Go to the Head of the Class…or Maybe Not

Just how knowledgable are the spoiled prodigy of America’s Great Society when compared to their unenlightened elders, the grandparents and great grandparents of the Facebook generation who were taught their three Rs at a time when the only fad in public education was the creation of cursive compositions formed with a leaky fountain pen? 

Surely the contemporary products of 50-plus years of educational reforms and re-inventions would have stepped out into society as precociously informed adults and learned citizens.  Surely the era of progressive educational deconstruction that has offered so many high-minded academic formulas, such as Self-Esteem Promotion, Cultural Literacy, Multiculturalism, Curriculum Relevance, Learning Styles, Authentic Assessments, Experiential Learning, Cooperative Groups, Values Clarification, Critical Thinking Skills, Behavioral Objectives, Standards-based Instruction, Bilingual Education, Learning by Doing, Inventive Spelling, Thematic Instruction, Whole Language Learning, Career Education, Inquiry Education, Sustained Silent Reading, Metacognition, Differentiated Instruction, and Phonemic Awareness, would bathe the bairns’ brains in billions of knowledge bites.  And surely the ADD/ADHD interventions along with its Ritalin racket would turn out the most educated public school scholars in American history.  Surely not.

Return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when school students across America were expected to memorize spelling words, recite poetry, put coherent thoughts onto paper, remember historical facts and figures, and God forbid, pledge allegiance to the United States of America.  Come with me now to that simple time when there were very different trivial pursuits of the socially acceptable kind.

How many of the following questions can you correctly answer from this 1950s version of the board game, Go To The Head Of The Class?  Take note of the ‘junior’ questions geared toward the grade school student.  I betcha most college kids today couldn’t get these questions correct.

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4 Responses to Go to the Head of the Class…or Maybe Not

  1. Perry Palmer says:

    Brainwashing is so insidious. I remember when I was young (’50s, ’60s) sports were really a “male thing”. That is, football, basketball and hockey, those professional type of sports. With careful manipulation and creating professional sports clothes for women and girls (i.e. a pink Detroit Lions (name a team) t-shirt with a low-cut neck and cap sleeves); with municipalities in large cities paying for stadiums and arenas with taxpayers’ money, the sports industry has convinced the population that everyone needs to attend a college; especially one that has popular sports teams. Everyone needs to get a student loan to keep these sports teams in the money so that the best athletes will be able to be drafted by a professional team that will keep the populace further sedated. It’s just a given that college graduates will be thousands of dollars in debt for much of their lives, not realizing that they did their part in keep the sports machine oiled and running smoothly. What will happen when they wake up? Oh,.. I don’t think they will.

    • Yep, it really is a racket, Perry. I think that gradually people will wake up because they’ll have no financial choice in the matter. If kids were getting properly educated in grade school/high school they wouldn’t need to waste 2 years paying for general liberal arts courses at the so-called college level.

  2. jenna says:

    What, no answers? I have to Google my way to the answers I don’t know? 😉 (Yes, I will.) We’ve regressed from this to ‘Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.’

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