Friday, November 7, 2008

Dumbest Generation Ever?

I know one of the major beliefs today in education is that we are raising the dumbest, most uninformed generation in the history of our country. But according to USA Today, this is not the case:

"As the results of the election sank in Wednesday, teachers in high school classrooms across the USA found themselves debriefing a group of young people who are, by all accounts, more informed and civic-minded than any in recent memory. They came of age after 9/11, after all."

I understand the temptation to question the intelligence of youth, as so many have done throughout history. But this article gives me hope, and reassures my skepticism of "the dumbest generation". Another part of the article I like follows the quote above:

"But they're also less obsessed with race than their parents and more cynical about the world and the ability of government to change it for the better."

The matter of their color-blindness is a positive, but also not that surprising. As far as being more cynical goes, this might actually be a positive. Being a civic-minded generation is good, but doesn't necessarily translate into civic-action. Cynicism, by-itself, isn't good because it might only lead to apathy. But civic-mindedness AND cynicism together can (and I believe will) translate into a passion to try to change things in our government, and the world, "for the better". Perhaps this is what we saw with this past election. Here is another part of the article that helps explain the high voter turnout among youth, which voted overwhelmingly for Obama:

"For much of the past 20 years, school districts nationwide have pushed parents to hold off registering their children for kindergarten until they're 6 years old. In many cases, schools even prohibit parents from enrolling 5-year-olds if their birthday falls late in the year.

As a result, perhaps as many as half of the nation's 3.2 million high school seniors on Nov. 4 were eligible to vote, making discussions in high school classes more urgent."

Think twice before branding out nation's youth as stupid or ignorant about what is going on in the world. It seems they have already started to make their mark.

No comments: