MadameConcorde
Topic Author
Posts: 9197
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:08 pm

Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:43 pm

How do you stack up with eighth graders of more than one hundred years ago?

The following document was transcribed from the original document in the collection of the SmokyValley Genealogy Society, Salina, Kansas. This test is the original eighth-grade final exam for 1895 from Salina, KS.

An interesting note is the fact that the county students taking this test were allowed to take the test in the 7th grade, and if they did not pass the test at that time, they were allowed to re-take it again in the 8th grade.

Smoky Valley Genealogical Society
EXAMINATION GRADUATION QUESTIONS
OF SALINE COUNTY, KANSAS
April 13, 1895
J.W. Armstrong, County Superintendent.

************************

GRAMMAR
(Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case. Illustrate each case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7-10 Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

************************

ARITHMETIC
(Time, 1 ¼ hour)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weights 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. Per bu., deducting 1050 lbs for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 per cent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per m?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 per cent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

*************************************

U.S. HISTORY
(Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whtney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.

*******************************************

ORTHOGRAPHY
(Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthogaphy, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret “u”.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final “e”. Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, super.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

*****************************************

GEOGRAPHY
(Time, one hour)

1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of N.A.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall, and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.


BIOLOGY
(45 minutes)

1. Where are the saliva, gastric juice, and bile secreted? What is the use of each in digestion?
2. How does nutrition reach the circulation?
3. What is the function of the liver? Of the kidneys?
4. How would you stop the flow of blood from an artery in the case of laceration?
5. Give some general directions that you think would be beneficial to preserve the human body in a state of health.


http://www.thecrowhouse.com/8th_test.html
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 9800
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:19 pm

http://www.snopes.com/language/document/1895exam.asp

Status: False

However, I do think our education standards have lapsed. That's not a judgement based on anything other than an observation of how many people I meet with High School degrees and sometimes college degrees who cannot speak their native language correctly, or can't solve simple math problems without a calculator.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
Charles79
Posts: 1117
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:35 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:51 pm

Wow, fascinating find Madame!

Of interest is what appears to be the goal of our education system back then. Based on some of the questions in this test it appears that their goal was not necessarily to prepare students for college or even secondary school. Rather, it was to prepare them for life (otherwise why bother teaching them about basic banking and real life calculations for farm products). Our current system for some reason has lost this goal and sort of depends on either college or real life to complete our education.

No matter how you look at it or which measurement you use, IMO it is clear that our education system is not the best it could be. Sad really that our society is more concerned with wealth, tech gadgets, fancy houses, shiny cars and overall material things rather than providing our youngsters with a solid foundation for life.
 
fr8mech
Posts: 6580
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:51 pm

We are absolutely dumbing down are kids in an effort to:

-save money
-encourage conformity
-spread diversity (no the 2 aren't at odds with each other)

I think one of the stupidest things put together by Bush II was "No Child Left Behind". First, it interfered where the Federal government shouldn't: local schools. Second, it assumed that every district, school and student were the same and capable of the same. Hogwash.

In order for schools to meet the goals or benchmarks, they have to teach to the lowest denominator. Therefore, the kids that can excel do so in spite of the system rather than with the system's support.

Of course, I'm being very general. There are exceptions and they should be celebrated.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
fr8mech
Posts: 6580
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:55 pm



Quoting Charles79 (Reply 2):
Of interest is what appears to be the goal of our education system back then. Based on some of the questions in this test it appears that their goal was not necessarily to prepare students for college or even secondary school.

Primary and secondary schools should teach curricula that prepare kids for life, not college or university. It should prepare them to be functioning, contributing members of society. Teach those skills and college preparation will take care of itself.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
rabenschlag
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2000 10:28 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:24 pm

At least the IQ seems to stagnate since a couple of years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect
 
seb146
Posts: 13768
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:48 pm

I find something interesting:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Thread starter):
GEOGRAPHY
(Time, one hour)

1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of N.A.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall, and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.


BIOLOGY
(45 minutes)

1. Where are the saliva, gastric juice, and bile secreted? What is the use of each in digestion?
2. How does nutrition reach the circulation?
3. What is the function of the liver? Of the kidneys?
4. How would you stop the flow of blood from an artery in the case of laceration?
5. Give some general directions that you think would be beneficial to preserve the human body in a state of health

From KANSAS! Isn't that the state that has a group (or groups) more interested in teaching Creationism rather than evolution? Wouldn't these sections go against that?

