Nancy Flanagan doesn’t mind being labled an “unrepentant Luddite,” but she doesn’t take to English Professor Mark Bauerlein’s much-hyped new book, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future. Baurerlein’s conception of what it means to be well-educated today, she says, lacks both common sense and vision:
I’m not saying that disciplinary knowledge is unimportant—far from it. Having a broad understanding of the arts, sciences and humanities makes one educated, but having a lively imagination and curiosity makes information useful. If the whiz-bang nature of technology makes kids distractible and dumb, that has more to do with our inability to control and harness its power in our institutions, or re-shape our own national vision for what it means to be educated.
Besides, she badly wants a Kindle. (Full disclosure: Me, too.)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.