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Debate Now The Dumbing Down of America

Should basic knowledge as described in the OP be required for graduation from HS? College?

  • 1. Yes for both.

  • 2. Yes for HS. No for college.

  • 3. Yes for college. No for HS.

  • 4. No for both.

  • 5. Other and I will explain in my post.


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Foxfyre

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Proposed:

The modern generations are not being taught our history, our Constitution, or basic civics. They aren't being taught the reasoning of the Founders or about the great philosophers who informed them. Modern day students are not being required to study the Founding Documents or the circumstance that encouraged people to risk everything to come here and then to form a new nation.

They are not being taught basic economics, the principles of supply and demand in a free market system, the pros and cons of economic systems, or all the effect of government programs. The are not exposed to or encouraged to hear all points of view or use critical thinking to evaluate them.

They are spoon fed sound bites and slogans and the politically correct dogma of the day. Or what they know is gleaned from bits and pieces of internet sources or sounds bites from television or message boards. In short, too often they are being indoctrinated and effectively brainwashed instead of educated.

Some anecdotal evidence:

youtube watters world interviews - Bing video

youtube people can't answer political questions - Bing video

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: Should basic history as described here be core curriculum, and should students have a reasonable command of it before graduating high school and college? Why or why not is that important?

RULES FOR THIS DISCUSSION:
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. Links are allowed but are not required and if used must be summarized in the member's own words.
2. Definitions for this discussion only will be provided by the OP as necessary.
3. Comment on the member's argument only and not directly or indirectly to or about the member making the argument.
 

Dhara

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History is an important topic, but it's less interesting to young people than mature. AND history isn't just facts, but subject to interpretation. Whose history books should we use?
 

Dhara

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I'd like to add that geography is a topic that is sorely missing. Looking at boundaries between countries and seeing how they have changed and continue to change isn't emphasized much either. I'm shocked at how little kids know about where a place is that they may hear about in the news.
 

flacaltenn

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The only way to preserve the Constitution is to make sure that kids understand the Founding of this nation.
And the only way to preserve Free Markets is to confront the conflicting claims for Socialism vs Capitalism.

You can't indoctrinate teens. You can only arm them with the background to rapidly reach the conclusion that ignorance WILL BE EXPLOITED by politicians and the media.. Make them less susceptible to outrageous claims. They need to know HOW STUFF WORKS. And how the future of the country lies in separating truth from fiction and politicized BS..
 

Pogo

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Proposed:

The modern generations are not being taught our history, our Constitution, or basic civics. They aren't being taught the reasoning of the Founders or about the great philosophers who informed them. Modern day students are not being required to study the Founding Documents or the circumstance that encouraged people to risk everything to come here and then to form a new nation.

They are not being taught basic economics, the principles of supply and demand in a free market system, the pros and cons of economic systems, or all the effect of government programs. The are not exposed to or encouraged to hear all points of view or use critical thinking to evaluate them.

They are spoon fed sound bites and slogans and the politically correct dogma of the day. Or what they know is gleaned from bits and pieces of internet sources or sounds bites from television or message boards. In short, too often they are being indoctrinated and effectively brainwashed instead of educated.

Some anecdotal evidence:

youtube watters world interviews - Bing video

youtube people can't answer political questions - Bing video

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: Should basic history as described here be core curriculum, and should students have a reasonable command of it before graduating high school and college? Why or why not is that important?

RULES FOR THIS DISCUSSION:
1
. Links are allowed but are not required and if used must be summarized in the member's own words.
2. Definitions for this discussion only will be provided by the OP as necessary.
3. Comment on the member's argument only and not directly or indirectly to or about the member making the argument.

Interesting contrast in the video. I would have had no clue whatsoever about the last two quesitons on "Snookie" and Brad Pitt. None whatsoever.

Obviously they've bought the idea that that sort of thing is more important than knowing basic --- really really basic -- history.

That doesn't mean they're not being taught that history --- it means they've put it on the bottom of the priority list.
 

Pogo

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The only way to preserve the Constitution is to make sure that kids understand the Founding of this nation.
And the only way to preserve Free Markets is to confront the conflicting claims for Socialism vs Capitalism.

You can't indoctrinate teens. You can only arm them with the background to rapidly reach the conclusion that ignorance WILL BE EXPLOITED by politicians and the media.. Make them less susceptible to outrageous claims. They need to know HOW STUFF WORKS. And how the future of the country lies in separating truth from fiction and politicized BS..

The conditions as expressed in the video say much more about the power of mass media than anything else methinks, and its power of influence.

This is exactly why I'm always railing against the concept of television; this is its bounty.
 

gipper

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History is no longer taught in this country. Most Americans are completely ignorant of it. Our big tyrannical central government wants it this way. Dumb people are much easier to control.
 

