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Reader comment on item: American Students Get Dumber at College

Submitted by Ben (United States), Nov 2, 2006 at 20:24

Studies such as this are as problematic and full of holes as many conspiracy theories: those who analyze the data are not seeing the whole picture, and even if they are, they are not experiencing what students are actually going through. To come to concrete conclusions based solely on analysis is to be an armchair anthropologist, to not understand the culture, mindset, and surroundings these students are placed in.

College is a very stressful place. Different students deal with this in different ways. As a Freshman, I finished my work and partied to release the stress in a place where I was free, for the first time, to do what I pleased. And I ended the year with very good grades.

But this form of release catches up to you, and eventually it shows in your grades. I have always been a very witty, curious individual who can get a B on a test without studying much, yet my grades fell because I would place higher priority on certain classes, while neglecting the others.

As a third year international relations major, my experience and understanding separates me quite substantially from the Freshmen. Yet ask me a five-W question about Otto von Bismarck, and I couldn't tell you as much as I could have three years ago. But ask a Freshman, who is studying this at this very moment, and they would probably be able to answer the question without a problem.

But ask me to analyze a current event and what I would recommend, and my answer would most likely be more in depth with more analysis than the Freshman.

Maybe its the questions, and not the answers, that should be assessed.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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