Wednesday, September 27, 2006

College makes you stupid

Finally there is proof that going to college makes you stupid. Newsweek had an interesting article online this week about just that. A study tested to see how well US colleges and Universities teach civics and US history. The result, college makes you stupid:

"Not only did many respondents at the 50 participating colleges fail to answer half of the basic civics questions correctly, but at such elite schools as Cornell, Berkeley and Johns Hopkins, the college freshmen scored higher than the college seniors."

I have begun to wonder what colleges do teach in America? We are constantly hearing about how other countries are turning out more engineers and scientist than we are, and we are obviously not teaching history and government, so what are we teaching? A lot of the classes I have taken at SJSU have spent a lot of time going over the same exact things we studied in high school. I do not think it is a problem of just the colleges, but our whole educational system is under performing. Honestly, I have no idea what to do to make it better.

The other concern here is the overall disinterest in government and politics. This type of knowledge is crucial to the success of our democracy (ok, our republic). We as citizens need to understand how these things work and then be active participants if the nation is going to succeed. Now, I will admit that I am not perfect either, and I will give the students who took the survey some credit. The sample questions from Newsweek were hard and I only scored 75% of them right, but that is a lot higher than the average.

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