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Old 10-24-09, 05:44 PM   #1
banerjek
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How common is it for college students to lack such basic skills?

Recently, one of my colleagues discovered that one of her student workers can't read cursive. The student's comments were something to the effect of, "oh yeah, my grandmother used to write like that..."
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Old 10-24-09, 05:45 PM   #2
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I could calculate the exact number of people who lack these skills, but someone misplaced my slide rule.
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Old 10-24-09, 05:48 PM   #3
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I'll fax you my response soon.
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Old 10-24-09, 05:51 PM   #4
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My daughter is in college, and she was taught cursive in first and second grade. Cursive is used enough in signs and advertisements that the kid should be able to read it.
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Old 10-24-09, 05:51 PM   #5
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I cant write the letter "q"
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Old 10-24-09, 06:07 PM   #6
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Do they even still teach cursive? If so, why?
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Old 10-24-09, 06:13 PM   #7
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Its really pretty shocking what college students don't know.

I am reluctant to bash them however. I suspect we were all considerably more ignorant at that age than we remember.

But Geez. I ask my students a basic history test most semesters. They have to put a handful of historical figures in chronological order. For example, they will have to put Jesus, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan in order. You would be floored by the results. Perhaps something like 25-30% think Jesus came after Washington.

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Old 10-24-09, 06:15 PM   #8
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Kids around here can't even count money, they depend on the register to tell them how much change to give back, and if you give them a bit of change to get less change back, it really messes with them. Pretty scary actually.
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Old 10-24-09, 06:30 PM   #9
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Hi, my name is Luddite and I'm a college student that doesn't know her multiplication tables. Did I mention I'm also 35 years old?
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Old 10-24-09, 06:38 PM   #10
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Ask one the difference between Austria and Australia or when the Korean war was.

As for cursive or script, it depends on which dialect in English; again the Australian aspect or other English speaking nations. In schools I attended, some teachers called printing cursive. Others defined it as I would script. And script can meen block letters.
Perhaps the young person doesn't "know" what you mean or plain just can't decipher certain handwriting.

Even here and now, I'll BET members don't agree on the definition. So how can a child be expected to be comfortable with the term or the writing itself.
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Old 10-24-09, 06:40 PM   #11
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Hi, my name is Luddite and I'm a college student that doesn't know her multiplication tables. Did I mention I'm also 35 years old?
Gah!!!!!!!! *Runs away in horror!*

Girl, you need to learn your multiplication facts. I'm serious. Especially if you think you are going to go very far in a science field. You need a strong math background to succeed in science. I have websites for worksheets and games you can play. PM me.
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Old 10-24-09, 06:42 PM   #12
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Hi, my name is Luddite and I'm a college student that doesn't know her multiplication tables. Did I mention I'm also 35 years old?
Given that, your BF handle seems strange.

I know our local school lets 4th graders use calculators. The number of people who cannot do simple math is staggering. That actually comes in handy in regular life all the time.

From what I can tell, most college students are 0 for 3 on the 3 R's. Though this does shed some light on the growing popularity of Macs and their prevalence within educational institutions.
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Old 10-24-09, 06:44 PM   #13
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I'm learning disabled, mostly with Math. The only math required for Anth (so far) is Statistics...which does frighten me a lot. I'm not even entirely sure I'm going to stick with Anth at the moment, some of my other classes are a lot more interesting. Heck, I even toyed with the idea of entering the photography program at my college and chucking academic college altogether. My grades are ok (so far) except for Latin. :/
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Old 10-24-09, 06:47 PM   #14
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Given that, your BF handle seems strange.

I know our local school lets 4th graders use calculators. The number of people who cannot do simple math is staggering. That actually comes in handy in regular life all the time.

From what I can tell, most college students are 0 for 3 on the 3 R's. Though this does shed some light on the growing popularity of Macs and their prevalence within educational institutions.
I'm a math tard. Always have been...been tested by a professional as well.



