Young people’s minds aren’t what they used to be.
New reports have surfaced that show the culture of what it means to be a collegiate student, and what it means to be young in general, are changing.
For one, young people aren’t interested in reading for fun anymore, Time magazine reported. A lot of this can be blamed on the rise of technology, wrote Charlotte Alter for Time.
“And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the — Snapchat,” Alter wrote.
As students become more involved in technology, they’re starting to miss out on certain educational experiences, Michael S. Roth wrote for The New York Times on Friday.
Roth also wrote that as a teacher, he often asks his students to become more engaged in the material and education experience, and not spend time texting or surfing the Internet. He said the educational system needs to have openness, so students can adapt to a different kind of lifestyle.
“It should be designed to take us beyond the campus to a life of ongoing, pragmatic learning that finds inspiration in unexpected sources,” he wrote, “and increases our capacity to understand and contribute to the world — and reshape it, and ourselves, in the process.”
The current system, he wrote, has redefined what it means to be young and smart. It’s no longer about simply knowing your stuff and informing people, but rather being able to pinpoint a people’s errors and flaws in their beliefs, Roth wrote.
“Liberal education in America has long been characterized by the intertwining of two traditions: of critical inquiry in pursuit of truth and exuberant performance in pursuit of excellence,” Roth wrote. “In the last half-century, though, emphasis on inquiry has become dominant, and it has often been reduced to the ability to expose error and undermine belief. The inquirer has taken the guise of the sophisticated (often ironic) spectator, rather than the messy participant in continuing experiments or even the reverent beholder of great cultural achievements.”
But can students really inquire when debates are limited? Ruth R. Wisse of The Wall Street Journal wrote that oftentimes a professor won’t encourage debate among students, but will actually try to stop much debate from occurring.
“Universities have not only failed to stand up to those who limit debate, they have played a part in encouraging them,” Wisse wrote. “The modish commitment to so-called diversity replaces the ideal of guaranteed equal treatment of individuals with guaranteed group preferences in hiring and curricular offerings.”
This is especially having an effect on young conservative students, who are the punchline of professors’ jokes, Wisse wrote.
“Because conservative students do not take over buildings or drown others out with their shouting,” Wisse wrote, “instructors feel free to mock conservatives in the classroom, and administrators pay scant attention when their posters are torn down or their sensibilities offended.”