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"Dumbing Down" of America

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posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 04:49 AM
yes, information does not equal intelligence. intelligence comes from experience and doing and being exposed to many things. intelligence knows what information to choose and how to process and evaluate that information.

posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 12:40 PM
I truly believe that people are born with a certain "IQ", which BTW came about as a way to determine how well a student might perform in an academic setting, i.e. school. There just are people in a classroom who never pick up a book, let's say, yet pass every test, just by absorbing the information easier. If they already had studied it on their own outside of the classroom, then that demonstrates a desire to learn, which also is a huge part of academic achievement. An inherent intelligence just says what to expect for a rate of learning.

American students compare favorably with counterparts in other nations in the lower grades. My own sons were doing five page term papers with citations in the fifth grade. What happens then to the other grades?

Let me interject here, that public school education in the US has not always been uniform. A friend who went to high school in Alabama in the 1970's was disturbed shen that her high school teacher herself had only a high school diploma! At the same time a high school teach in say, Washington state, might have had the equivalent of a master's degree. There will always be students who learn regardless of who teaches them.

Back to what happens in upper grades. At the time other nations sort students into academic levels, US schools continue to educate everyone the same. We also make sports a huge part of an academic setting. Hence the old story about the dumb football player only passing an algebra class because, as he sat in the back of the classroom he raised his hand to ask a question, "May I use the restroom?"

One great thing about the US system of education has been that students who underachieved in high school had a chance to make up in adult school or community colleges. Also, there have always been drop-outs. The beauty of the system s that students are allowed to re-enter. I hope that is not lost in the future.

We have to remember, the US school system is the same system that produced engineers to put a man on the moon. We have produced great researchers as well as dancers and actors. Oh, re spelling and grammar, one author told me that a great writer also needs a great editor. There are genius level people out there who can't spell. Thank God, for spell check

So what if you're not the top student academically? That means you must put in more study time. How many American students are willing to do homework, get tutoring, or just spend extra time trying to figure something out? A teacher neighbor told me of her plan to help a student who was behind grade level in reading; the plan involved the student as well as his parents to read for one hour at home each evening. When presented with this plan, the parents said it couldn't be done as it would mean missing their tv programs.

One glaring difference that sets certain groups of students apart is the education level of the parents.
Children of professionals do better academically than other groups of students! Children who have parents that encourage education and the hard work it entails do better on tests.

Note the reference to "groups". There are individuals who will achieve despite hardships and not having parents having attended college.

You know, my mother was visibly shaken when she saw my son's third grade work with cellular structures (and he was in a regular class, nothing special, mind you). She said that she hadn't learned that until she went to a medical college program, back in the 1930's. Today's students are being asked to learn more. What are the basics nowadays?

With all the above said, however, I think to a certain extent there has been a "dumbing down" in US schools. Schools were between a rock and a hard place--students refusing to put in the extra time to learn and parents who supported these students. Accommodations were made to appease parents increasingly concerned that teachers were giving too much homework, asking parents to help students memorize math facts, at a time when parents had to work longer hours outside the home. Plus where do you fit in hw in between soccer, dance, music, art, church, etc.? (My teacher neighbor was told by a parent that her son was too busy at church to do schoolwork.)

OTOH there was a time when teachers felt that, with the advent of calculators and computers, students would not need to memorize math facts or spelling or grammar. I remember around that time asking the pilot of a Navy troop carrier why the clipboard and pencil strapped to his leg. He replied that, in case the electronics went out, he needed to do all the calculations by hand.

The US needs leaders who don't joke about not reading, getting by with C's, and whose families aren't surprised by a checkout scanner.

posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 05:53 PM
The fact is, kids aren't getting basics like they should.

Are they equiped with dictionaries? Are they taught how to use them? This is one of the foundations of learning, yet I don't see it mentioned much in these conversations. Just blindly reading a bunch of words does not guarantee comprehension.

Are they tested on comprehension, and not memorization? Memorization only proves you can repeat a said sentence, or definition, for example. It does not necessarily mean that the student has understood the concept of the definition or sentence. I can memorize equations and definitions all day word for word, but if I don't understand the concept, it's worthless information. Some people get through school with A's by memorizing, but don't have a clue what to do with the information.

Are they learning at their own pace? I don't think so. Students are shoved through courses of study at the same speed. And this, I'm afraid, doesn't work that well. Some people can speed through a novel, while others will take varying degrees longer.

Bottom line, kids are now shoved through school, and some of them, some how, get by because they passed on the multiple choice questions. But they many times have poor recollection and/or comprehension of what they studied in previous years. Kids are failing to comprehend their studies, yet they are passed on through to the next grade.

A group or words and sentences are useless, unless you comprehend it.


posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 07:17 PM
My Army buddy sent these to me, and is an indication of dumb government.

Washington , DC, airport ticket agent offers some
examples of why our ( USA ) country is in trouble!

1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)

2. I got a call from a candidate's staffer, who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, then she interrupted me with, "I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts ."
Without trying to make her look stupid, I calmly explained, "Cape Cod is in Massachusetts , Capetown is in Africa ."Her response - click.

