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Have you ever seen the movie “Idiocracy”? It is a movie about an “average American” that wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that is surrounding him. Unfortunately, that film is a very accurate metaphor for what has happened to American society today. We have become so “dumbed down” that we don’t even realize what has happened to us. But once in a while something comes along that reminds us of how far we have fallen. In Kentucky, an eighth grade exam from 1912 was recently donated to the Bullitt County History Museum. When I read this exam over, I was shocked at how difficult it was. Could most eighth grade students pass such an exam today? Of course not. In fact, I don’t even think that I could pass it. Sadly, this is even more evidence of “the deliberate dumbing down of America” that former Department of Education official Charlotte Iserbyt is constantly warning us about. The American people are not nearly as mentally sharp as they once were, and with each passing generation it gets even worse.
Originally posted by ShadellacZumbrum
reply to post by ElectricUniverse
I always get a kick out of it when I see these old exams.
It is so funny that some of todays college students can't even answer these questions, let alone know what the moon is.. .. Not kidding.
Originally posted by hellobruce
Could it be that these old tests were dumbed down over the years because the students of that time couldn't pass them?
"The purpose of geometry is to make clear to students the meaning of demonstration, the meaning of mathematical precision and the pleasure of discovering absolute truth. If demonstrative geometry is not taught to enable a pupil to have the satisfaction of proving something, ..., then it is not worth teaching at all." W.D. Reeve (1930)
"Geometry achieves it highest possibilities if, in addition to direct and practical usefulness, it can establish a pattern of reasoning; if it can develop the power to think clearly in geometric situations, and to use the same discrimination in non-geometric situations." H. C. Christofferson (1930)
"I firmly believe that the reason we teach demonstrative geometry in our high schools today is to give pupils certain ideas about the nature of proof. The great majority of teachers of geometry hold this same point of view. 2 Our great aim in the tenth year is to teach the nature of deductive proof and to furnish pupils with a model of all their life thinking." C. B. Upton, (1930)
The Teachers will endeavor to combine mildness with firmness, kindness with justice. Strict regard will also be had to the language, the manners, the whole deportment of the pupils, in the school room and out of it, so as to secure, if possible, not only that they may become good scholars, but also good men and women. Students who will not refrain from drunkenness and other vicious indulgences, will be promptly dismissed, as dangerous to the morals of the school, and unworthy of a place in it or any other.
The followers of the Greek philosopher Epicurus, who esteemed feeling over reasoning, had no patience for the arguments of Euclid. His science is ridiculous, they said, pointing to a proposition half way through the first book of the Elements, in which Euclid labours to show that no side of a triangle can be longer than the sum of the other two sides.
'It is evident even to an jackass.' For a hungry jackass, standing at A (Fig. 1.1.2) will go directly to a bale of hay at B. without passing through any point C outside the straight line AB. The beast's geometrical intuition tells him that AB must be shorter than AC + CB.
The charge that Euclid stops to prove propositions evident even to an ass has echoed through the ages.
One of the echoers was the seventeenth-century philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal, who accused his fellow geometers of six perennial faults, among them 'proving things that have no need of proof'. He took as his example Euclid's compulsion to demonstrate that two sides of a triangle taken together exceed the third. To this objection the Greek philosophical geometer Proclus, who wrote a lengthy commentary on the Elements early in the fifth century, had replied that a proposition evident to the senses 'is still not clear for scientific thought'.
but I thinj I couldve done well enough on that test in 8th grade.
Originally posted by GeneralChaos
I really don't know how many times this has been posted here over the years but it is a lot.
Originally posted by GeneralChaos
I think it is fitting that the spell check is telling me that the word "dumbed" is misspelled.
Definition of dumbed-down in English
simplified so as to be intellectually undemanding and accessible to a wide audience:the dumbed-down nature of modern politics
Originally posted by MrSpad
If your entire year was just dedicated to knowing the things on that test all of you would pass it with ease. Just as a student from then would fail a modern test today. Because you are tested on what you are taught.