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Shawn James Jr.

intern, TED

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Is the generation in education getting less intelligent than the ones before them or smarter?

I often hear people say that the generation after them are not as smart as they were growing up. By people I mean the adults like my parents and grandparents. What is your input on the issues with education? Do you believe the education system is falling apart?

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  • Jun 24 2011: In my opinion, the criteria for defining "smart" ones has changed. I am a teacher, and the kids that I'm dealing with have no problems with making their brains work, However, it gets really challenging when it comes to explaining them WHY they should start thinking. Most of have have "all they need" already: Internet, smartphone, "lots" of friends online... Unfortunately, most of them think that they will survive (in terms of getting information) as long as there is Internet Connection available...
    People have become shorter, weaker, fatter, lazier - because we have put so much effort in making our life easier.....that we have made it too easy. The same goes for our thinking - the young generation no longer feel that they need it...
    • Jun 25 2011: I have to disagree on the 'kids don't need to think' part and here's my reasons:

      I don't think it would be any more necessary to think even if we put away all the make-easy machines, because these machines aren't designed to think for us, they're designed to make things happen quicker. People all need to talk to friends, I can do it in less than 1 minute while it may take someone a few weeks 300 years ago. Think of technology like this: when we have a higher order of problem to deal with, we group the per-requisites and automate it so we can solve the same/similar problem again a lot quicker, i.e. calculator helps scientists solve complicated maths, MSN helps people at work to communicate, etc...

      I don't think people are lazier nowadays, in fact I believe the opposite. The people who are leading the development of mankind are doing more in less time.

      - Ding

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