SassyIrishLass

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The only way to preserve the Constitution is to make sure that kids understand the Founding of this nation.
And the only way to preserve Free Markets is to confront the conflicting claims for Socialism vs Capitalism.

You can't indoctrinate teens. You can only arm them with the background to rapidly reach the conclusion that ignorance WILL BE EXPLOITED by politicians and the media.. Make them less susceptible to outrageous claims. They need to know HOW STUFF WORKS. And how the future of the country lies in separating truth from fiction and politicized BS..

Agree with your comment except the highlighted part. Given the right tools anyone can be indoctrinated if they refuse to think for themselves and question what is being taught
 
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Foxfyre

Foxfyre

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History is an important topic, but it's less interesting to young people than mature. AND history isn't just facts, but subject to interpretation. Whose history books should we use?

Good question. Obviously the ones currently being used are not educating the students. But perhaps if more people demanded accurate and complete history, there would be better ones to choose from.
 
OP
Foxfyre

Foxfyre

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The only way to preserve the Constitution is to make sure that kids understand the Founding of this nation.
And the only way to preserve Free Markets is to confront the conflicting claims for Socialism vs Capitalism.

You can't indoctrinate teens. You can only arm them with the background to rapidly reach the conclusion that ignorance WILL BE EXPLOITED by politicians and the media.. Make them less susceptible to outrageous claims. They need to know HOW STUFF WORKS. And how the future of the country lies in separating truth from fiction and politicized BS..

The conditions as expressed in the video say much more about the power of mass media than anything else methinks, and its power of influence.

This is exactly why I'm always railing against the concept of television; this is its bounty.

It is my experience that when you expect certain standards from the students, many more of the students will choose to meet those standards than those who will not. If we expect students to have a reasonable knowledge of our history and the basics of economics, cause and effect, and encourage them to consider all points of view and think critically to form opinions about what they see, hear, and read, most will do it.
 

flacaltenn

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The only way to preserve the Constitution is to make sure that kids understand the Founding of this nation.
And the only way to preserve Free Markets is to confront the conflicting claims for Socialism vs Capitalism.

You can't indoctrinate teens. You can only arm them with the background to rapidly reach the conclusion that ignorance WILL BE EXPLOITED by politicians and the media.. Make them less susceptible to outrageous claims. They need to know HOW STUFF WORKS. And how the future of the country lies in separating truth from fiction and politicized BS..

Agree with your comment except the highlighted part. Given the right tools anyone can be indoctrinated if they refuse to think for themselves and question what is being taught

Indoctrination implies force-fed education. Kids are pretty sensitive to 'dictated knowledge'. All those "just say no" campaigns are a good example. They MIGHT have gotten kids to refuse to take Nyquil or Pepcid -- but they will still reach their OWN conclusions on marijuana based on EMPIRICAL evidence in front of their noses.

To avoid making them victims of politicians and the media -- they need STRAIGHT textual background without the indoctrination or added sob stories or drama.
 

Ravi

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I wonder why the video didn't show the students that got the answers correct. I also wonder why the PC video was included.
 
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Foxfyre

Foxfyre

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Proposed:

The modern generations are not being taught our history, our Constitution, or basic civics. They aren't being taught the reasoning of the Founders or about the great philosophers who informed them. Modern day students are not being required to study the Founding Documents or the circumstance that encouraged people to risk everything to come here and then to form a new nation.

They are not being taught basic economics, the principles of supply and demand in a free market system, the pros and cons of economic systems, or all the effect of government programs. The are not exposed to or encouraged to hear all points of view or use critical thinking to evaluate them.

They are spoon fed sound bites and slogans and the politically correct dogma of the day. Or what they know is gleaned from bits and pieces of internet sources or sounds bites from television or message boards. In short, too often they are being indoctrinated and effectively brainwashed instead of educated.

Some anecdotal evidence:

youtube watters world interviews - Bing video

youtube people can't answer political questions - Bing video

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: Should basic history as described here be core curriculum, and should students have a reasonable command of it before graduating high school and college? Why or why not is that important?

RULES FOR THIS DISCUSSION:
1
. Links are allowed but are not required and if used must be summarized in the member's own words.
2. Definitions for this discussion only will be provided by the OP as necessary.
3. Comment on the member's argument only and not directly or indirectly to or about the member making the argument.

Interesting contrast in the video. I would have had no clue whatsoever about the last two quesitons on "Snookie" and Brad Pitt. None whatsoever.

Obviously they've bought the idea that that sort of thing is more important than knowing basic --- really really basic -- history.

That doesn't mean they're not being taught that history --- it means they've put it on the bottom of the priority list.

Would they put it on the bottom of their priority list if it was required to graduate from high school? To get into college? To graduate from college?

Observation: Most of those educated in the 1940's, 50's, 60's, 70's, and probably most of the 80's would probably be able to answer all those questions EXCEPT for the media based ones. But education has deteriorated greatly since then.
 

