Really? That’s Enough Now! (Dumbest Generation: Response 2)
Okay, right now, The Dumbest Generation is really irritating… I cannot help but to think that Bauerlein cannot find one thing good to say about the Millenials!! It’s quite annoying to read over and over again that you are a part of a generation that does not read, is not performing academically because they are not reading, and the severe consequences that will come if it does not change. I’m about halfway through the book, and he has not yet given one suggestion on what needs to happen to help fix it. He says that “Of all sports and leisure activities measured, reading came in last. Moreover, in the Bureau of Labor Statistics design, ‘reading’ signified just about any pursuit with a text: Harry Potter on the bus, a story on last night’s basketball game on, or the back of the cereal box during breakfast” (49). I’m wondering if he is questioning the reading of these texts. Because in this class, we have been discussing the importance of reading, understanding, and analyzing other models of texts. Why is that a problem? Is he also saying that these kids read them but don’t understand them and what they are really seeing? I think that reading and examining those texts will help students to improve intellectually because although not “print” texts, they do have value!
He also continuously gives research articles and surveys, one after the other, and they are all saying the same thing, which I understand, but why not bring in other research other than just surveys where they are asking questions and just standardized test scores… Do test scores necessarily measure understanding and intelligence in every aspect?
I mean I think he does have a point, and I agree that students are reading less and less and choosing to do other activities instead of reading for leisure, or they are simply reading novels like Harry Potter. And the fact that “46.9% of entering students graduate within five years” is kind of ridiculous, but how many of those students don’t finish in that time frame because of other reasons? What about the students that have to limit the number of classes because they are putting themselves through school or because of other personal reasons?
So, I did a little bit of research, and I found an articlethat states other reasons of why students cannot seem to graduate. In the article “Time Is the Enemy,” it states, “seventy-five percent of today’s students are juggling some combination of families, jobs, and school while commuting to class; Part-time students rarely graduate; Poor students and students of color struggle the most to graduate; Students are taking too many credits and too much time to complete ; and Remediation is broken, producing few students who ultimately graduate.” The article goes more into detail discussing why these are the cases. So, it is interesting to note that there are other reasons, other than the fact that students are not reading as much and therefore can’t handle college.
So, if Bauerlein is right, and the reason students are not as successful is because of the lack of reading, then how do we fix this? Where does the answer lie?