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  • LIC
  • Super Waygook

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    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
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Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« on: May 19, 2019, 08:51:17 am »
There was a thread recently asking if today's generation are less bright than previous generations, or something like that. Here's an interesting article from Canada.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/barbara-kay-universities-shine-a-light-on-ontarios-failing-schools?fbclid=IwAR1wBeoY98fbdo0clwn5n3BUuBlP4T84oGipKQvs844zefaVqUPFb_8m95o


Barbara Kay: Universities shine a light on Ontario's failing schools

The authors wrote: “Students with high self-esteem based on false feedback are much more difficult to teach because many cannot take criticism and feedback without assuming that it is personal."


April 30, 2019


 

A new study, “Academic Skill Deficiencies in four Ontario universities,” offers solid, but troubling evidence that the secondary schools feeding universities are falling well short of expectations on the skills-building front. In fact, this study, conducted at four Ontario universities — York, Western, Waterloo and Toronto, which together enrol 41 per cent of Ontario undergrads — found that “only about 44 per cent of students felt they had the generic skills needed to do well in their academic studies, 41 per cent could be classified as at risk in academic settings because of limited levels of basic skills, and 16 per cent lacked almost all the skills needed for higher learning.”

    16 per cent lacked almost all the skills needed for higher learning

The study team, co-led by York University Department of Sociology Professor J. Paul Grayson, and Western University Department of Sociology Professor James C� included associate professor of sociology Robert Kenedy of York University, and researchers Liang Hsuan Chen of the University of Toronto Scarborough and Sharon Roberts of the University of Waterloo.

The study was motivated by Grayson’s and Kenedy’s frustration in having to teach students they deemed unprepared in the critical thinking and research and writing competency required for their social sciences courses at York. Wishing to know the students’ point of view, in late 2017 they surveyed 22,000 students from all disciplines and levels of study enrolled in the faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York. They posed 50 questions to students of all demographic backgrounds. Skill questions focused on writing ability, test-taking, analysis, time and group management, research, giving presentations and elemental numeracy. A year later, the same survey was performed at the three other universities cited. The results were consistent across the board.

    Clearly the secondary-school system is failing to meet basic pedagogical objectives, and is failing to cull incompetent students

And, as noted, the results were dismal. Students in the at-risk and dysfunctional groups received poor grades, were more likely to consider dropping out and reported dissatisfaction with their university experience overall. One student’s comments summed up typical complaints: “Not enough time on tests. Have difficulty citing. We are not taught. Have difficulty with multiple-choice, short and long answer questions on tests. We should be taught how to cite properly!”

Notably, the authors say that these “effects held independently of students having good grades in high school, of being a domestic or international student, of being the first in their families to attend university, of gender, and of having spoken English in their homes while growing up.”

One cannot blame the universities for these student deficits, which, the authors observe, are often irremediable over the course of campus residency. Clearly the secondary-school system is failing to meet basic pedagogical objectives, and is failing to cull incompetent students. University students should be honing already-absorbed competencies, not learning them from scratch, nor should university-level academics’ time be wasted in remedial instruction.

But pedagogues K-12 are often in denial of the problem, because they are themselves in thrall to the “self-esteem” zeitgeist, about which so much ink has been spilt. They are giving good grades to work that does not merit it, because of the prevailing “all must have prizes” culture they operate within. In a 2008 study, psychology professor Ellen Greenberger found that two-thirds of university students believe that if they’re “trying hard,” their grades should reflect their effort, not their actual achievement. One-third of the 400 undergrads her team interviewed for the study felt they deserved a B grade just for attending most of a course’s classes.

 One of the Grayson et al study’s authors, James C� co-authored the 2007 book, Ivory Tower Blues: A University System in Crisis, which reported the results of an in-depth analysis of the self-esteem movement’s consequences at Western University in the faculties of arts, social science and natural science.

