The times we live in drive questions regarding today’s youth, and whether they understand the issues that plague our country. Are our future leaders learning what it means to think critically when they attend college? The more our country is disconnected from reality- and more tuned into Reality TV – the more our youth move further and further from reaching their intended goals in life.
Today’s Youth: Concern, Disgust, Contempt
Youth today discuss feelings of concern, disgust and contempt toward the country. They’re expected to go to college, but has the public and private university system lost its way in assisting the youth in this transition? From the frat parties to the homecoming events, does college seriously assist students in critical thinking – the skill they need for success in today’s job market?
The answers to these questions are an outstanding almost. Just hear me out – it’s a complicated answer.
There are many higher institutions that cultivate the critical consciousness, and there are many parents that introduce children to topics of current events. The issue is that this is not enough. Granted, it’s an achievement to graduate from a university – it’s just not the only step in becoming a relatively successful person in our country. In order to succeed, today’s youth need goals and priorities above the latest viral video on social media.
Today’s Youth vs. Yesterday’s Youth: The Disconnect
The people in the past that made our country and shaped our country were progressive-critical. The majority of them were highly educated, and willing to look past what others were telling them. Our parent’s distractions were not as great, but they dared to ensure they received information and fought for their beliefs.
Their priorities toward life were different. The priorities of factory and labor workers were simple; to provide for their family’s needs. The breadwinner worked to move their family out of poverty and into middle class. They wanted to send their children to college, to receive a better future with the promise of an opportunity to move into wealth; The American Dream.
College’s Ecosystems: Blind Faith in Higher Education
Many parents really do not understand college and its diverse ecosystems, and simply send their kids to school and place blind faith into a higher learning institution. The parent’s expectations were that the school has their child’s best interest at heart, but the truth is many universities have your money in mind – and not the student’s potential career success.
The school’s career-counseling center is often disconnected from the overall institution, and real-life career demands outside the institution. With so many students unemployed and underemployed, it’s a wonder there is little to no involvement in social issues.
Due to the lack of interest and connectivity to community, the problem becomes a vicious cycle; with the youth mirroring the parents in attempts to reach the American Dream without the tools to do so.
Critical Thinking Holds the Keys to Success
Critical thinking is being diluted – an issue our country continues to repeat, but I don’t blame the youth. As a society we failed them and were not doing enough to fix this emerging trend.
Ernest T. Pascarella, Mark H. Salisbury, Charles Blaich. Design and Analysis in College Impact Research: Which Counts More? (2013). Journal of College Student Development. Accessed September 2, 2013.
Patrick Costello. Developing Children’s Thinking in Early Childhood Education. (2013). Early Child Development and Care. Accessed September 2, 2013.
Kuan Chen Tsai. Being a Critical and Creative Thinker: A Balanced Thinking Mode. (2013). Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (AJHSS). Accessed September 2, 2013.
Ian Glover. Bleak house: pessimism and prescription about management, responsibility and society in the early 21st century. (2013). Accessed September 2, 2013.
Wendy L. Hellerstedt, MPH, PhD, and Charles N. Oberg, MD, MPH. Healthy Youth Development. (2013). Accessed September 2, 2013.