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50% of US 4-year College Grads are Unable to Perform Complex Literacy Tasks

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posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 01:29 AM
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What Centurion is talking about is a problem in colleges, but it's hardly a concern in most high schools and middle schools, where these critical skills are going unlearned. The curriculum down in the lower rings of public school Hell is determined by the school boards. Mostly it's the lowest common denominator approach to curriculum that drives down standards, not the teachers.

That's all about the school boards trying to mask the real obstacle to success in educating our children, which serves to contribute to the problem. Unfortunately, lowering the standards will never accomplish anything.

This country spends an INSANE amount of money catering to students with disabilities, behavioral problems, and below average intelligence, and practically NOTHING on smart kids. That's a whole different issue though...




posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 10:41 PM
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Schools teach their students to conform to authority. Classes teach students to do what the teacher wants. You don't get an 'A' for doing a good; you get an 'A' for doing what the teacher thinks deserves an 'A'. This is preparation for a work world, where your job is to please some organization, or boss. Students are taught that their role in life is to please the authority or the system. Initiative is only encouraged wen its purpose is to advance within the system. Students are basically told that the purpose of school is to prepare them to work for a bureacratic organization, which is their purpose in life. Many studnets don't envision the need for strong literacy.

If students don't like the system, they are taught to use alchohol and drugs. Some of the drugs require a prescription, and others are bought off the street. In this environment, students don't feel they need any skills for the mythologized job their education is supposedly preparing them for.

After these students graduate, many realize their degree didn't really prepare them for anything. However, a new sucker is born everyday.



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 11:09 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
However, as I said in the initial post, more than half of the people I've met over the course of my 8+ years of higher education were pretty stupid. The problem wasn't so much that they couldn't learn, it was that they couldn't think. They were never taught to be thinkers, rather, they were raised consumers.

The parents start the ball rolling down hill, and most schools help it along by simply providing a bare minimum of bland, factual information for digestion and eventual regurgitation. That's not learning, that's the intellectual equivalent of bullimia.


I find your humor and apparent laughter in all this a bit astounding for one as seemingly educated and academically astute as you. In all objectivity and fairness, being you have had "8+ years in higher education," I wonder as to why you express that people are "stupid" and yet there are no intelligence tests that can accurately measure stupidity. Stupidity, as with education, is relative for there are no real stupid people, just those who have not taken or had the opportunity or made the best of the opportunities to self-educate themselves in the skills of critical thinking, education, etc. They simply lack intellectual acuity or relative education, but by no means are actually "stupid", despite what the freakin' dictionary says.

Would stupidity imply:
Its the economy, stupid?
Its education, stupid?
Its lack of real world experience, stupid?
Its the lack of intelligence, stupid?
Its the lack of simple common sense, stupid?
Its the inability to critically think, stupid?
Stupidity is not measurable by any known intelligence tests, stupid?

As such, you are doing what exactly, besides mocking those 'parents' and "stupid" 'people', to make an enlightened and higher education-based difference or change, WrydeOne?





seekerof

[edit on 21-1-2006 by Seekerof]



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 05:36 PM
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I had completely forgotten about it, but I posted this article to ASTNN a while ago. It's about the declining quality of American educators. It's gotta be a component of the problem.

www.abovetopsecret.com...


Seekerof


I find your humor and apparent laughter in all this a bit astounding..


Well, that's the problem with humor, it's a matter of taste. Take this quote from another of my threads:


I admit my bias. I think it's funny when people set themselves on fire and run around and scream. It seems like a punishment befitting the severity of their stupidity.


Besides, I wasn't engaging in a scientific exploration of relative stupidity, I was making an anecdotal reference to behavior I've witnessed which seemed to synch up with claims made by the study which was the subject of this thread.

Phew...

Unfortunately, there's nothing funny about the reality being described. I think that deserves more focus than my unfunny humor. The fact remains that the majority of college kids are unable to process information and think critically.




[edit on 23-1-2006 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Jan, 23 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
The fact remains that the majority of college kids are unable to process information and think critically.

And again, in all objectiveness and fairness, would that fact include you or I?

And since you academically astute, could you describe the process of assimilating information and then the process of critical thinking?

