An unprecedented study that followed several thousand undergraduates through four years of college found that large numbers didn't learn the critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication skills that are widely assumed to be at the core of a college education.
Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn't determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin....
Not much is asked of students, either. Half did not take a single course requiring 20pages of writing during their prior semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week.
The findings are in a new book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, by sociologists Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia.
How proud postmodern thinkers must be that the minds of our next generation have been prepared for the new politics of the political left, which are essentially the same old collectivist politics of the left.
Postmodern philosophical ideas that have permeated all aspects and levels of western culture. Looking back, it is hard to know when this nonsense became so egregious, but I first began to notice it in the early 90's; and when my daughter started school, I became mildly concerned because it already seemed to be established and entrenched in the elementary school curriculum.
In order to have achieved that coup, these ideas must have been around for at least a generation; and absorbed by key people who would later be in positions of educational, artistic and political power and able to multiply the vector of its transmission and inculcation into a new generation.
Ideas are a powerful force in the world. Those who doubt that statement have never studied philosophy and the history of ideas.
Bad ideas are like a potent stench that try as you might with perfumes and deodorizers, you cannot eliminate until you finally break down and take out the trash. Of course, humans can function somewhat with the pervasive smell; but the only reason they survive when bad ideas are driving their actions is because the idea(s) are never applied consistently. If they were to apply the ideas consistently, then they would simply be overcome from the toxic fumes.
How can such ideas thrive? It is relatively easy when you "deconstruct" the Western philosophical tradition and introduce moral relativity; contradictory discourses, deceptive rhetoric; and a pervasive contempt for both reason and truth. The latter attitude, in particular, allows one to develop an amazing and mind-boggling talent for being able to ignore objective reality under any circumstance, expecially when said reality punctures your ideological bubble.
These college students are the children of postmodernism; steeped in the nihilism of our day; marinated in its metaphysics and epistemology. They go to college to learn to think and instead learn how not to. They believe in nothing and stand for nothing. They are taught to mindlessly mouth the same old tired and worn self-serving platitudes of a defunct and dangerous world view. They will become the minions of the left.
Since they do not know how to sift fact from opinion, they can be easily manipulated by postmodern rhetoric.
Since they cannot objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event; they will be easily fooled by superficial appearances and not persist in getting to the truth of a situation. They will believe anything, because they believe nothing. (Here is a counter example of a leftist (via DA TECH GUY) who is beginning to question the rhetoric; who remains in possession of her rational faculty. She should beware, because, by questioning the rhetoric, she is well on her way to becoming rational and rejecting the entire leftist world view--she just doesn't know it yet).
Stephen Hicks writes (pp 195-7)about Jacques Derrida , a well-known postmodern thinker and the creator of "deconstruction"--a literary and philosophical process eagerly taken up by the dead-enders of communism and socialism--which aims to undermine and obliterate the whole of Western philosophical tradition that is the foundation of reason, truth and objective reality:
Derrida too recognizes the kind of world that psotmodernism is bring about and declares his intention not to be among those who let their queasiness get the beter of them. Postmodernists, he writes are those who do notturn thier eyes away when faced by the as et unnamable which is proclaiming itself and which can do so, as is necessary whenever a birth is in the offng, only under the species of the non species, in the formless, mute, infant and terrifying form of monstrosity.
The bringing forth of monsters is one poetmodern view of the creative process, one that heralds the end of mankind....
Postmodern thinkers inherit n intellectual trdition that has seen the defeat of all of its major hopes. The Counter-Enlightenment was from the beginning suspicious of the Enlightenment's naturalism, its reason, its optimistic view of human potential, its individualism in ethics and politics, and its science and technology. For those opposed to the Enlightenment, the modern world has offered no comfort. The advocates of the Enlightenment said that science was to be the replcement for religion, but science has offered the specters of entropy and relativity. Science was to be the glory of mankind, but it has taught us that man evolved, red in tooth and claw, from the ooze. Science was to make the world a technological paradise, but it has generated nuclear bombs and super-bacilli. And the confidence in the power of reason that underlies it all has, from the postmodernists' perspective, been revealed to be a fraud. The thought of nuclear weapons in the clutches of an irrational, grasping animal is frighteing.
While the neo-Enlightenment thinkers have come to terms with the modern world, from the postmodern perspective the universe has been metaphysically and epistemologically shattered. We cannot turn to God or to nature; and we cannot trust reason or mankind.
But there was always socialism. As bad as the philosphical universe became in metaphysics, epistemology , and the study of human nature, there was still the vision of an ethical and political order that would transcend everything and create the beautiful collectivist society.
Yes, there is always the "perfection" of socialism in the back of the minds of the leftists today; as they slowly but surely push this country toward that waking
In a piece titled "Socialism is Back" Kevin Williamson writes (and please take the time to read the entire essay or to buy Williamson's book):
The aim of public education is, and has always been, to make members of the public more standardized and thus better suited for incorporation into The Plan. It is unsurprising that socialists have taken up the cause with verve. President Obama, speaking to an audience of schoolchildren, described in some detail how he expects the schools to produce students who will serve the needs of the state; unsurprisingly, he cast the situation in terms of his own agenda, emphasizing health care, racial discrimination, and job creation:What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical-thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills, and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that — if you quit on school — you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Obama here is describing a right of eminent domain over the lives of American children, without putting it quite in those words. Obama may be a radical of some sort, but that speech could have been given as easily by George W. Bush or Mitt Romney, and its assumptions would have been precisely the same: The public provision of educational services is understood today, and has long been understood, as a component of national economic planning. (Just don’t ask whether it works!)
Unfortunately, it works to bring forth the next generation of socialist 'monsters' whose lack of critical thinking skills and ability to be swayed by irrational, but slick political rhetoric will assure that they are appropriately worshipful of the Central Plan and follow the will of the Planners.