The authors wrote: “Students with high self-esteem based on false feedback are much more difficult to teach because many cannot take criticism and feedback without assuming that it is personal. Experimental research suggests that such people attempt to preserve their self-esteem, not by altering their behaviour so that it becomes more based in reality, but by attacking the source of the threat.” More than one-third of the profs they interviewed identified fewer than 10 per cent of their students as “fully engaged.” Over 80 per cent of professors said they had dumbed down their course work, and had reduced the frequency and difficulty of assignments.

But even when course work is made easier, the students are not prepared. One student wrote to professors Grayson and Kenedy: “IM IN FIRST YEAR AND IM DOING SO BAD AND IM SO SCARED BC IM FINDING IT REALLY HARD TO MANAGE MY TIME AND MY ANXIETY HAS GOTTEN SO BAD AND IDK WHAT TO DO AND IM SCARED OF GETTING KICKED OUT AND IM JUST SCARED.”

This study might well have been called “Scary cultural chickens coming home to roost in Ontario universities.” Over to you, Premier Ford.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

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    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 10:56:06 am »
I think they are letting too many people into universities.



  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

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Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 11:01:46 am »
I agree with this article but it is not just Canada it seems a world wide phenomenon. I can't talk for the US but I have  certainly seen it in Korea, everyone is a winner. In Korea you cannot fail and I think it is pretty much the same in China and areas around it.

The Philippines takes it to a whole new level in my eyes. From Kinder to Grade 12 kids are bedecked with medals and graduation ceremonies (even in kinder) likened unto getting a PhD from an Ivy League University.  Basically if you can write your name in kinder you are guaranteed a medal.

It is completely ridiculous, the kids spend more time on practicing for parades and concerts than they do actual schoolwork and teachers skip lessons continually. Teaching is a last resort there but they all get medals and certificates. Suddenly they are exposed to the real world and even after graduating from college most are relegated to working in a supermarket as a cashier (yes, you have to have a bachelor's degree to be a cashier).

The whole world has gone crazy with this college thing. It is expected of you to go to college or you are regarded as being useless.

When I finished school, most people didn't go to university, some went to trade schools, others Technical colleges and emerged as useful people in the workplace.

The next step in the world-wide trend was that everyone had to have a bachelors, then everyone had to have a masters and now everyone must have a PhD or two to be competitive.  Where is it going to end? There is nothing beyond a PhD, so what's next?  This world is a crazy place.

It's time to get back to basics and to educate and train people for what the world needs, not pump out millions of graduates that end up working in a 7-11.

Sorry I digressed, but I do think there is a certain link to the topic of this thread.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3393

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2019, 12:25:58 pm »
There is nothing beyond a PhD, so what's next?

PhD plus publications. Whoever has the most / best wins.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4083

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2019, 08:37:47 pm »
I had a chat with a friend from uni yesterday.

He is about 50, has PhD in chemistry and works in industry.

He told he that the university revised the Bachelor of Science program in recent years to make it easier... approximately 2.5 years of material we took would fulfill the 4-year degree requirements today.

This is a Canadian university.



  • VanIslander
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Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2019, 09:51:26 pm »
I was a grad student at a Canadian university in 1994 and in his office, one of my professors (i was his teaching assistant that semester) shared with me a long rant about how most students "these days" know " **** all" about history, grammar, logic, writing and even sustained thinking about a subject. Worse, he said, the recent generation (circa 1994) didn't care that they didn't know, unapologetically ignorant and quick to excuse away any lack of knowledge as being about things that must be unimportant. He said when he was young, students felt inadequate and ashamed for not knowing things, they hustled to fill in gaps of their knowledge and assumed they needed to lnow more than they already did.

That rant was a quarter century ago, perhaps the birth of the entitlement-riddled millennials' attitude that only gets attributed to the youth of a decade hence.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 09:57:17 pm by VanIslander »


  • JVPrice
  • Expert Waygook

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    • August 29, 2017, 10:26:13 am
    • Cheongju
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 07:10:21 am »
If we all pass, and all get degrees, we can all get the best jobs right?

............. Right??
The World Ends With You


  • LIC
  • Super Waygook

    • 261

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 07:44:39 am »
I had a chat with a friend from uni yesterday.