3. A senior Vermont Congressman called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando . He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!" (OMG)

4. I got a call from a lawmaker's wife who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada ?" I said, "No." She said, "But they look so close on the map." (OMG, again!)

5. An aide for a cabinet member once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas . When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas . When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time." (Aghhhh)

6. An Illinois Congresswoman called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 am got to Chicago at 8:33 am. I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois , but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast , and she bought that.

7. A New York lawmaker called and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?" I said, "No, why do you ask?" She replied, "Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said "Fat", and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!" After putting her on hold for a minute while I looked into it (I was laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno , CA is (FAT - Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

8. A Senator's aide called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii . After going over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California , and then take the train to Hawaii ?"

9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, "I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them."

10. A lady Senator called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola , Florida . Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?" I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola , Fl. on a commuter plane.. She said, "Yeah, whatever, smarty!"

11. A senior Senator called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China . After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him that he needed a visa. "Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those." I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I 've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!"

12. A New Mexico Congress woman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York ." I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, "Are you sure that's the name of the town?" "Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the lady. Af

posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 07:21 PM
the last one got cut off. Sorry about that.

2. A New Mexico Congress woman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York ." I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, "Are you sure that's the name of the town?" "Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the lady. After some searching, I came back with, "I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Rhino anywhere."The lady retorted, "Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!" So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, "You don't mean Buffalo , do you?" The reply? "Whatever! I knew it was a big animal."

Now you know why the Government is in the shape that it's in!

posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 09:08 PM
OI VIE.... If these are our best and brightest... we are doomed.

posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 09:18 PM

Originally posted by Vinadetta
I'm really starting to believe that there is a conspiracy by the elite and the mass media to effectively dumb down the American Population. I hate to say it but, I fear there are a lot, and I mean a lot of people who are so uniformed and very oblivious to what is truly going on in the world today?

Just look at all the crap that is "news" and the influence that is the Mass Media and advertising. To go along with this, I feel that are schools are failing teaching kids to learn how to think critically about issues and have any independent thought process.

With show's like Flavor of Love, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, not to mention the media hype over Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, and Lyndsey Lohan. How can any "News Agency" actually report on this stuff and call it News. Are our lives so boring and inadequate that we are really interested in these bimbo's drug use and DUI's?

I think we are being conditioned by the elite and programed in any matter that we see fit!!!!! It's no wonder how they are able to control with fear!!!

What are your thoughts?

well if they are the programmers, and the population are the programmed then that makes us the viruses.

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 06:43 AM
If there wasn't a demand such tripe wouldn't be pushed.... just look at those so called reality (yeah right) shows. All garbage yet they remain because people want them. Its called escapism. Its easier to focus on Paris Hilton's skinny little ass than to focus on real issues.

posted on Aug, 17 2007 @ 09:34 PM
Unfortunately, tv shows and the news programs are "educators" for some people.

Some people might shrug illiteracy off, but illiteracy can be very damaging to the lives of those who are illiterate.


posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 01:15 PM
Troy, you mentioned about critical thinking needing to be taught in schools. Unfortunately, critical thinking requires not just analyzing but evaluating, and public schools in America have often been targeted by Bush's Republican religious base for doing just that. To a right wing authoritarian person/group, there is only one way to think, whether it be religion, morality, immigrants, or science. That is their comfort zone.

Teaching a young person to think critically has been deemed tantamount to being in league with Satan, warping the mind of young people. Critical thinking involves comparing differences, making judgments based on facts. Parents of this base have often spoken up at school board meetings that schools should stick to the "basics", and not teach critical thinking. Let the parents tell their children what to believe, not a science class or even a math class that wants to discuss how to compare data.

No Child Left Behind has made testing a national focus, where facts are important, not ideas or trends. Teachers and students will be deemed "failures" if they fail to teach/learn facts. Facts have their place in schools, but facts without critical thinking can lead to a population ripe for being manipulated, whether this manipulation comes from corporations or government, or the insidious linkage of both.

Media do give facts, just too many times facts that have little to do with the importance of everyday lives for citizens. A car chase?
Also, many facts are given without the critical thinking questioning, the "why". A company announces an employee layoff.
And, sadly, some important facts are just wrong, dead wrong. Judith Miller pre-Iraq.

Don't question, just do as you're told. Here, be amused with more about celebrities as a national interest. Honestly, what did the average American talk about more--Clinton's sex life or NAFTA?

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 08:08 PM
Teaching to a test is not teaching to learn, it is teaching answers to a test. If you are not taught (or rather encouraged to) think critically as a child you are damned well crap out of luck as an adult in anything like a college or a university or any job that requires reasoning unless they are prepping you to be a greeter a mal-warts, a burger flipper at McBarf burgers or a bagger at a grocery store.

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 11:10 PM
That's right, a person needs to be critical about what he/she is reading. He needs to swirl it around in his head, think it over, and he may sometimes have to say something like, "well, that's information is just not true for me."

The school just shoves you through the system, giving you "facts" a lot of times. I guess you aren't supposed to question it.

