The Mindset of Incoming 18 Year Olds

Annual fun from Beloit College:

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation.

This year’s 18 year olds were born in 1992, which is startling enough. But there’s more! Some examples:

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

46. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

58. Beethoven has always been a dog.

Click HERE for the rest of the list.

8 thoughts on “The Mindset of Incoming 18 Year Olds

  1. Does anyone know why learning to write cursive is being cut out of the K-8 curriculum? What is the reasoning here? … Anyone? … Anyone?

    • I don’t know, but when my weak Spanish fails, it makes a really nice “encrypted code” for communication with my children’s mother. It might as well be cyrillic…I’m sure that’s not why they don’t teach it anymore, but it is, for the time being, a serendipitous (if unintended) parenting consequence.

    • Frankly, I’ve never understood the point of cursive. I can never make sense of other people’s cursive, even if it is well done. I’d much prefer excellent print to excellent cursive.

  2. For my brief time as a 6th grade teacher 6 years ago, students were required to write in script (cursive as it’s called out here). Handwriting in general has been cut out of the K-8 curriculum in order to make room for more math and reading the same way recess, gym, music, art, etc… are cut. That’s my best guess.

  3. I was taught how to “handwrite” in elementary school. By the time I attended high school I had to type my essays. In college, studying architecture, I was taught to “letter” and I’ve not looked back. I no longer use cursive and I’ve yet to find a need to use it. I consider it a dying art and wonder if it serves any great purpose to teach and/or learn.

    Sounds like you believe cursive needs to remain in the curicullum. Can I ask why? I have mixed feelings.

    • Yes, Ivan. Cursive is important to the individual. [Ah! That’s it! As the academy drifts towards the collective (read, socialism) and away from the individual (read, capitalism) it has to shed all aspects of the latter. Now I get it. You know, brainstorming is sometimes a very powerful learning strategy. :)] … Anyway, … cursive is how one writes for oneself, such as in taking notes in classes, seminars, workshops, etc. Parmenides surely would have suggested this to Heraclitus had he known Heraclitus would still be with us today.


      • If cursive is only for the individual to take notes for oneself in class, workshops, etc, then wouldn’t teaching shorthand be more practical and efficient? Just a thought.

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