I would much rather have kids learning this stuff than learning how to take tests. Can you imagine how people would sound if they had to learn how to diagram sentences or learned how to spell?
Life in the wall is a drag.
 
dragon6172
Posts: 795
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:06 pm



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 6):
From KANSAS! Isn't that the state that has a group (or groups) more interested in teaching Creationism rather than evolution? Wouldn't these sections go against that?

The quoted test is supposedly from 1895... was Creationism and evolution such a huge argument in Kansas back then?
Phrogs Phorever
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 19604
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:20 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Thread starter):
How do you stack up with eighth graders of more than one hundred years ago?

Not so well if you want me to know how big a bushel of wheat is. That's not really relevant knowledge in 2009 unless you're a farmer. And even then, I don't think they use bushels anymore.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
BMI727
Posts: 11090
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:06 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
And even then, I don't think they use bushels anymore.

That is still how grain prices are quoted I believe.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 1):
I meet with High School degrees and sometimes college degrees who cannot speak their native language correctly

Language changes. Anyone from 1895 would probably tell us that we aren't speaking our native language correctly. I alway chuckle when I hear people lament about the use of texting shorthand by young people today but similar shortening of the language was common in the era of morse code as well. The way I speak is not the same as people 100 years ago, nor will it be the same as English 100 years from now and I have yet to see any evidence showing that is a bad thing.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 1):
or can't solve simple math problems without a calculator.

How is that bad? I use a calculator to check myself all of the time. Furthermore pocket calculators are given away for free and almost everyone has one on their cell phone. The arithmetic is less important than the actual mathematical problem solving skills.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
TheCol
Posts: 1857
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:30 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:19 pm



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
The arithmetic is less important than the actual mathematical problem solving skills.

There are plenty of situations in life where you can't pull out a calculator and punch in a bunch of numbers. There are many jobs where people need to make precise calculations in a matter of seconds. Besides, basic arithmetic is the foundation to everything else. Kids who can't do it in their heads are going to learn even slower when it comes to more advanced mathematics.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 9800
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:16 pm



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Language changes. Anyone from 1895 would probably tell us that we aren't speaking our native language correctly.

The language changes very slowly. Coloquialisms, slang and dialects change more often, but should not be counted as proper language. Cockney or ebonics, for instance, is simply evidence of a bad education.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
How is that bad? I use a calculator to check myself all of the time. Furthermore pocket calculators are given away for free and almost everyone has one on their cell phone. The arithmetic is less important than the actual mathematical problem solving skills.

As I've had the experience dozens of times, I'm sure you've seen it as well. You go to a store, and give the cashier some cash, but the register is busted, and she can't figure out in her head how much money to give you from your $10 bill for a $9.26 purchase.

Or, for the same purchase, you give her $10 and 26 cents change out of your pocket, so that you get a dollar bill back (I hate change. God knows how many times I've done that and thrown the cashier for a loop - you can see steam coming out of their ears, trying to figure out what to do. I'll explain that I want a dollar back, and they think I'm trying to pull a fast one.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11090
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:27 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
The language changes very slowly. Coloquialisms, slang and dialects change more often, but should not be counted as proper language.

If people use them, then coloqialisms and slang absolutely are part of the language.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
Or, for the same purchase, you give her $10 and 26 cents change out of your pocket, so that you get a dollar bill back (I hate change. God knows how many times I've done that and thrown the cashier for a loop - you can see steam coming out of their ears, trying to figure out what to do. I'll explain that I want a dollar back, and they think I'm trying to pull a fast one.

I usually don't try that for that reason. But quite frankly, there is usually a reason why that person is working at Wal-Mart and not somewhere else. I guess our disagreement is because we have a different definition of simple math problems.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 10):
are many jobs where people need to make precise calculations in a matter of seconds.

And many where you don't. Not every child has to be a rocket scientist. A basic sub-calculus high school math education will suffice for a lot of people.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Braniff747SP
Posts: 2565
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:56 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:41 am



Quoting MadameConcorde (Thread starter):
Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Yes. Being in the 7th grade, I can tell you with confidence.
The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:04 am



Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 13):
Yes. Being in the 7th grade, I can tell you with confidence.

