Here's the sad news: [color:blue]Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food.<br><br>Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers.<br><br>More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.<br><br>That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.<br><br>The results cut across three types of literacy: analyzing news stories and other prose, understanding documents and having math skills needed for checkbooks or restaurant tips.</font color=blue><br><br>But as if that isn't bad enough, get a load of this: [color:blue]Overall, the average literacy of college students is significantly higher than that of adults across the nation.</font color=blue><br><br>linky<br><br>. . . . . Here's lookin' at [color:red]you</font color=red> kid.
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
Both of us deal with college students, grad students every day. Does your daily experience with them match up to this sad news? I'm not sure.<br><br>My anecdotal comparison of a graduating college student in 1978 and 2003.<br><br>1978: likely had a taste of "real life" by working summers. Doesn't have a problem with credit card debt because no credit card company would give him one. No problem spending his bank account because ATM machines do not exist and standing in line at the bank is a pain. Knows basic math skills because if he can't count back change along with the cashier he is getting ripped off. Knows what double digit inflation is because his pack of smokes is getting expensive.<br><br>2003: In the pressure for good grades a taste of "real life" is unavailable because summers are tutoring and computer camp. Has a problem with credit cards because he got 50 offers for cards the day he graduated from elementary school and still can't figure out why he should pay more than the minimum payment. ATM card is constantly taking out the 20 bucks grandma puts in his bank account so it is always at zero. No basic math skills because a calculator and a computerized teller does the work. Doesn't know that inflation=bad so does not know that cut tax plus spend is bad and thus votes for Bush.<br><br>For the most part they seem very smart, but yeah, I guess the news is bad.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>(__*__)
You hit the nail on the head...that's what these kids need. Personal finance, how to drive, car insurance 101, credit cards, how to network, how to pull up your pants, social interaction 101....<br><br>
I think the major difference between kids nowadays and kids when I was in college is that we're in a post-literate world now and kids, at least the ones I get, really do not know how to read very well.<br><br>They often can't tell the difference between a statement of fact and a statement of opinion.<br><br>They can't always distinguish between an author's point of view and the contextual information from which the author deviates or derives his ideas (so if an author says, "Marx believed that religion is the opiate of the people, but he's clearly full of sh!t," the kid might say that the author believes that religion is the opiate of the people).<br><br>Their writing skills are abysmal, for the most part . . . and there are at least two major reasons for that, I think. First, to write well you need to read a lot. Second, high schools tend to teach them the 5-¶ style, which looks someting like this: thesis is "I am happy because the sky is blue, I fell in love, and the doctor told me I don't have lung cancer; ¶ 1, "The sky is blue"; ¶2, "I fell in love"; ¶3, "I don't have lung cancer." You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get the kids to develop consecutive, coherent, unified arguments instead of this kind of stuff. And the sad thing is that the better the kid is in high school, teh more thoroughly she/he has internalized the pattern and so the harder it is to get beyond the 5¶ crap!<br><br>There's also just a general lack of knowledge about things, what E. D. Hirsch called cultural literacy. I teach "old" literature, and encounter the problem all the time. There's no sense of history or of social context. Some of them are very religious, but know nothing at all about the history of religion or about theological distinctions, and very very few of them have even read the Bible. <br><br>Not connected to reading, but also obvious to me is the lack of mathematical skills. You tell 'em that something is worth 25% of the grade, and they can't figure out what that means.<br><br>Having said all that, I'm also impressed by the kids' dedication. They realize their deficits and work very hard at overcoming them. I've seen kids redefine their whole academic profile in a single semester. And in the course of four years, usually, they work miracles for themselves. And the moment that they begin to see connections is just priceless.<br><br>. . . . . Here's lookin' at [color:red]you</font color=red> kid.
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
#263040 - 01/20/0605:21 PMRe: Hoo Boy :(
Kids today simply don't get the kind of foundations in grade school – high school that prepares them for college. They're prepared for the all the tests, from SAT to entrance, but learning the test isn't learning. It's parroting.<br><br>Years ago, I was stunned to hear that phonetics were no longer the way to teach Johnny to read. Johnny would somehow grasp, intuitively . . . truth is, I never did understand the new alternative. And basic math was no longer rote memorization of the basic gozzentas.<br><br>Government wasn't nearly as involved in the teaching process as it wants to be now. Standards were set by the schools, the teachers, the parents ~ the public, not the government.<br><br>A great approach to Life 101 ~ Every high school graduate should wait tables for one year. It teaches: The concept of team work. Individual initiative. Thinking, and fast, on your feet. Decent manners. The value of hard earned money. And that an education is essential to a better job, but must be earned.<br><br>One last concern, and this one is for our littlest kids. How in the world do kids today learn how to tie a bow or a know? Those little velcro sneakers are a godsend for mom, no doubt, but I remember the sense of "grown up" that I marveled in when I finally learned to tie my own shoes. Sounds silly, but that sense of accomplishment when you're a little shaver is important.<br><br><br><br><br>[color:blue]And I'm the one that jaded you . . .</font color=blue>
That all rings true. I only see students wishing to be scientists so the math and science are strong but I do see the horrid grammar. If they need to write part of a paper or grant with me I am never surprised anymore. I was no great shakes at that age but at least I don't think I used loose instead of lose. (I can't help it but that one sets my teeth a jangling.) <br><br>It's funny you mentioned the 5-¶ style because I was looking over my 9 year old daughter's shoulder last night and she had the outline of a hamburger. Two buns and three patties. She was writing in what each was. The top bun was the intro, the bottom bun was the conclusion and who knows what the three pieces of mystery meat were.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>(__*__)
I wish everyone had that slice of life "wait tables" too. When I hire people fresh out of college for my labs we get a two foot stack of resumes. I have a grading system which someone in the lab does to the pile to get it to a manageable level.<br><br>Five years ago the cutoff was a score of FOC8/L5/w8 which means there academic grades (fresh out of college FOC) were 8 out of a scale o 10. They had at least a few real labs (5 out of 10) and that they earned a paycheck on a 40 hour a week job for at least two months (w8).<br><br>Now, the cutoff is FOC8/L2/w4. I am lucky if college gave them any real lab courses and very very few ever had a summer job which was a 40 hour a week situation. It is that real life grounding which helps a lot. Once they are in my lab we don't babysit anyone to force them to show up 40 hours a week. It is whatever gets the projects done. Kids who have bussed tables realize that having the ability to come and go is not the norm. They never need it explained to them.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>(__*__)
Loc: Lancaster PA USA
I can attest to the power of learning to read with the help of phonics.<br><br>While I was 4 and 5 years old—the year before and the year of Kindergarten (early 1963 through June of 1966)—my parents and grandparents provided me with bunches of fun and progressively more difficult activity books that were meant to teach the alphabet, letter combinations, basic words, etc. , all based on phonics concepts. I was given help when I asked for it, but by and large I devoured those books and taught myself to read and write. I was leaps and bounds ahead of the other kids, but as a group in school we were all taught the basics of language through the phonics method. By 6th grade, we were ALL reading, writing and understanding well above the median range. <br><br>Tell me this: Do kids still work through the S.R.A. reading activites in elementary schools these days? Man, they were extraordnarily helpful!<br><br>
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