SassyIrishLass

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The only way to preserve the Constitution is to make sure that kids understand the Founding of this nation.
And the only way to preserve Free Markets is to confront the conflicting claims for Socialism vs Capitalism.

You can't indoctrinate teens. You can only arm them with the background to rapidly reach the conclusion that ignorance WILL BE EXPLOITED by politicians and the media.. Make them less susceptible to outrageous claims. They need to know HOW STUFF WORKS. And how the future of the country lies in separating truth from fiction and politicized BS..

Agree with your comment except the highlighted part. Given the right tools anyone can be indoctrinated if they refuse to think for themselves and question what is being taught

Indoctrination implies force-fed education. Kids are pretty sensitive to 'dictated knowledge'. All those "just say no" campaigns are a good example. They MIGHT have gotten kids to refuse to take Nyquil or Pepcid -- but they will still reach their OWN conclusions on marijuana based on EMPIRICAL evidence in front of their noses.

To avoid making them victims of politicians and the media -- they need STRAIGHT textual background without the indoctrination or added sob stories or drama.

You've hit on what is wrong with public education in schools today
 

Hossfly

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Every student should know those academic subjects before graduating high school. In college only if they are planning on a career in law, politics and jobs that require knowledge of the subjects. The video should make people want to cry for the future of the country. Also the canvasser should have asked each person their political bent. However I suspect each of them will be Democrats.
 

Pogo

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Indoctrination implies force-fed education

Not necessarily. In fact not at all. Indoctrination is far more effective when it's ingested willingly.

And there's television again. It's the most effective propaganda tool ever created. And nobody is forced to watch it.

To paraphrase an old wisdom, "who controls television controls the world".
 

Dhara

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History is no longer taught in this country. Most Americans are completely ignorant of it. Our big tyrannical central government wants it this way. Dumb people are much easier to control.
I don't see it as a conspiracy of "tyrannical big government". A teacher in public school is damned lucky to get their students attention for longer than a few minutes due to having to continuosly manage classroom behavior. AND history isn't presented in broad ideas that are discussable. There is no discussion because it becomes a free for all. Look at how this is mirroed on TV news shows. Where on earth are people to get reliable information in order to make important decisions about who to elect? The whole thing is sound bites and sensationalism.
 

Pogo

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Proposed:

The modern generations are not being taught our history, our Constitution, or basic civics. They aren't being taught the reasoning of the Founders or about the great philosophers who informed them. Modern day students are not being required to study the Founding Documents or the circumstance that encouraged people to risk everything to come here and then to form a new nation.

They are not being taught basic economics, the principles of supply and demand in a free market system, the pros and cons of economic systems, or all the effect of government programs. The are not exposed to or encouraged to hear all points of view or use critical thinking to evaluate them.

They are spoon fed sound bites and slogans and the politically correct dogma of the day. Or what they know is gleaned from bits and pieces of internet sources or sounds bites from television or message boards. In short, too often they are being indoctrinated and effectively brainwashed instead of educated.

Some anecdotal evidence:

youtube watters world interviews - Bing video

youtube people can't answer political questions - Bing video

QUESTION FOR DISCUSSION: Should basic history as described here be core curriculum, and should students have a reasonable command of it before graduating high school and college? Why or why not is that important?

RULES FOR THIS DISCUSSION:
1
. Links are allowed but are not required and if used must be summarized in the member's own words.
2. Definitions for this discussion only will be provided by the OP as necessary.
3. Comment on the member's argument only and not directly or indirectly to or about the member making the argument.

Interesting contrast in the video. I would have had no clue whatsoever about the last two quesitons on "Snookie" and Brad Pitt. None whatsoever.

Obviously they've bought the idea that that sort of thing is more important than knowing basic --- really really basic -- history.

That doesn't mean they're not being taught that history --- it means they've put it on the bottom of the priority list.

Would they put it on the bottom of their priority list if it was required to graduate from high school? To get into college? To graduate from college?

Observation: Most of those educated in the 1940's, 50's, 60's, 70's, and probably most of the 80's would probably be able to answer all those questions EXCEPT for the media based ones. But education has deteriorated greatly since then.

Has it though?

Is it that education has deteriorated --- or is it that mass media has risen to be so powerful in influence that traditional education can't even effectively compete? In the eras you cite above, it didn't have nearly that level of influence.

You're also touching on the definition of "learning".... it's one thing to retain an abstract stream of facts and dates long enough to write them down on a test paper; it's quite another thing to grok that background because it has personal meaning.


I can't escape the moment of epiphany, riding on public transportation in some city (wherever it was), watching six people across the aisle -- obviously unconnected, older, younger, male, female, black, white, nothing in common ---- and all six of them, faces buried in their smartphones, tapping out their allotted 140 characters at a time, oblivious to everything around them.

When you've come up with technology to lead people around to that degree --- you've got a power that can't be matched by a school building.
 

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