Finally! (Last Response to The Dumbest Generation!)

“Finally!”  I finally got to the last chapter of this book, and I finally feel that he is starting to say something a little more worthwhile for people interested in helping the so called “Dumbest Generation.”  Bauerlein took almost the entire book just continuously discussing the shortcomings of a technology driven generation!  Technology is not all bad, and he does say that there are things that technology brings forth, but he never gives any research about how it is helping or improving student’s reading abilities, understanding, and comprehension.  It was extremely frustrating to hear it over and over.  However, in the final chapter after he gets past his anecdote of Rip Van Winkle, he talks about the importance of knowing about the past in order to keep from repeating it.  Basically, what I understood from that was that ignorance is the cause to destruction, which I do agree with, and he also goes on to say, “Web-based intellectuals develop an audience of agreeable minds…”  This is interesting because this is exactly what I felt that I had been doing in my blog posts is simply just agreeing, but I do not agree with Bauerlein, and basically, I get the impression that he does not want me to just agree with him!  However, he gives the example of the New York Intellectuals and then the New Left, and he makes it seem like, unless I am not understanding this, that they (the New Left) did not really know what they were doing:  “A New Left came along and prosecuted a culture war that began the steady deterioration of intellectual life among young Americans.”  And now, I guess I am a little confused about what I read… Okay this seemed to help a little…  This might be better since I am part of the “Dumbest Generation”:  Ali Swank posted a clip from Arguing the World.

He continues to discuss the matters of needing intellectuals, but he does not offer up solutions!! I like solutions, and I know that it stems for teaching.  However, there needs to be more research of what works to help produce the intellectuals he says that we need.  Obviously technology is not going to go away, so how do we use it to improve The Dumbest Generation?  He just states ” It isn’t funny anymore.” Well, obviously, you have provided almost 200 pages of research saying how bad it is… “The Dumbest Generation cares little for history books, civic principles, foreign affairs, comparative religions, and serious media and art, and it knows less.”  It is available so give something useful to help…

“Teachers try to impart knowledge, but students today remember only that which suits their careers or advantages their social lives.”

All he says is “The moral poles need to reverse, with the young no longer setting the pace for right conduct and cool thinking… The Dumbest Generation will only cease being dumb only when it regards adolescence as an inferior realm of petty strivings and adulthood as a realm of civic, historical, and cultural awareness that puts them in touch with the perennial ideals and struggles.”  Okay, so we will get them to change by having them….??? Read your book?  Hear the criticisms that will probably irritate them because all you are doing is basically telling them how stupid they are going to end up being?? That’s a good way to change the thinking of a generation that seems to be over-confident.  Have you ever told a confident person that they suck at what it is they are “good” at?  It does not go over well…

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About ajackson122

I am a high school English teacher and have been for the past five years. I enjoy teaching, coaching, traveling, reading, writing, and watching films.

Posted on July 11, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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