As for your fact and agreement with The Pew Charitable Trusts, who funded the survey, bear in mind the below quoted mentions, bold emphasis added:


Yet despite ALA's fine definition, there remains some confusion about what information literacy means. Part of the confusion is the word "literacy" itself, which at its most basic level is the ability to read and write. Yet literacy has seldom been restricted to that simple definition. Rather it has been frequently used to describe something more: the idea that people need to interpret what they read, to place it in a specific cultural context. In contemporary adult literacy education, this context has been understood primarily in economic terms; literacy is often seen as an entry-level skill for participation in the economy. And while such training is certainly a laudable goal, it has never been the sole purpose of a university education, or of education in general.
Information Literacy: An Overview


Furthermore, the findings are old news and have been out since in various forms since 2003, here:
The National Assessment of Adult Literacy

Of further interest to you may be this, seemingly indicating that the education system is simply there to train and guarantee a trained workforce for a service-provider nation of drones?
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills


Accordingly, what exactly is The Pew Charitable Trusts and MSNBC reporting that has not already been determined? That such still persists? Ask yourself a few things here:

--Does this Pew Charitable Trusts survey incorporate, specify, or restrict their findings to simply to proprietary or traditional colleges or universities or both?
--Was the data gathered disaggregated to compare proprietary and traditional schools?
--Does this survey identify the culprit(s) of the literacy problems?
--Would one culprit be those abundance of instructor-led Multiple Choice Tests (MCTs)?
--You and others surely do not think that getting any college degree and being educated--as I indicated previously: education is relative as is stupidity--are actually the same thing, do you?
--Are these potential grads surveyed the product of the Teach to Test society that occurs in elementary and secondary schools? How much critical thinking takes place when Freshmen college or university students were simply taught to prep for their exit high school exams (here in Virginia, they are called the SOLs)? How prepared are the outgoing high school students for college? Are they being adequately prepared? Are colleges having to dumb-down their academic programs to better fit those under-prepared high school college-bound kids?
--Would another culprit be adjunctification?

This can go on, WyrdeOne. The whole point is to stress that instead of some, such as yourself, calling these people stupid or literacy challenged, etc., that because there is that continued simple fact, as you have pointed out in the quoted mention I have cited above, that perhaps the problems lie elsewhere and not solely in individual stupidity. Afterall, calling someone stupid is a far easier way to diagnose the problems of college graduate illiteracy rates than the use of critical thinking so as to determine or figure out why such problems happen or persist in higher education...

Originally posted by WrydeOne
However, as I said in the initial post, more than half of the people I've met over the course of my 8+ years of higher education were pretty stupid. The problem wasn't so much that they couldn't learn, it was that they couldn't think. They were never taught to be thinkers, rather, they were raised consumers.






seekerof

[edit on 23-1-2006 by Seekerof]



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 12:40 AM
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And again, in all objectiveness and fairness, would that fact include you or I?


I haven't taken the test, have you? Unless we take the test we won't know where we stand, right?



And since you academically astute, could you describe the process of assimilating information and then the process of critical thinking?


Am I?
You wouldn't know it just looking at my grades, that's for sure.

What sort of description are you after? I can describe it to the best of my understanding in just a few paragraphs, or I can post some links to resources that may contain components of the answers you're looking for. For now though, I'm going to have to assume your question was rhetorical. People could easily spend two years writing on one small aspect of the process, education is fertile ground for study.

The different methods by which people learn is a course of study in and of itself, nevermind the mechanics of retention and application/hybridization of ideas, which are still somewhat of a mystery.



Furthermore, the findings are old news and have been out since in various forms since 2003


Yes, I realize that. However, the test had not previously, to my knowledge, been administered to a group of college students. One of the findings of the study was that the college kids were better educated than the average adult, which should come as no surprise. However, the fact that the difference was so small surprised me. I figured it would be interesting to others on ATS. Was I wrong?



Of further interest to you may be this..


I'm reading it in a bit.



Accordingly, what exactly is The Pew Charitable Trusts and MSNBC reporting that has not already been determined? That such still persists? Ask yourself a few things here:


They're reporting an improvement in the scores of college kids over the GP, firstly. Secondly, to my mind, they're reporting a serious lack of ability and/or training on the part of the students. They're supposed to be graduating, and that makes we seriously question the worth of an American higher education degree.

