Saturday, September 12, 2015

A new dark age

When I was in school, we were all taught that the period of time between the collapse of the Roman empire and the beginning of the Italian Renaissance was called the Dark Age. The reason it was referred to as such, was there was a general collapse of society, resulting in a loss of knowledge, a decline in the arts, and great societal upheaval. Of course, there are now historians who are attempting to deny those ideas, and since I am no historian, nor was I there, I cannot say either way.

***EDITED TO ADD: I am a Science teacher, and we are required to give students a certain number of literacy assignments each year, so that the kids can practice their writing and reading skills. In this assignment, they had to discuss a science topic of their choice, describing the facts and science behind their subject, and providing evidence for their statements using valid, peer reviewed references. END EDIT *****

What I can say is that we are seeing the dawn of a "Dark Age" of our own. Perhaps we can call it "the Great Unlearning." As a teacher, I can say that the children who are making it to High School  are functional idiots in many cases. Let me show you an excerpt of a paper that I received this week. This paper was written by a High School Senior, and I looked at his grades from the first three years of English class, and they are all B's. This year in Senior English, his average is currently a 93%. Read on, and see the language skills that net you a 93%:
Next there is many emotions related to music, their can be high alerting if the tone of a song or pitch is high or low in a song. According to songs with positivity, this will put a high amount of good emotion on a person who was in a bad mood.  If someone listens to "Eye of  The Tiger" by Savior, they are going to be put into a better mood because there is a positive message involved with this song. Your brain is effected by your emotions when you listen to certain music such as mellow tunes, or heavy metal.
Now I know what you are thinking: You think that this cannot be typical, and I can understand where that comes from. Let's look at another student's work. This student is a Senior who, according to her father, is leaving next fall for college as a pre-med student. She has 2 A's and a B for her previous three English classes, and is currently earning a 91% in her Senior English class:
Plants are very important for us to live. The oxygen that is made for millions of dollars, they give us for free. Plants have some requirements in order to sustain life, stay health, and green. Every living thing on earth has some requirements to live. For example, alligators need fish for survival, hens need insects for survival, fish need water for survival and tiger need meat for the survival. Every living thing in the world has different requirements for the survival and if one of their requirements is not met, they will have some kind of loss.
One more sample of what I have been dealing with. This student is a Sophomore, and he earned a 79% for his final grade in English last year. He currently has a 78% in English this year.

If you were to listen to music while working. Which music genre way to help you focus more. This project will come in handy for teachers that allow students to listen to music so they can prefer what the student will listen too.
First Off, It would help us in many ways such as stops us from talking and also let us focus and finish our work quicker. During class say you have headphones on and keeping your brain focus on schoolwork you would be focus and not be able to get distracted by friends and people sitting around you. Also while listening music it helps you get your work done Quicker so you’re not stranded during class and also it will keep you out of trouble from talking and interrupting the teacher.
I have copied and pasted the excerpts above EXACTLY as they were written by the student. These are their own words, just as they were written. I have a total of 120 students this year, and I let them pick the topic for this writing assignment. Only 63 of them even bothered to do the assignment, and of those 63, more than half of them read like the ones I posted above. 

I am not permitted to give failing marks to all of my students, so I have to endure drivel like this. It doesn't surprise me that 22% of Americans don't know the difference between Astrology and Astronomy,  or that 42% of Americans believe that 9/11 was either an inside job, or that the entire attack was faked. I also think that polls showing 9% of America thinks that the moon landings were faked are overly optimistic.

The school where I teach is an A-rated school, and the students who attend the school score much higher on standardized assessments than the average student. It makes me believe that this nation is entering what will one day be described as the American dark ages.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My sister is a teacher, and unfortunately I absolutely believe that you posted verbatim what your students handed in based upon the almost daily conversations that I have with her. She also is not allowed to fail students, "No child left behind" means that every child passes - even if they can't do the work.

We're raising a generation of uneducated, ignorant, arrogant losers who don't understand why their elders are so disappointed with them.

We're going to reap the whirlwind within our lifetimes.

Ryan Bowers said...

I hope you took off points from the first kid for getting the name of the band wrong. Survivor not Savior, get it together unnamed senior.