:58:14 PM »
It's not that their brainpower has slipped, it's that it's now distributed to other less essential things lol.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 02:29:35 PM »
Every generation thinks the new generation is less able and more coddled than they were, lol when I was young it was tv and music, now it's computer games. Bah, less people do science because there are very few good jobs in it. The way they are taught is also leaning more towards communications and technology, not abstract science and math. I mean my daughter's science curriculum seems more interested in teaching her the parts of a microscope than about what she is seeing through it!
Rubbish!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2008, 11:48:50 AM »
Some studies have shown that the rapid edit style of our television/movies, and the pressure to do more multi-tasking impacts brain-development.  To compensate with the rapidly changing information & visual stimulus, the brain slowly grows to adapt and handle it, but the downside is that make the brain less adept at doing long-term thinking.  How big an impact that has on today's youth is not entirely clear, but it obviously has an effect.

However, I think overall brainpower isn't that much different now then before.  Instead it's our education system that is slipping, especially over the last couple decades.  You can also see evidence of it in national test scores.

From what I've seen, public education was continuing to get better until around the 1960's.  At that point it kind of hit a plateau.  This is fairly easy to see by comparing the education of someone raised in say the 1930's-1940's vs. 1950's-1960's.  My grandparents who grew up during the depression/WWII timeframe, got an ok high school education, but that was all.  My parents who grew up in the 50's/60's got a very good high school education, as well as college degrees.

I grew up in the 70's/80's timeframe, and I got a good high school education, roughly on par with my father's education from what I've been able to deduce.  I also went on to college and got a degree.

Since the late 1980's, the education system seems to be on a steady decline.  My wife (10 years younger than me) attended school in the 80's/90's timeframe.  The contrast between our educations is rather profound.  There are so many things I learned in school that they never bothered to teach kids her age.  But her education seems like a doctoral program compared to the education some of her younger relatives have received in the last few years.  One of the biggest problems is NCLB.  We need to get rid of that piece of crap legislation ASAP.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 07:26:17 AM »
I think it's the students not wanting to learn rather then the schools resources.
I see plenty of students at school that are smart and those who aren't, and it's probably due to how much work they do at school.

There isn't any motivation to learn, if it was up to me I'd bring back the whip. Then I'd actully do my homework.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Re: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 04:23:51 PM »
Motivation might be part of it, but I think it's more than just that.  There are several underlying problems...

#1 Parents don't spend enough time with their kids.  This is partly due to almost all homes now featuring both parents working full-time.  When parents get home from their long days at work, they are too exhausted to spend time with their kids to make sure they are doing their homework, and helping them learn.

#2 Kids have more distractions nowadays.  When they get home from school, I suspect a large portion of them play games on console or PC, or watch TV instead of doing homework.  The lack of parental supervision (see problem #1) is a direct influence on this.

#3 Schools have needed to scale back the curriculum.  Because the students aren't keeping up with the normal amount of material (due to  #1 & #2), the schools end up having to reduce how much they present in the classes.  The result is that kids are taught far less, and often it's only the bare minimum.

#4 In order to deal with the wimpier curriculum, as well as the less educated kids, grading methods have eroded to the point where "just trying" will earn a passing grade.  Kids are no longer being challenged to think or perform, but rather they are rewarded just for showing up.  With enough "just trying" they eventually get passed thru the system out into the job market.  Once upon a time, a high school diploma meant something.  Nowadays it's worth about as much as a piece of toilet paper.

#5 NCLB (No Child Left Behind) has corrupted the education system.  In an attempt to fix the problems in the schools (#3 & #4), it enforces more standardized testing to try to force schools to improve.  The problem is that #3 & #4 are actually symptoms resulting from #1 & #2, so this law does nothing to address the root problem.  In fact it is backfiring entirely.  In response to the NCLB testing, schools have changed their teaching to concentrate on just what the NCLB tests, instead of giving kids a full education.  So instead of actually teaching kids to think for themselves, students are now being taught how to pass the NCLB tests, and not much else.  Failing to show steady year-to-year progress on NCLB tests can be a death sentance funding-wise for a school, so it isn't surprising that they are devoting their limited funding and resources to do this.

#6 Finally, my own pet peeve - sports.  In many schools, the budget and time priority for sports trumps everything else.  When it comes down to practice on the court vs. time spent on homework, sports invariably wins.  For too many kids, homework ends up a last priority, and it is often skipped entirely.  Personally, I think sports are great, but they should not be a part of school. Schools should be purely for academic learning.  Phy Ed can still be part of that education, but it would just be a class on equal ground with science, math, etc.  Organized sports could instead be handled at a city or community level outside of school either on week nights or weekends.  I know that to many having sports in school is a sacred cow, but IMHO, it is a cow that should be slaughtered for the sake of improving our education system.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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Re: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 07:38:45 PM »
Quote from: "Kalendraf"
In response to the NCLB testing, schools have changed their teaching to concentrate on just what the NCLB tests, instead of giving kids a full education.  So instead of actually teaching kids to think for themselves, students are now being taught how to pass the NCLB tests, and not much else.
That's actually what's been happening in my country for years. The kids are memorizing past year's papers in the hope that questions will be repeated, and hence prove a score. But once they get out of school, they're clueless about the world and everything they've supposedly learnt. Anything taught to them gets challenged "Is it going to come out in the exams? Else I'm not interested." I used to be of that mentality myself, till I decided that it was more enriching to actually be interested in what you learn and not just learn to score.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Re: How the brainpower of today's 14-year-olds has slipped
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2008, 11:21:45 PM »
As a 14 year old Singaporean, I think i can provide a counterpoint to what you all are discussing about.

Quote
That's actually what's been happening in my country for years. The kids are memorizing past year's papers in the hope that questions will be repeated, and hence prove a score.

This actually does not really happen as much after the Chinese syllabus "nerf". Basically, chinese, which used to be the pinnacle of rote memory subjects, was changed to support more reading/understanding skills as opposed to memorizing the textbook by heart. Most welcomed the change, but some, such as I, lamented it as it was a sure fire way to score if you put in the effort, the new method requires talking in chinese alot, and it can be difficult for some to find willing participants

Quote
"Is it going to come out in the exams? Else I'm not interested."

I still have this mentality. The reason is simple, it saves time and its a proven method of scoring. Time saved can be used to study other subjects. In Singapore, you have to be the best or you are not going to survive. That means you HAVE to do whatever it takes to beat the rest. For many of us in the "better" schools, it means sacrificing recreation time, so we can maintain being the best. Ultimately this method of studying( rejecting anything other then what is required) is what will get us into a good University/Poly course, and then we will work even harder to learn the skills we need.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »