Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

The Dumbest Generation?

with one comment

Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein thinks “digital culture” has made Millennials “the dumbest generation.” AARP the Magazine lets me—a humble, dumb Millennial—respond:

The Dumbest Generation misinterprets shifting cultural tastes as evidence of irreparable decay. Bauerlein bemoans the lack of youth attendance at ballets and classical-music concerts, but neglects to say why these art forms should be any more conducive to artistic development or appreciation than indie rock or step-dancing. Besides, how many prior generations actually favored ballet and classical music as forms of youth entertainment?

Today’s teens and 20-somethings will invariably fall short of Bauerlein’s opera-loving, book-devouring, TV-phobic archetype of young persons past. But what if we look at generational measures that can be compared using cold, hard data—standardized test scores, for instance? “On some measures,” Bauerlein concedes, “today’s teenagers and 20-year-olds perform no worse than yesterday’s.” But he quickly brushes this aside, insisting that it “doesn’t mean that today’s shouldn’t do better…with such drastic changes in U.S. culture and education in the last half-century.” Maybe it doesn’t—but neither does it support the contention that today’s young folks are dumber than ever before.

Whole thing here.

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Written by Elizabeth

July 30, 2009 at 11:45 am

Posted in Books, Self-Promotion

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Dumber – NO! Less well educated in some areas … maybe. The worst elements are undoubtedly less caring, connected to society, relate less to the establishment and, in some instances, just don’t give a damn about anyone or anything, which cannot be good for society.

    But, dumber? The guy who thinks that is just plain dunb!

    AF

    August 1, 2009 at 4:43 am


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