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The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future(Or, Don 't Trust Anyone Under 30) Paperback – May 14, 2009
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-Don Campbell, USA Today
"An urgent and pragmatic book on the very dark topic of the virtual end of reading among the young."
"Never have American students had it so easy, and never have they achieved less. . . . Mr. Bauerlein delivers this bad news in a surprisingly brisk and engaging fashion, blowing holes in a lot of conventional educational wisdom."
-Charles McGrath, The New York Times
"It wouldn't be going too far to call this book the Why Johnny Can't Read for the digital age."
"Throughout The Dumbest Generation, there are . . . keen insights into how the new digital world really is changing the way young people engage with information and the obstacles they face in integrating any of it meaningfully. These are insights that educators, parents, and other adults ignore at their peril."
-Lee Drutman, Los Angeles Times
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Top Customer Reviews
In the last 10 years I have been a high school teacher and a grad student at the university. I would have granted these points rather readily. Moreover, most people who would dispute these points are not going to sit down and read a book that delights in exercising a postgraduate level vocabulary. My most poignant critique of this book would be that, excellent as it may be, the writing alone make it inaccessible to "The Dumbest Generation." If not them, who is Bauerlein trying to convince?
After he has successfully brushed off the dummies Bauerlein's last couple of chapters, which attempt to explain the phenomenon, make a series of very good points. We adults who are supposed to be in charge of our children's formation and education have abdicated our responsibilities. We have found it easier to cave in to them. To mistake a facile familiarity with the use of electronic gadgetry to socialize with deep understanding. To ascribe literary merit to their puerile Facebook blogs. To let them retreat for hours to their bedrooms surrounded by cell phones, telephones, computers, and every form of video and audio entertainment.Read more ›
So if teens have been wasting their leisure time on mindless pursuits for decades, why then is Gen Y so ignorant compared to previous generations? Dr. Bauerlein pretty much lets the schools off the hook in "The Dumbest Generation" but I believe that the "dumbing down" of the curriculum is the root cause. Today's teens were raised in the era of the "self esteem" fad, "whole language", "constructivist math" (aka fuzzy math), and all sorts of politically correct multiculturalism nonsense. Little wonder then that so many of them struggle with academic basics.
"The Dumbest Generation" is an interesting book, but the author's arguments in support of his main premise did not strike me as particularly convincing.
The only problem with this analysis is that it's completely wrong. As anyone who's been in a classroom recently can testify, today's students have very light workloads. They refuse to do homework. They simply won't study. They care about their social lives, not about academics. This is the reality of the situation. If anecdotes won't prove the point, real research will. Bauerlein provides that research, citing multiple, large studies by universities, government agencies, and other reliable sources. The results are clear. We have raised a nation that lacks basic knowledge of math, science, history, English, foreign language, and civics. Today's young people are not only weak academically, but also unable to use their leisure time productively.
Bauerlein spends one chapter establishing that fact. The rest of the book is spent shooting down the various responses to it. Response one is that technology inevitably makes our kids smarter. Yet the facts just don't justify it. America has spent seventy billion dollars to bring technology into the classroom, yet our students continue to fall behind. Schools in other countries remain focused on the basics and easily outperform us.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Maybe the publisher did this to him- but why write a serious treatise about an entire generation's problems and be so patently offensive in the title? Read morePublished 10 days ago by John B. Hibbits
A friend of mine texted me the other day that he thinks he's in the dumbest generation. He's 28. I'm 41. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Phil the Donahue
Not exactly an 'easy read'. To make his point, the author cites countless studies and reiterates his stance constantly throughout the book. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Sanchez!
You don't know anything this was the worst book I've ever read in my life this generation (millennials) have done so much and are cleaning up the mess that stupid old people left... Read morePublished 14 days ago by christine moore
Mark Bauerlein, utilizing an immense amount of logic and empirical evidence, presents his case that Generation Y or the Millenial Generation is not going to become the intellectual... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Mike
Delivery was way too long for my liking, the book itself is ok not what I thought it would be.Published 27 days ago by Jeffrey Smith Vagell