Monday, February 22, 2010

New Technology and Distracted Minds

I rarely post material concerning my day to day experiences. However, when attempting to introduce my students to the basic economic ideas that inform current debates about the recession, deficits, and poverty, I was struck by student apathy.

One student boldly said the material was boring.

How sad and pathetic. The media are already labeling this cohort of students "the lost generation" because they are likely to experience depressed wages, compared to those who graduate in more prosperous times, over the course of their work life.

Yet these students were not interested in learning about the assumptions and values underpinning public debate about how to stimulate the economy, create jobs, and redress inequalities that haven't been experienced since the 1930s.

Sometimes I think it would be so much easier to teach students if I really didn't care what happened to them.

I could teach them all sorts of fluffy, touchy-feely concepts and microscopic theories and do lots of hands-on group activities that allowed them to go on and on, "all about them"--how important they are, how valuable their (ignorant and myopic opinions) are, etc.

They would give me high teaching evaluations and I would not care that they were graduating totally unequipped to be productive and informed citizens....

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