He is about 50, has PhD in chemistry and works in industry.

He told he that the university revised the Bachelor of Science program in recent years to make it easier... approximately 2.5 years of material we took would fulfill the 4-year degree requirements today.

This is a Canadian university.



Quick question: Have they dropped actual material that was taught before or do they cover everything but not as in depth?


  • elsbethm
  • Veteran

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    • September 29, 2016, 09:26:54 pm
    • gangwondo
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 08:01:02 am »
I had a chat with a friend from uni yesterday.

He is about 50, has PhD in chemistry and works in industry.

He told he that the university revised the Bachelor of Science program in recent years to make it easier... approximately 2.5 years of material we took would fulfill the 4-year degree requirements today.

This is a Canadian university.



Hmmm...or just changed the material to things more relevant to science today??
Both my mother and I majored in Biology and I can tell you that I learned wayyyy more than she ever did.   I studied things they didn't even know existed when she went to school.
Are students getting dumber or is material getting harder? Eg genetics vs epigenetics.

I think the biggest problem here is that Canadian students are under a lot of pressure to go to university when not everyone is cut out for it.  I went to very academic high schools and the idea of college was very much frowned upon. 
There should be more focus and encouragement for students to go to college/apprenticeship.
Even though I was successful in uni, I really wish I had gone the college route instead.


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1343

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
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Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 08:13:37 am »
I agree with this article but it is not just Canada it seems a world wide phenomenon. I can't talk for the US but I have  certainly seen it in Korea, everyone is a winner. In Korea you cannot fail and I think it is pretty much the same in China and areas around it.

The Philippines takes it to a whole new level in my eyes. From Kinder to Grade 12 kids are bedecked with medals and graduation ceremonies (even in kinder) likened unto getting a PhD from an Ivy League University.  Basically if you can write your name in kinder you are guaranteed a medal.

It is completely ridiculous, the kids spend more time on practicing for parades and concerts than they do actual schoolwork and teachers skip lessons continually. Teaching is a last resort there but they all get medals and certificates. Suddenly they are exposed to the real world and even after graduating from college most are relegated to working in a supermarket as a cashier (yes, you have to have a bachelor's degree to be a cashier).

The whole world has gone crazy with this college thing. It is expected of you to go to college or you are regarded as being useless.

When I finished school, most people didn't go to university, some went to trade schools, others Technical colleges and emerged as useful people in the workplace.

The next step in the world-wide trend was that everyone had to have a bachelors, then everyone had to have a masters and now everyone must have a PhD or two to be competitive.  Where is it going to end? There is nothing beyond a PhD, so what's next?  This world is a crazy place.

It's time to get back to basics and to educate and train people for what the world needs, not pump out millions of graduates that end up working in a 7-11.

Sorry I digressed, but I do think there is a certain link to the topic of this thread.

In my hometown in NZ, the McDonald's there started wanting people with bachelor degrees to make their burgers and work the registers haha. - That was about 3 - 4 years ago though, and not sure how long it lasted.
And they've started making crazy changes to make them look like an important international business.
However, the people from my town who get degrees, end up moving to a bigger city or moving abroad haha.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 10:26:21 am »
I had a chat with a friend from uni yesterday.

He is about 50, has PhD in chemistry and works in industry.

He told he that the university revised the Bachelor of Science program in recent years to make it easier... approximately 2.5 years of material we took would fulfill the 4-year degree requirements today.

This is a Canadian university.



Hmmm...or just changed the material to things more relevant to science today??
Both my mother and I majored in Biology and I can tell you that I learned wayyyy more than she ever did.   I studied things they didn't even know existed when she went to school.
Are students getting dumber or is material getting harder? Eg genetics vs epigenetics.

I think the biggest problem here is that Canadian students are under a lot of pressure to go to university when not everyone is cut out for it.  I went to very academic high schools and the idea of college was very much frowned upon. 
There should be more focus and encouragement for students to go to college/apprenticeship.
Even though I was successful in uni, I really wish I had gone the college route instead.
And yet only like 24% of Canadians have a university degree. I think you're over estimating the number of students that go on to 4-year universities in Canada.


