Are We Becoming Less Intelligent?

The real purpose of education, whether public or private, is to prepare young people for the ability to succeed in their chosen adult profession. Advisers and Counselors assess the students in their charge, and try to align courses with where the students hope to go professionally. But we all realize the ratio of students to counselors makes addressing the needs of every student very unlikely.

It becomes battlefield triage — counselors and advisors consciously or subconsciously approach the assignment of degrees of urgency applied to grades when they decide the order of “treatment” of a large number of students. Treatment, in this instance, relates to course selection, college search selection, and more.

Girl with sign trans

Is our overdependence on technology making us less intelligent?

There is a phenomenon being reported in professional Human Resources information sources: recruiters are discovering high school graduate, and even college graduate, job applicants are using colloquial, SMS, and online abbreviations on their applications and resumes. As one advertisement recently framed it: our overdependence on technology might be making us less intelligent.

The trend toward mobile devices, so-called “smart phones”, rely on written and spoken English to be productive. But young people have made SMS (Short Message Service or texting) their preferred style of communicating. Early in the trend, when subscribers paid by the letter, the need to abbreviate made financial good sense; today, with every phone provider offering one price SMS plans, this is not the case, yet the trend continues… because it’s quicker.

A social trend that erodes the educational base of students is dangerous. A socially accepted trend is powerful and its pull is difficult to resist. It is equally difficult to recognize the damage being done except over time. Proof that the tipping point has been reached can be found in the applications and resumes being reviewed by hiring HR professionals.

There is a solution, but it’s not found in the traditional classroom

The curriculum chosen by school board members or school curriculum administrators comes from educational-oriented publishing houses. The textbooks they publish lag social trends by many years. The same can be said for approved classroom instructing methods.

A program integrating traditional classroom tactics with those of a good learning center can advance the ability and understanding of language and especially enhance a student’s writing skills. A proper intake assessment that every good learning center performs will allow them to craft an individualized learning plan that is ideal for that student, and their individual approach to teaching will emphasize the proper use of colloquial terms in writing.