Dumbing Down Catches Up with The West…
For those who deride the traditional, and largely abandoned, methods of teaching, learning and the application of knowledge may have to reconsider their position due to a recent study claiming those living in the Western World have slid hard into the downward spiral of stupidity over the past 100 years plus, as reported by Breitbart.com on May 23, 2013.
In a study entitled “Were the Victorians cleverer than us?” conducted by Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, asserts that the average Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of those living in what’s loosely referred to as Western Civilization had dropped a full 14 points as compared to those living in the 19th century.
Dr. te Nijenhuis stated the steady decline is due to the more intelligent women in the West are electing to have less and less children every passing generation, whereas women of lower intelligence are having more and more children, thus lowering the intelligence of society overall.
Mr. Low Information, Meet Miss Dumbed Down…
In the recent Presidential election cycle, the American people became all too familiar with the phrase “low information voter,” a phrase slightly changed then borrowed from the phrase “low information signaling” coined in 1991 by political scientist and pollster Samuel Popkin.
Popkin initially mean for his phrase to indicate voters who used shallow and simplistic rationale in determining who they would select in any given election.
Examples indicating one who used low information signaling:
- Women who voted for John Kennedy “because he’s so handsome.”
- Veterans who voted for Dwight Eisenhower based on “he was a great general.”
Since Popkin’s initial study, the phrase has somewhat mutated to mean a voter who garners their current affairs information from sources such as:
- “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on the Comedy Central network.
- The “Pimp with a Limp” radio show.
In the past decades, there has been a citable drop in the indicators of intelligence in America, such as The Broad Foundation for Education referencing that after the Second World War, the United States ranked #1 in high school graduation rates in the entire world.
Since, the United States has dropped to #22 among the 27 major industrialized nations.
Yet another citable fact was from the Canada Free Press, who pointed to “Florida schools where, because only 27% of the students were able to pass a fourth grade state written exam, the Florida Department of Education lowered the performance level standard.”
Regrettably, the decision was “made by a four-three vote, reasoning that the kids did so poorly because the test was too hard.”
Modern Educators Discover Dead Language Stimulates Young Minds…
In years past it was common place for many American high schools to require at least one year of Latin for all students.
During the latter half of the 20th century, the Latin requirement was tossed into the dustbin of history due to many “enlightened” educators considering the classes to be an archaic hangover of an equally archaic mindset towards the education of American youth.
Yet recently, some curriculum developers and educators have come to realize that because upwards to 60 percent of the English language is based upon Classic Latin, maybe the schoolteachers back in the old days were on to something.
Reading, Math And Critical Thinking Improved Due To Raising The Bar, Not Lowering It…
In a research paper compiled by Alice K. DeVane of Valdosta State University (of Georgia) entitled “Efficacy of Latin Studies in the Information Age,” DeVane states:
Results of research indicate that Latin education on all grade levels, particularly on the elementary grade levels, is related to improved general English comprehension (including reading, vocabulary, grammar and comprehension for both native and non-native speakers) and in facilitating the acquisition of a second foreign language.
At the secondary level the study of Latin is related to increased levels of language achievement as demonstrated on both the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT) verbal scores and increased use of critical thinking as evidenced by increased mathematics scores on these same tests.
An additional side effect is students’ improved motivation and interest in learning another language and improved self-concept.