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Posted: 1/29/2006 3:58:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 3:59:58 PM EDT by mcantu]
www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-2014198,00.html

Failing to teach them how to handle real life
A new report reveals that children today struggle with questions they could have answered 30 years ago, says Sian Griffiths
For a decade we’ve been told that our kids, just as they seem to be getting taller with each generation, are also getting brighter. Every year new waves of children get better GCSE, A-level and degree results than their predecessors. Meanwhile, in primary schools, the standards in national maths and English tests at 11 head in one direction — relentlessly upwards.

Last week came the bombshell that blew a gaping hole in this one-way escalator of achievement.

Far from getting cleverer, our 11-year-olds are, in fact, less “intelligent” than their counterparts of 30 years ago. Or so say a team who are among Britain’s most respected education researchers.

After studying 25,000 children across both state and private schools Philip Adey, a professor of education at King’s College London confidently declares: “The intelligence of 11-year-olds has fallen by three years’ worth in the past two decades.”

It’s an extraordinary claim. But it’s one that should startle parents and teachers out of complacency. Shocked by the findings, experts are questioning our entire exam system and calling for radical changes in the way our children are taught in primary schools.

In their painstaking research project Adey and his colleague, psychology professor Michael Shayer, compared the results of today’s children with those of children who took exactly the same test in the mid-1990s and also 30 years ago. While most exams have changed (been made easier, if you listen to the critics) this one is the same as it was in 1976 when pupils first chewed their pencils over the problems.

In the easiest question, children are asked to watch as water is poured up to the brim of a tall, thin container. From there the water is tipped into a small fat glass. The tall vessel is refilled. Do both beakers now hold the same amount of water? “It’s frightening how many children now get this simple question wrong,” says scientist Denise Ginsburg, Shayer’s wife and another of the research team.

Another question involves two blocks of a similar size — one of brass, the other of plasticine. Which would displace the most water when dropped into a beaker? children are asked. Two years ago fewer than a fifth came up with the right answer.

In 1976 a third of boys and a quarter of girls scored highly in the tests overall; by 2004, the figures had plummeted to just 6% of boys and 5% of girls. These children were on average two to three years behind those who were tested in the mid-1990s.

“It is shocking,” says Adey. “The general cognitive foundation of 11 and 12-year-olds has taken a big dip. There has been a continuous decline in the last 30 years and it is carrying on now.”

But what exactly is being lost? Is it really general intelligence or simply a specific understanding of scientific concepts such as volume and density? Both, say the researchers. The tests reveal both general intelligence — “higher level brain functions” — and a knowledge that is “the bedrock of science and maths” says Ginsburg. In fact it’s nothing less than the ability of children to handle new, difficult ideas. Doing well at these tests has been linked with getting higher grades generally at GCSE.

So why are children now doing so badly? Possible explanations are numerous. Youngsters don’t get outside for hands-on play in mud, sand and water — and sandpits and water tables have been squeezed out in many primary schools by a relentless drilling of the three Rs and cramming 11- year-olds for the national tests.

“By stressing the basics — reading and writing — and testing like crazy you reduce the level of cognitive stimulation. Children have the facts but they are not thinking very well,” says Adey. “And they are not getting hands-on physical experience of the way materials behave.”

Ginsburg says parents too can do their bit. “When did children stop playing with mud, plasticine and Meccano and start playing with Xboxes and computer games?” she asks. Parents should switch off the television and “sit children around the dinner table to debate issues such as ‘What should we have done about the whale in the Thames?’ ” says Adey.

If these experts are right — and our children are losing the ability to think, the burning question is: what is the value of what they are being taught in primary school and of all those test results that every year rise to new heights? Paul Black, professor of education at King’s College, London is one of the experts so startled by these findings that he now wants ministers to reassess what our children are being taught.

“The decline shown up by this research is big and it is worrying,” he says. “It casts doubt on claims that standards are improving . . . There is not much evidence, in fact I don’t know of any good evidence, that the things tested at the moment in national tests at the age of 11 and 14 are of long-term benefit to learning . . . The government should look at this again.”

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), the exams watchdog, has called in the research. Asked whether it may prompt changes in what is being taught in our schools, a spokesman said: “We are cautious about research where questions never change because times change and the world changes.”