  • T_Rex
  • Adventurer

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    • April 23, 2019, 08:10:20 am
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 09:18:38 am »
Intelligence is on the decline in many nations.

"People are getting dumber. That's not a judgment; it's a global fact. In a host of leading nations, IQ scores have started to decline.... Even children born to high-IQ parents are slipping down the IQ ladder."
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/iq-rates-are-dropping-many-developed-countries-doesn-t-bode-ncna1008576

I wonder if this could have something to do with the rise of social media. It seems to encourage shallow thinking and short attention spans.


  • LIC
  • Super Waygook

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    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 09:53:59 am »
Intelligence is on the decline in many nations.

"People are getting dumber. That's not a judgment; it's a global fact. In a host of leading nations, IQ scores have started to decline.... Even children born to high-IQ parents are slipping down the IQ ladder."
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/iq-rates-are-dropping-many-developed-countries-doesn-t-bode-ncna1008576

I wonder if this could have something to do with the rise of social media. It seems to encourage shallow thinking and short attention spans.

Interesting theory and quite possible in my opinion. I grew up in a time when finding information could take hours or days. Remember going to the library and hunting through the card catalogue (the Dewey Decimal System) finding the books and spending hours looking for the right phrase? It took thinking. Critical and creative thinking.

Now, everything is immediate. Too few people read anymore. Why bother when you can watch a movie, or listen to a talk while you chat online. No thinking required.

There's also research that says multi-tasking is not effective, where it was fairly recently thought that it was the opposite.


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

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    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Burning Oil Be Best
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 12:35:37 pm »
not true and this has been talked about before and dispelled yet again.

No, you are not smarter than the Gen Z. kids
Fiat voluntas tua- What you want is allowed


  • LIC
  • Super Waygook

    • 261

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2019, 07:14:38 pm »
not true and this has been talked about before and dispelled yet again.

No, you are not smarter than the Gen Z. kids

Who or what are Gen Z kids? Seriously, where does it end.

Why not call the most recent generation the "GenWBMCPS"


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 437

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Burning Oil Be Best
Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2019, 09:40:17 pm »
You are a teacher, how do you not know this? 
Fiat voluntas tua- What you want is allowed


Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2019, 10:07:21 pm »
Who or what are Gen Z kids? Seriously, where does it end.
Gen Omega.


  • VanIslander
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Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2019, 11:41:13 pm »
How many BOOKS (minimum 100 pages) have you read in the last year?

I uncomfortably admit SIX.

I am 50 years old. I hear younger teachers say they haven't read a book in years. (Somehow online surfing is a substitute for sustained thought.)

One would think someone capable of binge watching several seasons of Game of Thrones could read a few books in the meantime.



  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2019, 08:06:43 am »
How many BOOKS (minimum 100 pages) have you read in the last year?

I uncomfortably admit SIX.

I am 50 years old. I hear younger teachers say they haven't read a book in years. (Somehow online surfing is a substitute for sustained thought.)

One would think someone capable of binge watching several seasons of Game of Thrones could read a few books in the meantime.

If reading them online counts, then around 20 books.
That's not including the 1000s of comics I've read too


  • CO2
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Re: Maybe students are dumber these days - Canucks anyway
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2019, 08:30:00 am »
How many BOOKS (minimum 100 pages) have you read in the last year?

I uncomfortably admit SIX.

I am 50 years old. I hear younger teachers say they haven't read a book in years. (Somehow online surfing is a substitute for sustained thought.)

One would think someone capable of binge watching several seasons of Game of Thrones could read a few books in the meantime.


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Ten? I remember when I first moved here and I lost my phone. I also did't have a computer yet.

I was reading 2 books a week! I literally had no other avenue of entertainment. I find that I NEVER read at home, so once a week I'll go to Ansan and just read at a cafe for four hours.
The joys of fauxtherhood