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The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens after High School (Morality and Society Series)
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Clydesdale's empirically based analysis is unassailable, but no one is likely to be comfortable with all his conclusions. Contrary to the moralists, Clydesdale reports that most students are onlookers, not participants, in the hedonism sensationalized by novelist Tom Wolfe. Dashing the hopes of liberal arts idealists, he demonstrates that few students are willing to wrestle with fundamental questions about identity, belief or politics during their first year out. Clydesdale argues that we need to shed preconceptions, "lower our lofty ideals," and engage students as they are, not as we imagine or wish them to be. Everyone involved in higher education--professors, administrators, student affairs professionals--should read "The First Year Out."
Clydesdale has discovered many things that college and university faculty may find challenging and even upsetting. He finds most students "culturally inoculated against intellectual curiosity and creative engagement." They are preoccupied instead by the pursuit of "happiness and fulfillment" through "personal relationships and individual consumption."
While Clydesdale strips away illusions, he also provides a foundation from which to rethink the ways that faculty might better approach students. This book is academic social science at its best. Everyone who teaches at the college or university level should read The First Year Out.
While reading, I caught myself looking back and trying to place myself into the framework set out by Clydesdale, and the roles of my own family, faith and community. The themes of students' love of learning being dulled by boredom, complacency, and being unchallenged in school were true not only of myself but large numbers of my fellow teenage students. I was not at the level of "future intelligentsia" of say a "Rob Robertson" while in high school or even my first year out, so I may be an example of Clydesdale's theory that the second and third years of college offer an opportunity to broaden perspectives and engage interests.
I was also able to read this work as someone who is just starting to work with teens from the other side of the discussion, teaching and engaging with primarily first and second year university students in and out of the classroom.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. Read morePublished on March 27, 2013 by Reid Mccormick
Despite the many favorable reviews of this book, I found it extremely shallow, poorly researched, and badly written. Read morePublished on July 24, 2011 by Ulsterman
I am a college counselor and I thought this was good information. I liked the interviews this author conducted with the young people. Read morePublished on September 27, 2009 by Amanda Bradley