I been there done that, I think if you try hard and study you'll be smarter than any previous generation, but it is A LOT easier to just float on through the grades if you don't care. Better for the people that care I guess.
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
TheCol
Posts: 1857
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:30 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:16 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Not every child has to be a rocket scientist.

No, but a number of them will be pilots, engineers, computer programmers, dispatchers, surveyors, general contractors, police investigators, school teachers, etc.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11090
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:06 am



Quoting TheCol (Reply 15):
No, but a number of them will be pilots, engineers, computer programmers, dispatchers, surveyors, general contractors, police investigators, school teachers, etc.

Then those are the ones that need, and should get, classes in advanced math. The average insurance agent won't need to know that sort of thing. Things should not be taught just for the sake of teaching them but rather because they will be legitimately useful in life.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
directorguy
Posts: 1038
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:50 am

Education, a few generations back, would have been much more challenging, in the sense that you had to learn much more. However, only a relative minority ever got an education. Nowadays, access to education is greater, and although it is 'dumbed down', it gives students the opportunity to analyse and think, rather than memorise.
All in all, I'd prefer a modern-day education. A century (or half a century) all countries had corporal punishment, a rigorous framework that gave little opportunity to think outside the box.
 
Braniff747SP
Posts: 2565
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:56 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:49 pm



Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 14):
I been there done that, I think if you try hard and study you'll be smarter than any previous generation, but it is A LOT easier to just float on through the grades if you don't care. Better for the people that care I guess.

It is. I do care, as I want to be successful in life, but many of my peers don't think so far ahead. That's why school gets on my nerves sometimes-dome of the people say incredible things...Eg., On a political map, the teacher asked some kid to point to Egypt. He pointed to India, and he put his fingers right over the letters INDIA. This is a terrible example, but just the one that came of the top of my head.
The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:10 pm



Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 18):

Ha, I know the feeling. But remember, take lots of AP classes in high school! They really do help in college, I cannot stress that enough. Plus they look really good on applications. Take up an instrument just good enough to say "I can play ____" and do a sport a couple of those years, and with good grades as well, you will be lightyears ahead of INDIA kid  Smile

Success is not easy, but it's very doable
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:04 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 1):
r can't solve simple math problems without a calculator.

As a guy who has a severe mathematical handicap (I flunked every math class [on the first try] I took EVERY year in school, right up to college), I can say in many cases it's not because of lack of education, but some people just aren't that skilled at it. In my case it must be genetic, everybody in my mom's family is just as bad. At least nowadays I don't need a calculator for everything and I've gotten much better now that I don't go to school and can come up with my own methods of calculating, rather than having some methods that clearly don't work for me shoved down my throat as in school.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 15):
will be pilots,



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 16):
classes in advanced math.

I'd take pilots out of that group. I was taught advanced calculus and we were told by our (obviously none pilot) math teacher that we'd use it a lot in the cockpit  Yeah sure And how many times have I used calculus it in the cockpit? NONE, never have, and I know I never will.

Knowing basic algebra and trigonometry is much more than enough for flying from my experience. Yes, even for more complicated stuff like transatlantic flight planning and what not.

Knowing advanced calculus isn't gonna do crap for you when you're doing a partial panel approach down to minimums with an engine on fire.  headache 

Now if you're gonna be building and designing planes, then sure, you'll need to know that more advanced stuff.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11090
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:05 pm



Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 19):
But remember, take lots of AP classes in high school!

My high school didn't offer AP classes, but I made out okay. Admittedly, I cruised through high school and it hasn't really hurt me though I think I got lucky. Thinking of the future is great, but don't burn yourself out.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 20):
Now if you're gonna be building and designing planes, then sure, you'll need to know that more advanced stuff.

Even then complete memorization is rarely necessary. We are lucky enough now that we can get computers to do most of the work, you just need to know what is going on. Writing programs is a bit different, but again knowing the way it works is more important than being able to sit down with a paper and pencil and spit out the right numbers.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
User avatar
LTU932
Posts: 13069
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:34 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:37 pm



Quoting Fr8Mech (Reply 4):
Primary and secondary schools should teach curricula that prepare kids for life, not college or university. It should prepare them to be functioning, contributing members of society. Teach those skills and college preparation will take care of itself.

Agreed. Also, what pisses me off about education in this day and age is that everything is so centred on having a college education, that people who do not have neither the money nor the grades could feel like outcasts, even if they have completed high school or at least secondary education in the respective country.