And our children’s knowledge and intelligence is changing too — but not, perhaps, in the direction ministers would have us believe.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 3:59:12 PM EDT
We needed to have a study commissioned to know this?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:02:57 PM EDT
it's only going to get worse now that they can't raise their hand to ask a freakin' question!
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:03:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 4:18:53 PM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:16:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mcantu:
Possible explanations are numerous. Youngsters don’t get outside for hands-on play in mud, sand and water — and sandpits and water tables have been squeezed out in many primary schools by a relentless drilling of the three Rs and cramming 11- year-olds for the national tests.

“By stressing the basics — reading and writing — and testing like crazy you reduce the level of cognitive stimulation. Children have the facts but they are not thinking very well,” says Adey. “And they are not getting hands-on physical experience of the way materials behave.”




...This is the educational trend in America, and it should disturb you.

F* music and art class.
F* P.E.
F* anything that some Ph.D.'s research doesn't show leading to higher test scores.

Is this big push towards standardized testing and accountability in the best interests of children? Or rather, is it in the name of appearing tough on government-funded education, which is perceived as having become 'soft' and full of pork?

Find out what your governor thinks about this. I know what Texas' governor thinks, and it worries me. To him, testing is the panacea of education.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:27:37 PM EDT
England is racially much less homogeneous than it was 30 years ago, but I doubt anyone will look seriously at that obvious factor...



Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:36:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
England is racially much less homogeneous than it was 30 years ago, but I doubt anyone will look seriously at that obvious factor...






Feel like connecting the dots for me on that one?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:50:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
England is racially much less homogeneous than it was 30 years ago, but I doubt anyone will look seriously at that obvious factor...






Feel like connecting the dots for me on that one?



What? You cant?

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:50:47 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:53:02 PM EDT

Nhuh?



Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:58:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
England is racially much less homogeneous than it was 30 years ago, but I doubt anyone will look seriously at that obvious factor...






Feel like connecting the dots for me on that one?



No, that's ok.

Just my opinion; disregard as you see fit.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:08:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Nhuh?

members.cox.net/_themacallan/ellen_feiss.jpg





That's an awesome picture of a distressingly large proportion of today's youth.



There may also be an evolutionary component here. Not only does our modern society PROTECT children from death as a result of stupid behavior, but it seems to me that really smart people often tend to have fewer children.

End result - dumber people are surviving to procreate (and not being killed before they sexually mature like nature intended), are procreating more - and smarter people might be procreating less. Thus the natural mechanisms that would contribute to intelligence increasing, or at least staying stable - have been subverted.



Either that, or people are just not beating their kids enough.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:16:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 5:21:13 PM EDT by Zarathustra1]

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Nhuh?

members.cox.net/_themacallan/ellen_feiss.jpg





That's an awesome picture of a distressingly large proportion of today's youth.



There may also be an evolutionary component here. Not only does our modern society PROTECT children from death as a result of stupid behavior, but it seems to me that really smart people often tend to have fewer children.

End result - dumber people are surviving to procreate (and not being killed before they sexually mature like nature intended), are procreating more - and smarter people might be procreating less. Thus the natural mechanisms that would contribute to intelligence increasing, or at least staying stable - have been subverted.



Either that, or people are just not beating their kids enough.



So you feel intelligence, or lack thereof, is something genetic which is passed on to offspring?

ETA: A group of guys in Germany in the 20s and 30s came to the same conclusion you just did, and decided to restructure the government to counteract the imbalance that was being created...
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:17:27 PM EDT
I guess they haven't heard of Indigo children?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:31:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
So you feel intelligence, or lack thereof, is something genetic which is passed on to offspring?

ETA: A group of guys in Germany in the 20s and 30s came to the same conclusion you just did, and decided to restructure the government to counteract the imbalance that was being created...


However distatsteful the truth is, that isn't even a question anymore. Despite the lofty fantasy that everyone is "created equal", nothing could be further from the truth and genetics/heredity are the single biggest contributor to intelligence. Biologists have known this for decades and every time someone can wring a grant out of the gooberment to test it the same results pop up.

Not the only factor, but the single biggest contributor. Those women who go to sperm banks and want to be, er, "seeded" by Nobel Prize winners? Well, they intuitively know they're better off that way than being knocked up by a crackhead.

The scientific truth can be very "unAmerican" sometimes.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:38:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Echo_Hotel:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
So you feel intelligence, or lack thereof, is something genetic which is passed on to offspring?

ETA: A group of guys in Germany in the 20s and 30s came to the same conclusion you just did, and decided to restructure the government to counteract the imbalance that was being created...


