Student Anti-Intellectualism: In My Perspective
The way I see it, Paul Trout’s essay, “Student Anti-Intellectualism and the Dumbing Down of the University”, is somewhat tedious. The fact that he simply states an equal idea in every paragraph is bothersome to the everyday reader. However, I do strongly agree with the whole concept of the essay. I see it in my everyday life; whether I’m at my high school or even just at extra-curricular activities. Students nowadays just don’t care. When I was reading this essay, I found part of it to be true about myself. Fortunately, I did not fit all of the characteristics. In the years ahead, the real campus war may be between those who think that students should adapt to the rigors of higher education, and those who think that higher education should adapt to the declining motivation and intellectual commitment of students. This quote made me think a lot about the classes I would like to take in college. I am highly motivated with my work and I appreciate it when my classes tend to push me to do better. I know that I would not like my classes to become easier because of the type of students in my class. I, honestly, think that the students that choose to attend college really need to evaluate their priorities and figure out if they want to learn. They should be the ones that need to adapt to the classes instead of the classes adapting to them. Colleges need to set higher standards and stick to them. I completely understand that “body count equals money” and our country is all about money these days. However, the administrators at these colleges need to think about the future of this country. If they lower their standards, students with a substantially lower aptitude in means of learning will graduate and somehow get jobs that they don’t deserve. The younger generations will someday be running this country and I highly doubt they want anti-intellectualists having those jobs. In regards to student evaluations on their professors, I think it’s utterly impossible to decide how to pay the professors according to the students. The students will only give them a good review if they are receiving good grades in return. Professors need to be evaluated by a higher power rather than the students. The higher power needs to see the professors in different atmospheres rather than just one class per semester. When students think that college is just another part of life that they need to get through, they seek the easiest road possible; getting good grades. I believe that colleges need to set short term benefits more often than long term. The most common long term benefit is graduating and getting a job. Colleges need to set up more scholarships and some type of equivalent that would motivate students to actually learn the stuff they see in class and to remember it after the test. On the same note, I think that the motivation needs to come from better parenting as well. The things students learn from their parents hopefully stick with them for a lifetime. Parents need to understand how to motivate their child without pushing them to the extreme. If students are pushed too hard, they will get over worked and stressed out and they will want to drop out. They believe that they are not capable of handling all of the pressure from their parents and their professors. Along with that, parents should be able to teach their children at a younger age about the proper behavior and respect that they will need their whole lives. Most students have a bitter attitude when it comes to learning so they take it out on others. Also, parents should teach the educational and lifelong values of college. Students have become despicably bored with their classes because they are taught the same things every year. Most colleges are teaching from the same book or notes and the students just don’t care. I think that there should be specific classes that teach the same thing, but then there should be other classes that teach the same thing but from a different text or different notes. When teachers use a roundabout way of teaching a specific subject, it becomes more interesting and students want to know more. I feel that it is a benefit to not see the same things year after year. The teachers would also get extremely bored with what they are teaching when they have to see the same text every year. I agree with the statement that “primary and secondary schools should be made more rigorous, challenging and-therefore-engaging.” If middle schools and high schools taught us that school and college isn’t elementary school any more, than more students would be accustomed to the idea of learning. Elementary school made it seem like everything else would be a breeze. Unfortunately, that is not how it works in the real world. I think that high schools need to heighten the GPA’s necessary to be part of an extra-curricular activity. This would force more students to actually learn the material and to make sure that their GPA stays where it needs to. More and more teenagers are getting into sports and there isn’t a very high standard that needs to be met in order to participate in those sports. The curriculum in high school needs to be more challenging instead of the teachers taking days off to watch a movie. That is not preparing students for what lies ahead in the near future. The part about the SOS committees really making some changes in universities makes a ton of sense. I agree with every part of the changes. The ones outlined in this essay pretty much explain everything that was talked about in the whole essay. All the repetitive explanations about the dumbing down of the universities and the multiple paragraphs about how students don’t care have all been made clear in these six sections. The changes would discontinue the dumbing down of the university and it would hopefully cause students to really think about what they are doing in college and about how they want to spend the rest of their lives. I really like reading this as a freshman in college. It helps put student anti-intellectualism in a new perspective. I never thought it was getting as bad as it is in the country. As I said before, I think that colleges need to set a higher standard and stick to it. It makes absolutely no sense for the colleges to only care about the money side of education. The administrators need to realize that some people actually like to learn and they want classes to be a challenge to them. The way I see it, student anti-intellectualism is an atrocious disease that needs to be cured. The ways that the colleges can do it is by setting up certain tutoring or extra help for the people that like class and want to learn but are having trouble. Students who don’t care about school should not be allowed to go to an extensive four-year college. They should have to go to a community college or a two-year college. The four-year colleges should be a place for people that want good careers and want to work for those careers. Also, the high schools and middle schools need to set up a standard that needs to be met. I realize that students should not know what they want to do for the rest of their lives but the way teachers have been not caring about their students education is forcing the students to not care as well. I understand that I am probably repeating myself but I care about what I want to do in college. When students get turned off by learning, it is mostly because of their teachers. Their teachers may have a sour attitude towards what they teach and they could show it in the way they teach. Students may like their class but the teachers could make it seem like that is the worst class that he/she could ever take. The class could be a really fun and interesting class. But if the teacher doesn’t care, that attitude will reflect onto the student. The teacher could get that attitude from the students as well. If the teacher has a very positive attitude but their students just don’t care, then the teacher will get worn down and won’t want to teach that class anymore. Teachers aspire to have a good class. Unfortunately, the students’ dislike of that course would most likely make the teacher crash and then more students will comprehend that attitude and they won’t care as well. This essay opened my eyes. I have realized my flaws in learning and I now know what I need to work on in order to fulfill my dreams and to obtain everything that I ever wanted in life. The career I want won’t come with getting an easy “A” in my classes. I want to be able to learn everything I can in my four or more years in college. In all, I agree mostly with this essay and I wish I had read it earlier in school. The high schools should teach this in every English class so that students know what they are getting themselves into. It helps tremendously with deciding what to do after high school. Paul Trout has gotten this essay spot on when it comes to what is going on in most high schools. The amount of people in my classes that don’t care is outrageous. I want to be able to understand what the world is like not just what an easy class in high school is like. If everyone decided to be anti-intellectual than this world would be a huge ball of absolutely nothing; especially in this country, where we are one of the top countries in the world and we need to set and educational example for the rest of the world.