Part of learning truth is being able to reject information as false.


posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 03:03 AM
Dumb things make money. Just as it's never cool to be intelligent. Sex sells9and the attention seeking celebs that come with it), it's not considered intelligent. What appeals to popular culture is most always shallow, it is easier to absorb/be liked by masses of average to below intellect people in some aspects. Not to mention media giving us an easy vacation from the loads of problems in our life, a very easy escape.

posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 12:03 PM

Originally posted by jaamaan

and this video

"Deliberate Dumbing Down of amerika"

[edit on 3-8-2007 by jaamaan]

er... did anyone else notice at one point in the interview she said "and thats the new world order--- disorder, im sorry" (-4:13)


[edit on 4-9-2007 by Pojmaster17q]

posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 12:16 AM
I just found out recently that the Psych department of school may label one of my nephews with a Psych disorder after some testing.

School has turned into a profit machine for the Psych industry, and a pill is an easy way to try and "control" these kids. They already tried to find something wrong with my other nephew. Is school turning into a part time Psych ward? Are we going to school just to "conform" and be "controlled?" This isn't education.

Do you guys understand the whole of humanity is being targeted for some type of disease and accompanying treatment?


posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 01:20 PM

Originally posted by desert
I truly believe that people are born with a certain "IQ", which BTW came about as a way to determine how well a student might perform in an academic setting, i.e. school.

you can believe that, but it is incorrect. IQs were originally intended to identify children with learning problems - so that they could receive extra attention. Somewhere over the course of time, and largely due to the common belief in eugenics at the time - the IQ test started to be used as a tool to exclude unfavorables (poor, black, etc.)

IQ was NEVER to assign a limitation of intelligence or academic aptitude, it was just mutated into that.

Originally posted by desert
We have to remember, the US school system is the same system that produced engineers to put a man on the moon.

no, the public school system is NOT what makes engineers. That's what college, technical training, NASA and the military is for.

other than that, I agree - the public education system is made not to teach children about science, math, etc. - rather, to teach them the social dynamics that the system would prefer they lived by (always asking authority permission for everything, timing the day by intervals of bells and alarms, compartmentalizing every aspect of education, etc.)

posted on Sep, 9 2007 @ 10:09 PM
My thoughts on this are simple:

There is no doubt that american children have been getting poor education at the hands, or when in the hands of the federal gov't .

The U.S. ranks nearly last in the Physics arena. Thats just on paper. The event of 9/11 proves that its true by the wide accepted belief that fire brought it down. I never graduated from High School, and even I could tell a second after they fell that it wasnt so, and was flabbergasted when they tried to pass it off like that.

I also find it difficult to communicate the slightest scientific ideas with people in my day to day life, about the stuff that I thought we all were learning.

To me, the proof is in the pudding.

posted on Sep, 12 2007 @ 01:23 AM
It's easier to pull the wool over the eyes of a dumbed down society. The frightening reality seems like it may be on purpose that there are attempts to dumb us down.

We live in a society where you are told not to smoke pot, but Big Pharma is giving much more destructive drugs to young children. And it's pushed in the school system. So, basically, there are drug dealers pushing drugs to our children, and it's all "legal."


posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 10:09 AM
Here is some more ammunition on the media dumbing down America.

Looking at the question more broadly, where did your children get most of their values, if not from what they saw on television? Parents might counteract the influence of the infernal box, but they could not overcome it. How could they, if they themselves have been brainwashed by the same box and if their children spend more time with it than them? Studies show that most of television programming is geared to a less than 5th grade comprehension level; parents, like you, are themselves being remade in the infantile images of the television screen. All of society becomes more infantile, more easily controllable.

As Emery explains: ``We are proposing that television as a simple constant and repetitive and ambiguous visual stimulus, gradually closes down the central nervous system of man.''] Becker holds a similar view of the effect of television on American's ability to think: "Americans don't really think--they have opinions and feelings. Television creates the opinion and then validates it.''

need to read the rest of the essay to fully comprehend the seriousness of the problem.
Turn off the TV and dump it in the trash, and start thinking for yourselves.

posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 11:04 AM
I wouldn't blame the evident problems with the subservient autotons of the West on television. Though the media does dumb down generations, I think they are merely a catalyst in the real problem, the real problem being the people themselves. The media just takes us to this zombie state, but it is us who want to be there.

Since World War 2, Britain and America has got steadily wealthier, as have its people. A materialistic capitalist mentality has taken over the people of the West, with everything always available to make their lives the easiest they have ever been. From machines to open cans to walk in baths. If we want, we don't have to do anything. And it has installed a feeling of comfort, of being content. And the media just feeds this, with its constant advertising for things that you MUST buy, for the ever achievable whilst never gained life of luxury. So we become all trusting of our protectors and fearful of the outside. And it is through this sheep tactic that laws which repress us are passed and the police state is initiated, not to mention horrific foriegn policy and blood on the name of the West. But whilst we still have the mind numbing 24/7 television and take-aways, we don't care. Because the only way that real change would happen in our lifetime would be through massive change, and things would be hard.

So I agree that the media does dumb us down, but as opposed to it being the main weapon of the government, it is merely a tranquliser. The dart itself was fired a long time ago.

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