Author Mark Bauerlein aims to provoke in his new book, “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future” (Tarcher/Penguin). Do you agree? Take a look at eight reasons the Emory University English professor gives to ”not trust anyone under 30” — see which you think is the best.
The root of the problem seems to be embedded in our culture. Given the long tradition of anti-intellectualism in the United States, I somehow doubt that digital technology is responsible for stupefying Americans, as Bauerlein suggests. Digital technologies simply make it easier for us to learn about how much more intelligent many other people might be, and how Americans are losing their knowledge-based competitive advantage. The key is in how we use these technologies. If we use them to continue our tradition of anti-intellectualism, then it only seems reasonable that we should expect the production of mediocrity to expand.
This week, Education Futures will focus on America’s unstable orbit around mediocrity. Next week, we will focus on what some people are doing about it.