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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 – Bargain Price, 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
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
Book has some good information and points that make you think along with tons of stats to support authors opinion of gen Y being the dumbest yet. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Melinda Dillon
Needed it for school, can't comment on book quality, but came in one piece and quickly.Published 1 month ago by dawid
Excellent book, but a terrible reality. Even though this book was released prior to today's social media explosion I think the analysis of the future was well researched.Published 2 months ago by Jeffrey Thornton
Very poignant and to the point. The problem is the wrong people are going to reading the book.Published 2 months ago by Charles Chase
Having worked with the general public for the better part of two decades I find the title and the abstract alone to be revolting and distracts from the real issue. Read morePublished 2 months ago by DJ