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 17):
Nowadays, access to education is greater, and although it is 'dumbed down', it gives students the opportunity to analyse and think, rather than memorise.

You have never seen a "Bachillerato" exam in Costa Rica. Most of the stuff is about memorising (e.g. the Spanish exams, you're required to remember stuff that goes all the way back to 9th grade or even 7th grade!), especially in sciences. I had to do it, and it was difficult (except for the English exam, which was just too damn easy, most of us scored a 100 in it).

When I transitioned into the Abitur class (I was in the German school), it became way more difficult, and I've had problems with all the material I had to study, even though it was more about comprehension than memorising (our physics teacher tought us in such a way, that he must have thought we were all mathematical and physics geniuses, I almost flunked). In the end, the teachers weren't really helpful to those who were weaker in the most important subjects neither.

Despite all of my effort, I got an Abitur grade that makes it impossible for me to enter to most subjects that I considered taking in a German university (I barely passed in the first place) because we have the infamous "Numerus Clausus" system. The Numerus Clausus is a minimum Abitur grade average that one must have to enter into a certain subject. That grade requirement is different from subject to subject. I decided that I would not go to the university just yet (especially not in Costa Rica where, as I said, everything is based on memorising stuff) and opted to rather get straight into a job. If I go to the uni, it's just to get a basic history degree, specifically modern German history, from e.g. the founding of the German Empire in 1871 in Versailles until the re-unification between East and West in 1990.
 
AzoresLover
Posts: 756
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 4:43 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:18 pm

I'm not sure this was ever actually a test given as is represented here. I first saw this many years ago, and I read first that it wasn't true that it was given to 7th/8th graders. Then I read that it was actually a test given to prospective teachers of those grades to be sure that they had the requisite knowledge before being allowed to teach in school.

So I don't know what the truth may actually be, but I seriously doubt that it was given to 7th and 8th graders as is purported.
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 19604
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:12 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):

The language changes very slowly. Coloquialisms, slang and dialects change more often, but should not be counted as proper language. Cockney or ebonics, for instance, is simply evidence of a bad education.

At least Ebonics has, in some places, turned into its own language, or a patois of English. I know this because while I was on the subway in New York, I would often hear African American teenagers talking with each-other. Whatever language they were using was clearly a variation of English, but I could not understand it. Yet when I saw those kids in my office, I could speak with and understand them just fine.

The linguistic definition of a language is that it is mutually intelligible to all speakers. Obviously, there are some issues with that definition, but it's a pretty good one. I might have difficulty from time to time in England or Australia, but it's English.

But whatever these kids were speaking was obviously related to English but it wasn't English. In fact, as a Spanish speaker, I have an easier time following a conversation in Portuguese than I did following whatever these kids were saying. So either Portuguese is a bastardized form of Spanish that needs to be stamped out with better Spanish education in Portugal (hey... I kinda like that idea!  duck  Wink or Ebonics has evolved into its own language. And it is shocking how quickly these patois languages can form.

Like many other minority languages in other parts of the world, Ebonics (or whatever you want to call it) doesn't seem to have a written system. But it does have set rules of grammar, and there are even conjugations and tenses of verbs that don't exist in English. For example, Ebonics has a "habitual" tense, which uses the verb "be." "She be home" means that she's usually at home. "She home" means that she's there now.

I'm not saying that we should be teaching it in school or anything like that. I'm just saying that it's not just "bad English." It's gone a lot farther than that and really split off from the English language altogether. Fortunately, most speakers are bilingual and also speak English, even if they don't use the best grammar.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:57 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 19):
But remember, take lots of AP classes in high school!

My high school didn't offer AP classes, but I made out okay. Admittedly, I cruised through high school and it hasn't really hurt me though I think I got lucky. Thinking of the future is great, but don't burn yourself out.

Agreed, it's not essential, but it's always great killing 2 birds with 1 stone. No math in college! 18 credit hours before I set foot on campus!  Smile
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
Ken777
Posts: 9021
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:17 am

I'm a strong believer in AP course in HS, mainly because kids can knock out a bit of college without having to pay out the nose for it. When I compare university costs today with what it was back in the 60s I get pretty irritated and embarrassed.

I'm also a strong believer in high schools building up very strong vocational programs. There is no need for a HS graduate to then need to spend a lot of money on a non-university oriented, vocational program after their parents (and neighbors) paid a fair chunk of taxes to get them through high school.

