Sunday, November 13, 2005

They Don't Know; They Don't Care That They Don't Know

A troubling article on the state of recent college graduates and the attitudes many (not all) have toward broadening their education. Read this and see why I've become so emotionally tired after more than 30 years as a teacher.


Anja Maria said...

That is sad. It's somewhat true, I guess, although I think that apathy has as much to do with upbringing and with the first few years of education as it does with mainstream culture. Many little kids are encouraged to watch television constantly, because it keeps them quiet. That's not good for cultivating curiosity. They should be reading books and spewing forth a relentless stream of questions.

The article also makes a good point about the specialization of knowledge... I don't know many people these days who want to be jacks-of-all-trades. Many brilliant math people have trouble expressing themselves in writing, and so on. They don't feel the other fields are worth mastering.

There are exceptions, though. Ken and I would both like to spend the rest of our lives at university, just learning things. We got lucky: we have teacher parents, we attended a good high school, we have a house filled with books. There are a few ways to fight mainstream culture.

I've read On The Road (I didn't like it, especially, but it was good for me. It was the first time I realized that teenagers in all eras have very similar mentalities.). As for knowing my teachers' names... well, I'm not so sure about that.

Pablo said...

One of my past teachers recommended a very enlightening author that had much to say about the effects of knowledge specialization, the effects TV and computers on the thinking process, etc. Check out Neil Postman's works (e.g., "Technopoly" and "Amusing Ourselves to Death").