Am I missing something? What do you think is the motivation behind the reportage?



--Does this Pew Charitable Trusts survey incorporate, specify, or restrict their findings to simply to proprietary or traditional colleges or universities or both?
--Was the data gathered disaggregated to compare proprietary and traditional schools?


I can't help you with the first two questions because a list of schools sampled wasn't provided, presumably to avoid embarassing the institutions in question. You might be able to get that information with a little prying.



--Does this survey identify the culprit(s) of the literacy problems?


I think that's way beyond the scope of the study. If the source was that easy to diagnose, I suspect a solution would be a simple matter. The problem with studying the cause of anything, of course, is that you have to compile enormously detailed individual case histories. You have to account for every variable if you're trying to do it right.

Without studying the variables, you might as well just pick one and run with it. Some folks blame television, and it's probably a safe bet. Some folks blame parents, also a safe bet. The list really goes on forever. Maybe it's sugar, maybe it's caffeine, or one of a hundred other drugs and adulterants we consume on a daily basis.

The most plausible explanation is that all those mentioned are risk factors, and one has to assume combining them would increase risk. Thus, inattentive parents combined with television and drugs equals kids who often can't learn, can't think, can't sit still, can't read, can't work dilligently, etc., even after many years of school. (Presumably, if school helped much, the problem wouldn't be as widespread, so the schools/teachers/curriculum may very well be a big part of the problem.)



--Would one culprit be those abundance of instructor-led Multiple Choice Tests (MCTs)?


I don't know what you mean, care to elaborate?



--You and others surely do not think that getting any college degree and being educated--as I indicated previously: education is relative as is stupidity--are actually the same thing, do you?


The whole point of accrediting universities and offering degrees is to make education less relative. If having a college degree doesn't make you educated to some reasonable, agreed upon degree, I don't know what the point is in having the state oversee education. Society presumes that if you've gone to college, you are educated.

This study throws that presumption into question. If half of American college graduates can't do complex literacy tasks, perhaps the standards for graduation need to be raised quite a bit. Have we become a nation of diploma mills, bereft of meaningful standards?



--Are these potential grads surveyed the product of the Teach to Test society that occurs in elementary and secondary schools?


Those who were educated in public schools most certainly are, yes. As I said earlier on this thread, I consider that a great injustice; kids are being disadvantaged by the system.



How much critical thinking takes place when Freshmen college or university students were simply taught to prep for their exit high school exams (here in Virginia, they are called the SOLs)?


Zero, I'd guess.



How prepared are the outgoing high school students for college?


They're quite well prepared, as long as the standards remain low enough to accomodate their handicap.



Are they being adequately prepared? Are colleges having to dumb-down their academic programs to better fit those under-prepared high school college-bound kids?


They're not prepared for a real world education, no. And yes, colleges have repeatedly lowered standards to provide the illusion of learning. I think the High Schools and Middle Schools are getting them raw though, and that's a big part of the problem. A child's education begins about five minutes after they've exited the womb. Most parents neglect their children to a shocking extent during prime learning time.

While kids with caring, attentive, instructional parents can be speaking several languages, playing music, painting, reading and writing by age 3-8 or so (depending on the child's learning curve), the rest spend those years running around in circles loaded to the gills with drugs.

Studies show many are still running around in circles loaded to the gills with drugs when they exit college.


The reasons are a dime a dozen. Parents don't have enough money, or time, or energy, those are probably the three most common. I think a child's fate in the school system is, to a great degree, determined before school even starts. I think workable solutions to the problem can be improvised in just about any situation, but it requires serious effort on the part of the parents. That effort has not been forthcoming, by and large.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 04:30 PM
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Public education is designed to create a sub-class of obedient little worker bees.

Very few schools offer meaningful leadership training or advanced skills to help them think outside the box.

They tend to teach conformity rather than innovation, unless you're smart enough to be working on some top secret research project and then you must still conform to security guidelines.

The real movers and shakers in this world have mostly been self taught and self motivated.

As a general rule of thumb, you'll never be a millionaire working for someone else.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 05:11 PM
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I did my two-year college. Thank God I didn't do four...I'd say that about 33% of my class were D-students in a cirriculum that qualified as painfully easy.