In terms of the test above, it's out of touch these days. Kids need a lot of education in elementary school, learning basic math, reading and writing. Core skills. Middle school should be moving these skills up more,with HS being the place for college bound kids to take AP courses and others to get a start on their future vocation.

But look around at the tools and toys kids have these days! Have you ever sat and thought how great it would have been if those things had been around "in our day"? I got out of high school in '62 - we didn't even have calculators to use, much less computers. I would have loved a MacBook Pro (the 13" like I have now) and word processing.

And the internet! I would have given up the right one for the internet access I have now.

Looking at these tools & toys I'm also starting to believe that the HS level should leverage the potential of computers and the internet in as many courses as possible.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 19604
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:08 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 26):

But look around at the tools and toys kids have these days! Have you ever sat and thought how great it would have been if those things had been around "in our day"? I got out of high school in '62 - we didn't even have calculators to use, much less computers. I would have loved a MacBook Pro (the 13" like I have now) and word processing.

And, in many ways, these things have enabled a lot more learning. Can you imagine being productive in a day when you had to physically go and look up every reference? The result was that scientific papers had few references and scientists basically had to draw their conclusions before they wrote their papers, which slowed the progress of science.

Or can you imagine if making a simple typo meant that you had to throw out the whole page and start again? That's how it was back in the day of the manual typewriter. I doubt I would have ever produced a single page of work.

Yes, of course students should be able to do basic math in their heads. Nobody is suggesting that they shouldn't. But to expect students to do an entire integration by parts with 100-1000 individual calculations in calculus class is just absurd. They learn nothing by doing it.

And yes, I have in my life had to memorize all the states and their capitals, all the countries of Europe and Africa and their capitals, the Krebs cycle (three times...meaning that I forgot it three times because it is not useful information to have memorized for any human being alive today), the urea cycle, glycolysis (my biochem professor in med school was a huge fan of rote memorization), and the entire genetic code and both single and three-letter abbreviations for amino acids (which I memorized because I actually needed that information). I also at one point could tell you the atomic mass of about 30 different elements and accurately place them on the Periodic Table.

All that information is gone now. I don't need it in my current life and profession. Instead, my head holds a vast sum of knowledge about child health and illness and the tools by which to recognize various diseases. Why? Because that's information I need in my life today.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
TheCol
Posts: 1857
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:30 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:17 am



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 20):
trigonometry

I was never the brightest bulb in math class, so that was pretty advanced for me.  Big grin
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11090
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:28 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
But to expect students to do an entire integration by parts with 100-1000 individual calculations in calculus class is just absurd. They learn nothing by doing it.

Heck, I will probably never have to do that again other than just to prove that I can.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:03 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
integration by parts

I plan to major in Mathematics (and Physics) but I can't stand integration by parts. What's the point..? There's a freaking table you can use in real life if you need it.

Anyway, I don't think doing the integration by parts teaches you anything about calculus.

My first University Physics final was open-note and open-book, because our professor understands it's not about memorization; memorization wouldn't help in research; maybe speed things up if you do it right... But I can't memorize for the goal of memorization. It just sounds dumb. Information sticks readily to me, but usually it's not the information needed to do well in school.

Dumbed down? Depends. With advances in science, etc, you'd think that the information is more and more accurate... But that isn't necessarily true. More and more people don't care anymore. But all things being equal, I don't think we're getting dumbed down. Although, I will say... It's surprising how smart people can be without any school (illiterate) and how many schooled idiots there are out there.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12361
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:35 pm

Children in school today have too many distractions (cell phones, I-Pods), parents who do not take their responsibilty or have the time for raising tgheir children, more broken families, have to be taught subjects they would have learned at home in the past (sex ed, family finanical management) and so on. I would also note that in 1895, and really until the 1960's, if a child had a learning disabilty, they dropped out of school. You also have now a need to 'teach the test' as they have become the determination if a school can continue, if they can get funding and if a teacher keeps their job, especially in low income areas. So yes, there is a 'dumbing down' of basic education in many public schools, often for the wrong reason.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11090
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Are The People Of The World Being Dumbed Down?

Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:33 pm



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 31):

Children in school today have too many distractions (cell phones, I-Pods),

Is there really any evidence that this is true? Seriously, how do phones and iPods make kids dumber? Sounds to me like the collective complaints of the old farts of the world.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andrej, JeffSFO and 26 guests