Those who deride the traditional and largely abandoned methods of teaching, learning and the application of knowledge may have to reconsider their position. A recent study reveals that those living in the Western World have slid hard into the downward spiral of stupidity over the past 100 years plus, as reported by Breitbart.com.
The study titled “Were the Victorians cleverer than us?” conducted by Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, asserts that the average IQ of those living in what’s loosely referred to as Western Civilization had dropped a full 14 points as compared with those living in the 19th century.
Dr. te Nijenhuis stated that the steady decline is due to the more intelligent women in the West electing to have fewer children every passing generation, whereas women of lower intelligence are having more and more children, thus lowering the intelligence of society overall.
Mr. Low Information, Meet Miss Dumbed Down…
In the recent Presidential election cycle, the American people became all too familiar with the phrase “low information voter,” a phrase borrowed from “low information signaling” coined in 1991 by political scientist and pollster Samuel Popkin. Popkin’s term was used to designate voters who relied on shallow and simplistic rationale in determining who they would elect in any given election.
Examples included women who claimed they had voted for John Kennedy “because he’s so handsome” or veterans who voted for Dwight Eisenhower because “he was a great general.”
Since Popkin’s coinage, the phrase has somewhat mutated to mean a voter who garners his current affairs information from sources such as “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The “Pimp with a Limp” radio show.
In the past decades, there has been a noticeable drop in the indicators of intelligence in America, according to The Broad Foundation for Education. The foundation notes that after the Second World War, the United States ranked #1 in high school graduation rates in the entire world. Since then, the nation has dropped to #22 among the 27 major industrialized nations.
The situation has become so dire that the Florida Department of Education lowered the performance level standard for students in the Sunshine State after 27% were able to pass a fourth-grade state written exam. Regrettably, the decision was “made by a four-three vote, reasoning that the kids did so poorly because the test was too hard.”
Modern Educators Discover Dead Language Stimulates Young Minds…
In years past it was commonplace for many American high schools to require at least one year of Latin for all students. During the latter half of the 20th century, the Latin requirement was abandoned because too many “enlightened” educators considered the classes to be a relic of an archaic mindset toward the education of American youth.
Recently, some curriculum developers and educators have come to realize that because upward of 60 percent of the English word stock is based upon classic Latin, maybe the schoolteachers back in the old days were on to something.
In a research paper compiled by Alice K. DeVane of Valdosta State University in Georgia titled “Efficacy of Latin Studies in the Information Age,” DeVane states:
Results of research indicate that Latin education on all grade levels, particularly on the elementary grade levels, is related to improved general English comprehension (including reading, vocabulary, grammar and comprehension for both native and non-native speakers) and in facilitating the acquisition of a second foreign language.
At the secondary level the study of Latin is related to increased levels of language achievement as demonstrated on both the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT) verbal scores and increased use of critical thinking as evidenced by increased mathematics scores on these same tests.
An additional side effect is students’ improved motivation and interest in learning another language and improved self-concept.