Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 2/8/2002 5:07:55 PM EDT
Check out these excerpts from college term papers: -"Martin Luther Junior's famous `If I Had a Hammer' speech.`" -"John F. Kennedy worked closely with the Russians to solve the Canadian Missile Crisis." -"Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill and Truman were known as the `Big Three.' " Ahh, the joys of public education. Read more at: [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/29/nyregion/29BIG.html[/url]
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 5:35:14 PM EDT
You need to register. Care to copy and paste?
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 6:39:19 PM EDT
Beware the Yikes of March by JOHN TIERNEY It was not officially exam period at New York University, but Prof. Anders Henriksson was busy yesterday giving a history test at a campus deli. He was expecting the worst. Dr. Henriksson, a professor of history at ShepherdCollege in West Virginia, is the compiler of "Non Campus Mentis" (Workman Publishing), which is a history of the world taken verbatim from term papers and exams at American and Canadian colleges. In this chronicle from the Stoned Age to the Berlin Mall, Judyism is a monolithic religion with the god Yahoo. Gothic cathedrals are supported by flying buttocks. Hitler terrorizes enemies with his Gespacho. Caesar is assassinated on the Yikes of March and declares, "Me too, Brutus!" How widespread is this ignorance? Dr. Henriksson demonstrated by giving a 27- question quiz, with 16 needed to get a passing grade (roughly 60 percent): In one sentence or less, identify Winston Churchill, Otto von Bismarck, Mohandas Gandhi, Nikita Khrushchev, Benito Mussolini, Sigmund Freud, Florence Nightingale and Adam Smith. In what countries are Warsaw, Caracas, Antwerp, Shanghai, Lagos and Pearl Harbor? In what year did the United States Civil War end? World War I? When was the Russian Revolution? When did World War II start? When did American women get the right to vote in national elections? When was Napoleon defeated at Waterloo? When did Hitler become German chancellor? Find an error in each of these excerpts from student essays contained in Dr.Henriksson's book: "Martin Luther Junior's famous `If I Had a Hammer' speech.`' "John F. Kennedy worked closely with the Russians to solve the Canadian Missile Crisis." "Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill and Truman were known as the `Big Three.' " "Athena the Hun rampaged the Balkans as far as France." "Ferdinand and Isabella conquered Granola, a part of Spain now known as Mexico." "Good times ended when England suffered civil war between the Musketeers and the Round Ones." The quiz was taken by five male and five female N.Y.U. undergraduates, chosen unscientifically by me at the Campus Eatery, a deli on West Fourth Street. Dr. Hendriksson graded leniently, but only one of the 10 students passed, and just barely with a 17. The average grade was 10 of 27. They all knew who Freud was, but that was about the extent of their common knowledge. A freshman economics major identified Adam Smith as an American president, and Florence Nightingale as a knight. A junior history major called the nurse a "famous poet" and located Caracas in Ohio. A junior majoring in politics said the English civil war pitted the Round Ones against the "Square Ones." (It was the Roundheads versus the Cavaliers.) Other students placed Athena the Hun's rampage in the Spanish and the Austrian parts of the Balkans. Granola was called a part of Spain now known as "Florence." The dates, not surprisingly, proved trouble for everyone. One student put the Civil War's end in 1770 instead of 1865. The Russian Revolution was moved to 1850 (the correct answer was any year from 1917 to 1920). Only one student knew that World War I ended in 1918, and only two knew the next world war started in 1939. No one put Waterloo in 1815, women's suffrage in 1920 or Hitler's rise in 1933. continued...
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 6:40:13 PM EDT
...continued - You could interpet these results as a rebuke to American education, but the one foreign student in the group — a German sophomore majoring in business — flunked, too. He placed Warsaw in Austria. Dr. Hendriksson was neither surprised nor indignant at the results. "I'm not trying to launch a jeremiad against the American school system," he said. "But I do want to show that the base of common knowledge isn't as wide as we commonly assume. Our culture doesn't put a high emphasis on history." But at least we sometimes recognize the limits of our knowledge. "I love it in student essays when they know they're going astray," Dr. Henriksson said. "They start trying to get philosophical about lack of knowledge, and they just get into more trouble." He paused and quoted one such philosopher. "Thus has our stream of consciousness developed a waterfall," Dr. Henriksson said, smiling as he savored the student's wisdom. Then he opened his book and fondly read its concluding rumination from a student essayist: "It is now the age of now. This concept grinds our critical, seething minds to a halt." Me too, Brutus!
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 6:53:08 PM EDT
Sad but true. At all levels of undergraduate education the students are getting dumber and dumber, are less and less aware of their own ignorance, and yet have piss-poor "I-deserve-an-A-'cause-I'm-here" attitudes. Recent scores show nearly 90% of all high school graduates who apply to college have a "A" grade point average, yet SAT scores are at the lowest in 30yrs. The problem = Grade Inflation aka dumbed-down liberal education standards starting from grade school on up to Universities. "All-Attitude/No-Aptitude-Dumber-Than-Sh!t College Students"... now don't get me started! [;D]
Link Posted: 2/8/2002 7:05:23 PM EDT
I didn't do too well on the dates, but "flying buttocks?" That's too funny. Too bad the rest of it is so sad. No wonder we're losing our rights - nobody remembers that we ever had them anyway.
Top Top