The Dumbest Generation


Mark Bauerlein presents an interesting argument in his latest book. Are American’s children getting dumber? Mr. Bauerlein says so.

Test scores are down, literacy is down, and children are apathetic to learning.


He blames instant access communication, why be bothered to learn history when you can Google it? I’ve seen students talk about “homework help” sites that do nothing but give them answers.

In my line of work as a substitute school teacher I’m afforded a glimpse into the world of learning in public schools around my city. Mr. Bauerline is right on the money, America’s children are stupid… and getting dumber.

Granted the research and tests show a steep downward curve, but, for every 25 students who care less, I’ve found 2 or 3 outliers who want to strive for greatness.

He calls today’s modern students “Rip Van Winkle’s” in that the world is changing before their apathetic eyes.

This was an eye opening account of how poor education in America has gotten. Though, for me, the main detractor was the cover. It depicts an RX-77 Gundam and two Power Ranger zords hoisting an American flag, a picture that brings to mind the famous flag raising on Iwo Jima.

What was the author trying to convey with this image? That people who enjoy Gundam are the worst of the bunch? In my experience, Gundam fans (and most anime fans in particular) are among the brightest students I’ve ever found.

The Dumbest Generation


2 Responses to “The Dumbest Generation”

  1. Is this at all accurate? Let’s look at the Internet – a primarily text-based medium. You have to be able to read to do most anything involving a computer, which in my mind would put regular computer-users high up on the literacy ladder. I won’t deny that dropping test scores and the like are very real phenomena but is “the Internet” really the right scapegoat?

    And in any case, what is the problem with people being able to Google answers to problems? Back in the middle ages people did the same thing, except they had to take trips to the city to talk to scholars and got bad / incomplete advice from neighbors. Perhaps the quality of information has not improved… but the quantity, accessibility, and probability that the right answer is available SOMEWHERE have gone way way way up.

  2. Bradley Hall Says:

    He mentions how people read on the Internet as opposed to a book. People don’t always read everyword on a page.

    As for the Internet being the sole problem, I doubt it’s the only one, but it’s definately being used as a tool to avoid work.

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