Most of the problem with higher education falls under two categories- indoctrination, and utility. 90% of what you're taking in university has almost zero real-world utility or application. That's if you retain it. Hell, it doesn't take much to get the grade- I've seen students browbeat proffesors into passing them.

The other things is that 'higher education' translates to 'proffessional indoctrination by people of dubious skill'. A lot of professors are people who could no longer hack it in the field- if they had a field to hack it in to begin with. They take pride not in educating students with facts, but with opinions. I found college a liberal hellhole. Some teacher tried to show me pride, honor and loyalty. Others prettymuch accused me of every sin and historial misdeed because I am a white male.

And I'm a luck one, with a more physical degree rather than heavily acedemic. No wonder we have such a generally disgraceful generation, they're all being taught by communists, anarchists, and demagogues who make a living twisting the facts to their personal opinions instead of teaching.

DE



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 05:43 PM
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I really don't think you can lay all the blame at the feet of the teachers.

They certainly contribute, but look at the parents.

In my neighborhood, the children run about all day long unsupervised. They can barely speak, read, or write by the time they get to middle school. They're disrespectful, beligerent, self-absorbed, and astoundingly ignorant of basic rules for civilized living.

The teachers aren't indoctrinating these kids to be little idiots, that's all on the parents.

By the time the teachers even see these kids, they're as close to a lost cause as you can get without losing all vestiges of hope.

There are some good parents left, thank God. But the majority just don't care, it seems. It's no wonder the kids aren't receptive to learning anything, have no love of erudition, no respect, no sense of decency - their role models from infancy lack these things.

Parents just don't understand that their kids will pay attention more to behaviors than commands. They watch and learn, and if you're a disrespectful, slovenly, mean-spirited putz, your kid is going to think that's how people ought to act, until they receive some counter-influence.

I know a few good parents, and..SHOCK - they have good kids. Smart kids, who love to learn and have been taught how to behave.

If the college teachers are responsible for planting seeds, it's still the parents who have to prepare the soil - and most of them appear to be too self-absorbed, lazy, and ignorant to do their job properly. As a result, the seeds never sprout.


I don't necessarily disagree with your opinion when it comes to college professors, I've had some really awful ones myself, but they get these kids when they're, for all intents and purposes already grown up. These kids learn how to act and how to think under their parents guidance (or lack thereof).



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 06:01 PM
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The parents turn out assholes, but the teachers give the assholes a voice, a burning need for entitlement...

Among other things.

It's hard to really compete with an institution like a college when it comes to churning out self-righteous pricks, especially beret-wearing hippy commies. The kind you see in the streets, protesting everything not with words, but with the violence.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

There's a good example of what my generation is up to. We are SO screwed. Imagine what happens when they start breeding.

DE



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by RANT
Timmy's mom has three kids.

The first she named Penny...


...the next she named Nichole...

...what did she name the third child? ___________




Timmy.
Interesting play on an old riddle.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne


www.msnbc.msn.com...

More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.





Seems there's a task failure here.

The title doesn't agree with the post.

Students are not grads.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 06:18 PM
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desert dawg
If you read the article carefully, you'd have seen this - so unless they take an erudition pill at the ceremony, they're graduating with these same skills.



The survey examined college and university students nearing the end of their degree programs.


Granted, you have me on semantics.


[edit on 8-10-2006 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Oct, 9 2006 @ 06:15 PM
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Kinda explains why 50% of supervisors, doctors, lawyers and teachers are educated idiots.



posted on Oct, 9 2006 @ 11:04 PM
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Amazing how many people I work with every day who apparently graduated from No Clue U.
with an advanced degree of stupidity.



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 05:27 PM
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I think the problem here is simply, no real moral-political cultural goal anymore in schools. So now, boards and colleges with no cultural goal outside of making money and then when a teacher teachs they expect a certain response. It's okay, if they have their own opinions.

The problem, becomes a problem when the boards of these universities and colleges become less interested in weiter the teachers get reported. Plus, the lowest common denomitator apporach has well, it costs. Then your teaching students of college potenial, but not necessarily the math skills for it. To not take it seriously, or if to take it seriously, not how to use it. Reading can be the same way, if you never understand how to apply it and use it all the time. How are you going to read everything? Odds are you'll become functionally illerate. I see no problem in fixing it in adulthood, but it's much harder.




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