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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 29 2011: Great conversation indeed! I think it is very difficult to generalize education per say, perhaps in the past we used to learn more things (in universities) as general knowledge next to our majors and that made us good "generalists" which is an asset in itself and today's education is more diversified certainly but more focused as well, which makes today's students better knowledgeable in their chosen field of education, which is again an asset - difficult to compare both "schools of education" and have an objective judgement! Perhaps one element to differentiate is the "hardship" as with hardship comes "early maturity and with maturity comes a better eagerness for learning and achieving; that itself remains a bit subjective as i am sure many of today's students still live through hardships and for many reasons.

    It is evident that today'sand with better knowledge sharing and information technology systems, it much easier to have access to education at all levels, which was not the case for my generation (I am 50)

    All in all i do believe a certain connection and common grounds still exists between different generational education systems, for example i remember that my parents where able to accompany me and support during my school years throughout and i was able to do the same with my children.

    I a nutshell education and at all levels remain very much affected by culture, national systems and it is not possible in my mind to find many common denominators to assess it at the global level. I used to have an economics teacher at university who and repeatedly his class that education is a tiny part of life and what we do with it is what really makes the difference.

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