Gerald Graff and Michiko Kakutani address the issue of dumbness in the current education system, which leads to production of half-baked professionals. According to the two scholars, the education curriculum drills students in respect to their careers forcing their mind to become dumb. Additionally, factors like politics in schools also affect negatively the thinking capacity of students.
There is a wide difference between earlier students (1950s-1980s) and the current students (Graff 25). The current education system focuses mainly on the professional or class achievements rather than extra-curricula activities or sporting activities.
Most students are unaware of the political wind in their country or in the world. The education system perceives class achievers as bright or intellects of the world. Therefore, the inability to associate with the outside world through engaging in discussion, debates, analyzing arguments or contributing to other people’s view is the main problem the young generation is facing.
Consequently, the minds of the young generation cannot think beyond schoolwork or anything taught in class. In addition, the students are not rebellious even in matters concerning their rights or self-respect (Kakutani Para. 16). They focus more on actions, duties, honor and teamwork rather than words, feelings, rights and self.
According to Graff, the main problem lies in the current education curriculum and the political system in the society (27). Students learn to be respectful to their elders especially parents and teachers.
Therefore, when any of them engages in an argument or oppose any activity at school, they are liable to punishment and even expulsion. However, the children who attend school and non-school going children appear to have the same form of behavior. They cannot think beyond books, which reduces their innovative or creative skills when they are not in class.
Most school administrations do not encourage their students to engage in extra curricula activities and if so, the time allocation is minimal, that there is no realization of a child’s potential or talent. Unfortunately, there is politicizing of the education system that students hardly engage themselves during the construction of the school syllabus.
Therefore, the main solution is to encourage children to read a wide range of books like sports magazine and not necessarily examinable material. Additionally, teachers, lecturers and professors should engage their students during lessons to enable them think widely.
Teachers should also involve students during debates or discussion and therefore, give them an opportunity to discover their talents, passions or level of creativity. Finally, the media, internet services and parents should encourage students to debate upon the current issues in the society.
In summary, Graff and Kakutani explore several issues that dog the current education system. According to the two scholars, the current education system is to blame for the production of non-intellects in the society. The difference and inability of the young generation to get along with the old generation is due to lack of creativeness in the current society.
The teachers and parents are also to blame because they do not accept holding discussions or debates with children yet it may open their minds to think widely. Similarly, the school programs drill children to think about examinations, class activities and not other social or extra curricula activities. However, children should read a wide variety of books, engage in discussions or make conclusions on other people’s view.
Graff, Gerald. “Hidden Intellectualism.” Pedagogy 1.1 (2001): 21-36.
Kakutani, Michiko. ”Debate? Dissent? Discussion? Oh, Don’t Go There!” Yale Alumni
Magazine, 2002. Web. 20 April 2011.