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.