Note the name of my bike, that's where my username originates from. I love gadgets, DSLR, computers etc. I do NOT like shocks on bikes and I prefer steel frames, that's my "Luddite" side.
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Old 10-24-09, 06:52 PM   #15
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as for Luddite . 35 years old explains it.. My oldest niece graduated Eugene Lang College The New School; full scholarship, 4.0, head of her class, a published Poet, songwriter, recording artist, teacher yet I find it impossible to communicate with her at times.
She has too many holes, voids in her knowlege, beyond a generation gap, a different language. Rational dicussions in politics, history, economics can't easil be had.
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Old 10-24-09, 06:53 PM   #16
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i was never taught cursive in school, but i can write it and read it.
it's about like any other kind of handwriting; some people just have bad penmanship.
i'm 3 of 3 on the 3 R's. 36 in reading, 28 in math, 32 in english on the ACT.
the history test results do not surprise me, though. some of my friends think the korean war was after vietnam. : /
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Old 10-24-09, 06:55 PM   #17
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as for Luddite . 35 years old explains it.. My oldest niece graduated Eugene Lang College The New School; full scholarship, 4.0, head of her class, a published Poet, songwriter, recording artist, teacher yet I find it impossible to communicate with her at times.
She has too many holes, voids in her knowlege, beyond a generation gap, a different language. Rational dicussions in politics, history, economics can't easil be had.
I can't imagine actually sitting down and discussing Economics, I'd probably fall asleep. History, well, talk to me in a few years and I'll be able to talk your ear off about pre-history.
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Old 10-24-09, 07:01 PM   #18
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I'm twenty-five, learned cursive in grade four, and wasn't allowed a calculator in math till grade 10. Can still do long division, although I've forgotten how to do square root by hand. Multiplication I use every day - at work, and while shopping .

Some people aren't perceptive, I guess, and choose to take in only that which interests them. I've heard some stupid things though, in university. My friends in grad school have hours of stories about idiot questions from students. One girl in my first year Econ asked if the web tests were open book. The prof looked nonplussed. My sister didn't know what a "facsimile" was until a couple years ago (she knows what a fax is, but not what it's short for.) Other kids don't know that a car runs on gas, until they took Driver Ed. An older woman I used to work with held up a U2 cd and asked me if this "Joshua Tree" band were any good.
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Old 10-24-09, 07:15 PM   #19
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In schools I attended, some teachers called printing cursive. Others defined it as I would script. And script can meen block letters.
Perhaps the young person doesn't "know" what you mean or plain just can't decipher certain handwriting.
There are plenty of teachers who know nothing. Any third rate university should be embarrassed to be associated with many of the Masters theses and PhD dissertations I've seen produced in that field.

In this case, there was no confusion with definitions. The student was given some letters to transcribe as part of a digitization project. These were written in the bad 'ol days when people still had good handwriting. She simply couldn't read them. The irony is that few students that can't deal with handwriting know how to type.

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I am reluctant to bash them however. I suspect we were all considerably more ignorant at that age than we remember.
I was an idiot too (a fact I was unaware of at the time). But I'm trying to figure out what students typically know now that most people didn't know then. Whatever it is, I suspect it has nothing to do with the 3 R's, communication, or anything useful.
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Old 10-24-09, 07:17 PM   #20
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Go ahead and ask your college-age friends to put the following wars into chronological order:

-Revolutionary War
-War of 1812
-Civil War
-World War I
-World War II
-Korean War
-Vietnam War

I would guess that about 40% or so will get the Civil War before WWI.

Yikes. Surely we were not this ignorant. And surely we were. Not sure what to make of that.

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Old 10-24-09, 07:29 PM   #21
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I was taught cursive in school and could write it then but I haven't used it in so many years I can't very well. It always took too much coordination for me that it was way too slow to use for anything. Other people can do it much faster but then theirs isn't legible afterward. I can read it fine if its legible but the majority of people who write it can't seem to make it legible.
I was word processing in the 5th grade on a Commodore 64, my school taught us to use a word processor on IBM PC's by the 11th grade, they were behind in technology a bit but I was ahead a bit. I had a nice cursive font by the 7th grade.
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Old 10-24-09, 07:33 PM   #22
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You forget what you never use...
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Old 10-24-09, 07:40 PM   #23
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Here's a dumb question. If students aren't taught how to write by hand, how do they respond to essay questions? If people can't write, either everyone would have to have a computer with them in the classroom, or you'd have to get rid of the essay questions. Neither strikes me as a good idea.

And to everyone who says you don't use handwriting, do you never write notes on paper for yourself or others?
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Old 10-24-09, 07:43 PM   #24
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Here's a dumb question. If students aren't taught how to write by hand, how do they respond to essay questions?
They'll respond on the professor's facebook page... duh...

hehe..
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Old 10-24-09, 07:45 PM   #25
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They'll respond on the professor's facebook page... duh...

hehe..
I believe you have something else to be doing tonight that does not include surfing the net.
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