Monday, September 08, 2008

Shunning The Stupid

There's an interesting set of articles up at The Chronicle of Higher Education with the delightfully terse titles "On Stupidity" and "On Stupidity, Part 2". The first is a review of several books which collectively makes the argument that:
Americans, particularly those now entering college, have been rendered "stupid" by a convergence of factors including traditional anti-intellectualism, consumer culture, the entertainment industry, political correctness, religious fundamentalism, and postmodern relativism, just to name [a few].
While this smacks of "round up the usual suspects", the author makes the case in Part 2 that pedagogy has trailed technology, and so a teaching emphasis on using electronic tools effectively and intelligently can offset some of the damage done by young people's absorption in the medium. It would be nice to think so, wouldn't it?

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