Wednesday, 30 January 2008


More panic in British universities. Students are becoming so badly educated in ‘basics’ that they are needing ‘catch-up’ classes in Math and English. Indeed, many of our future doctors, scientists and engineers cannot add up properly.
One finding came as a surprise to vice-chancellors – the fact that many students rely heavily on Wikipedia to help with their essays. Which is, of course, totally non-academic, isn’t it? But are many of our students any longer academic?
Sadly, I think not. We live, today, in a society that demands instant gratification for minimum amount of effort. If our young people live like this, and it is said to be good, then it is inevitable they will take this ‘ethic’ into learning.
Of course, the students will be blamed for this lacking, and it cannot be any different – the buck stops with them. But I think it’s time we looked seriously at this instant gratification ethic, before our ‘professionals’ dumb down towards imbecility.

© Anthony North, January 2008


I don’t normally post a Diary piece on a Wednesday, but as it’s Beyond the Blog’s birthday I’ve made an exception. The blog has gone through many incarnations in its first year, but now I feel I’ve got it about right ...
... read more ...


Magdalen Islands said...

I often use Wikipedia, lol, in my blogs. Of course I give the program credit. I usually try to use other sites like Cancer Research or whatever I'm talking about but I like to put in reference links and if I can't find any, I use wikipedia, usually as a last resort. After all, it is hard to find a site specifically dedicated to the pastern of a horses leg, lol.

anthonynorth said...

So very true. And I have to admit, Wiki can be good for references. But then again, I'm not taking a degree.

Selma said...

When my hubby was in hospital recently the resident doctor figured out the dosage of his meds incorrectly. One of the drugs was administered by weight and he had worked it out so that my husband would have been given too high a dose. I only picked it up because I am a complete and utter snoop and I glanced at the meds chart. The doctor just laughed it off and said: "I've always been hopeless at maths." I couldn't believe he was so nonchalant.

anthonynorth said...

Selma, that is quite frightening. But I'm afraid becoming more and more common.
I've known a couple of teachers in particular - one was an anarchist who cried when he lost his teddy bear; the other didn't know the sun was a star.