However distatsteful the truth is, that isn't even a question anymore. Despite the lofty fantasy that everyone is "created equal", nothing could be further from the truth and genetics/heredity are the single biggest contributor to intelligence. Biologists have known this for decades and every time someone can wring a grant out of the gooberment to test it the same results pop up.

Not the only factor, but the single biggest contributor. Those women who go to sperm banks and want to be, er, "seeded" by Nobel Prize winners? Well, they intuitively know they're better off that way than being knocked up by a crackhead.

The scientific truth can be very "unAmerican" sometimes.



You would be surprised. Many here have a very real emotional need to believe all humans start out with the same blank slate mentally and simply make good or bad decisions along the way; even though their physical characteristics are entirely genetic...

If you are a Christian, then equality is a logical assumption, I suppose. Nature on the other hand, is under no obligation to be fair and just.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:45:23 PM EDT
Who knows. It is a massive subject. Only God knows for sure.

Interesting times we are living in.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:54:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mcantu:
Children Less Intelligent Today Than 30 Years Ago---UK Study
[




English kids are not very bright anyway. Public education stops at the age of 16 and few choose to go any further. No wonder they still live in the dark ages.


All those wonderful schools you always hear about in England, They are not for the English kids.
Go down to Cambridge some time and have a look around the campus. Tell me how many young English kids you see. Those schools are for the elite rich foreign kids.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:59:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:
Nature on the other hand, is under no obligation to be fair and just.



Yes, justice is a synthetic concept.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:06:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FatCobra:

Originally Posted By mcantu:
Children Less Intelligent Today Than 30 Years Ago---UK Study
[




English kids are not very bright anyway. Public education stops at the age of 16 and few choose to go any further. No wonder they still live in the dark ages.


All those wonderful schools you always hear about in England, They are not for the English kids.
Go down to Cambridge some time and have a look around the campus. Tell me how many young English kids you see. Those schools are for the elite rich foreign kids.



you sure manage to crap all over every thread
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:06:34 PM EDT
This is your brain:


However distatsteful the truth is, that isn't even a question anymore. Despite the lofty fantasy that everyone is "created equal", nothing could be further from the truth and genetics/heredity are the single biggest contributor to intelligence. Biologists have known this for decades and every time someone can wring a grant out of the gooberment to test it the same results pop up.

Not the only factor, but the single biggest contributor. Those women who go to sperm banks and want to be, er, "seeded" by Nobel Prize winners? Well, they intuitively know they're better off that way than being knocked up by a crackhead.

The scientific truth can be very "unAmerican" sometimes.




This is your brain on drugs:


English kids are not very bright anyway. No wonder they still live in the dark ages.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:07:47 PM EDT
Study subjects:



Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:10:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 6:13:41 PM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By FatCobra:

Originally Posted By mcantu:
Children Less Intelligent Today Than 30 Years Ago---UK Study
[




English kids are not very bright anyway. Public education stops at the age of 16 and few choose to go any further. No wonder they still live in the dark ages.






Did you bother to read the post?

The testing was of 11 to 14 year olds. What kids do after age 16 has no bearing on the discussion.



I agree with you that the british public education system is broken - in many of the same ways that the U.S. public education system is.

I won't even bother commenting on your "dark ages" comment, because you have demonstrate your complete and utter ignorance of the rest of the world in previous posts, and it's clear you know nothing about the topic.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:17:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Nhuh?

members.cox.net/_themacallan/ellen_feiss.jpg





That's an awesome picture of a distressingly large proportion of today's youth.



There may also be an evolutionary component here. Not only does our modern society PROTECT children from death as a result of stupid behavior, but it seems to me that really smart people often tend to have fewer children.

End result - dumber people are surviving to procreate (and not being killed before they sexually mature like nature intended), are procreating more - and smarter people might be procreating less. Thus the natural mechanisms that would contribute to intelligence increasing, or at least staying stable - have been subverted.



Either that, or people are just not beating their kids enough.



So you feel intelligence, or lack thereof, is something genetic which is passed on to offspring?

ETA: A group of guys in Germany in the 20s and 30s came to the same conclusion you just did, and decided to restructure the government to counteract the imbalance that was being created...




Personally, I have never understood how "Eugenics" came to be a dirty word.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:43:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 6:43:59 PM EDT by The_Macallan]

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Nhuh?

members.cox.net/_themacallan/ellen_feiss.jpg


That's an awesome picture of a distressingly large proportion of today's youth.

There may also be an evolutionary component here. Not only does our modern society PROTECT children from death as a result of stupid behavior, but it seems to me that really smart people often tend to have fewer children.

End result - dumber people are surviving to procreate (and not being killed before they sexually mature like nature intended), are procreating more - and smarter people might be procreating less. Thus the natural mechanisms that would contribute to intelligence increasing, or at least staying stable - have been subverted.

Werd up whiteboy.

Scientific consensus agrees that "intelligence" is a combination of 1) genetics and 2) environment. However, it's my contention that the degree to which we assign "environmental factors" in determining intelligence of children actually contains a significant represenation of genetics again. The environment of a child born into genetically sub-average intelligent parents is also affected by (and is in many ways a representation of) the choices, attitudes and behaviors of the parents which are affected by their genetics.

But your main point is true and worth stating again - People who are smart enough to self-limit their breeding behavior to accomodate their ability to raise their offspring at a moderate standard of living are actually diminishing their genetic contribution to the next generation's gene pool because slope-headed dolts who AREN'T smart enough to limit their breeding behavior continue to outbreed intelligent responsible people and flood the next generation's gene pool with more "dumb" alleles.


Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:54:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Personally, I have never understood how "Eugenics" came to be a dirty word.




Well, in that case, I hope you have or plan to have a lot of children with an equally intelligent woman!
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:00:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Personally, I have never understood how "Eugenics" came to be a dirty word.




Well, in that case, I hope you have or plan to have a lot of children with an equally intelligent woman!





Sorry, I'm part of the problem, not the solution. These two Ph.D.'s are NOT having children.

But, my wife's brother, the grossly overweight, diabetic, recovering cocaine addict, former daily marijuana smoker, embezzler - and current tire salesman, is DEFINITELY having kids.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:54:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Personally, I have never understood how "Eugenics" came to be a dirty word.




Well, in that case, I hope you have or plan to have a lot of children with an equally intelligent woman!





Sorry, I'm part of the problem, not the solution. These two Ph.D.'s are NOT having children.

But, my wife's brother, the grossly overweight, diabetic, recovering cocaine addict, former daily marijuana smoker, embezzler - and current tire salesman, is DEFINITELY having kids.




May I ask why you and your wife have decided against having children?
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:30:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 8:31:19 PM EDT by KS_Physicist]

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Personally, I have never understood how "Eugenics" came to be a dirty word.




Well, in that case, I hope you have or plan to have a lot of children with an equally intelligent woman!





Sorry, I'm part of the problem, not the solution. These two Ph.D.'s are NOT having children.

But, my wife's brother, the grossly overweight, diabetic, recovering cocaine addict, former daily marijuana smoker, embezzler - and current tire salesman, is DEFINITELY having kids.




May I ask why you and your wife have decided against having children?



A lot of academics look on it as a career killer. Even if /he/ doesn't, his /tenure/ committee might. (Edit to add: I have no idea if this is DK's reason, but I know many academics for whom it is the reason.)

Jim
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:14:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 12:51:03 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 11:54:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

There may also be an evolutionary component here. Not only does our modern society PROTECT children from death as a result of stupid behavior, but it seems to me that really smart people often tend to have fewer children.

End result - dumber people are surviving to procreate (and not being killed before they sexually mature like nature intended), are procreating more - and smarter people might be procreating less. Thus the natural mechanisms that would contribute to intelligence increasing, or at least staying stable - have been subverted.




BINGO! We have a WINNER!!!!

Back when I was a kid, 'stupidity killed' and you learned from it. Kids killed themselves with monotoneous regularity. Now, their world is so wraped up n cotton wool, very few stupid kids take a permanent 'Time Out' from life.

And yes, the stupid people breed more.


ANdy



Exactly!! If you doubt this theory, just watch "American Idol". Those are our future leaders, and democrat voters. They don't seem to have much of a grasp of reality.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:45:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:


There may also be an evolutionary component here. Not only does our modern society PROTECT children from death as a result of stupid behavior, but it seems to me that really smart people often tend to have fewer children.

End result - dumber people are surviving to procreate (and not being killed before they sexually mature like nature intended), are procreating more - and smarter people might be procreating less. Thus the natural mechanisms that would contribute to intelligence increasing, or at least staying stable - have been subverted.




BINGO! We have a WINNER!!!!

Back when I was a kid, 'stupidity killed' and you learned from it. Kids killed themselves with monotonous regularity. Now, their world is so wrapped up in cotton wool, very few stupid kids take a permanent 'Time Out' from life.

And yes, the stupid people breed more.


ANdy



Absolutely right on both counts, both of you.

And yes, see sig line.
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