[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ENRMeetingSep2005.html] 
16 September 2005
(1) © [All Rights Reserved.] Placed on the World Wide Web on 16 September 2005, for a presentation (with visuals) at the Annual Enrollment Management (ENR) Meeting at California State University, Chico, on 16 September 2005.
I have been a member of the faculty since August 1973 and am currently in my 65th semester at this institution. This is a totally personal view of the "millennial student" from my perspective. Your attention will be called to the excellent article in the Chico Enterprise-Record of September 1, 2005 by Marianne Paiva entitled "Teach and learn from new crop of students" as well as the words of J. K. Rowling: "Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men [and women!] are guilty if they forget what it was to be young."
TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
TEACHERS, STUDENTS, AND ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT
CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
VERY IMPORTANT 16 SEPTEMBER 2005 POSTSCRIPT
"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere." C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)
"[Old] Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth." The character Albus Dumbledore in J. K. Rowling, 2005, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (NY: Scholastic Books), page 564.
I joined the faculty of CSU, Chico in August 1973 and retired in May 2005. I was granted the status of Emeritus by my Anthropology colleagues and became a FERPr in August 2005 (becoming part of the Faculty Early Retirement Program). I plan to teach full-time in fall semesters and do other things in the spring. Over the past 33 years I've interacted at some point with every area of Enrollment Management: the Office of Admissions, Academic Advising Programs, Student Records & Registration, and Veteran Affairs. (Even though I am classified as a "Vietnam Era Veteran" I have probably had the least interaction with Veteran Affairs.) I've taught classes in Anthropology, Social Science and History and have had courses which were small, medium, and large (or "jumbo")! In spring 2005 I had an afternoon Anthropology Graduate Seminar with only ten students and a morning Introductory Cultural Anthropology class with 190 students. This semester I have a total of 235 students in my three classes (with sizes of 28, 39, and 168). To round out my background and place things into perspective: I was appointed as Coordinator for the Social Science Program on this campus from 1975 to 1977 and then I was selected to be the Associate Dean in the Center for Regional and Continuing Education from 1977 to 1988. Both of these administrative assignments provided me with a complementary view to the teaching point of view. Today's brief presentation began with the opening segment from the video Why Man Creates in order to make the point that life is cumulative!
Saul Bass [Director], 1970, Why Man Creates [25 minute video] (produced by Saul Bass and Associates, conceived and written by Saul Bass and Mayo Simon, presented by Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation) (Santa Monica, CA : Pyramid Film & Video)[MLIB} BF408 W592 1970 (Video Cassette)] (Please see Appendix I in this paper for the words to the opening segment entitled "The Edifice: A series of explorations, episodes, & comments on creativity.")
In the past I've taken part in numerous August "Getting Connected" programs, was nominated to become an honorary member in the Chico Chapter of the National Honor Society of Phi Eta Sigma (1994) and worked with (the now retired) Bob Standing and Lance Hauer as one of the faculty advisers to PES. I was a semi-finalist for the 1994-1995 Outstanding Teacher Award on this campus and was nominated by my peers to be one of five "Master Teachers" of the University (1997-1999). In 1991 I was invited to participate in the 20th Staff Council Spring Awards Luncheon and presented "The Icing on the Cake." In spring 1998, I worked with Bob Hannigan (Vice provost for Enrollment Management) on an idea I called "CHICO-L" (a proposed LIST-Server for communication purposes). In 1998 I was an invited speaker for the CSU, Chico Professional Development Committee Meeting of PAUSE'98 (with the theme of "Guess Who's Coming To College In The Millennium?). That paper, entitled Twenty-Five/Twenty-Five, or, Hindsight Is Always Somewhat "Perfect" (But Perhaps We Can Invent The Future!), is also available on the web. I place a great deal of the things I discuss in the classroom on the web for individuals to read at their leisure: see, for example, California, Cancer, and 1999 Data From The Wall Street Journal as well as A "Story" (Vision or nightmare?) of the Region in 2027. In brief, I've been here for several decades, enjoy teaching, have some ideas on education, and place my ideas on the web for people to read at their leisure. I enjoyed the September 1, 2005 article by Marianne Paiva and I have also thought about the following since August 1973:
"A strange thing happens around mid-August every year in Chico; the students come back to town." Marianne Paiva, 2005, Teach and learn from new crop of students. The Chico Enterprise-Record, September 1, 2005, page 8A.
"The most important word in the English language is attitude. Love and hate, work and play, hope and fear, our attitudinal response to all these situations, impresses me as being the guide." In Memory of Dr. Harlen Adams (1904-1997). Senior Lifestyle, Vol. 7, No. 3, Oroville, CA, page 2.
Before getting to my perceptions of the "Millennium Student" I must mention an important aspect of teaching: attitude! In my opinion, if those who teach do not enjoy teaching it will definitely show in the classroom and the students will know it! I am reminded of the words of George Burns (1896-1996): "Acting" (and perhaps teaching one might add) "is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made." (Mardy Grothe, 2004, Oxymoronica: Paradoxical Wit And Wisdom From History's Greatest Wordsmiths [NY: Harper Collins], page 121.) The thing is, if you "fake it" too long the students will know it and it does a disservice to them. If one doesn't enjoy teaching, get out of the classroom!
At the 1998 PAUSE'98 session, also dealing with the student of the millennium, I ended my presentation with the following:
So what sort of students will be coming to the college in the millennium? In my  opinion (and the opinion of others), we will probably be seeing greater ethnic and cultural diversity in our classes and more students who are physically and intellectually challenged in various ways and we should be prepared for all of them. Many of the students of the millennium will also be potentially brighter and sharper than our current  students and they will have been exposed to much more technology and information than we were at their age. We will see "average" students and "slow" students who probably shouldn't consider going to college but technology may be the great equalizer in getting the slower students up to "average" speed and getting the average students beyond the average! Perhaps educators will even come to accept the idea of Howard Gardner concerning the "intelligence" (or abilities) of students in the millennium: intelligence is not a single "thing" but multiple processes and maybe "technology" will be able to assist all students! (See Howard Gardner, 1993, Frames Of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.)
The words in bold above were made bold for today's 2005 presentation and are pretty close to the current campus situation. Consider, if you will, the words of President Zingg earlier this month:
"This class [that began in fall 2005] is richer in another gratifying way, too. We have enrolled the most ethnically diverse freshman class in our history, enabling the University to contribute to the CSU goal of reflecting the population of California in its student body. Let me share just a few numbers. Since 1998, the applicant pool of students of color (African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, and Native American) has increased from constituting 23.6 percent of the pool to 40.1 percent. This is a 70 percent increase. In 1998, such enrollments constituted 19.3 percent of applicants admitted and 18.4 percent of applicants enrolled. For fall 2005, 33.9 percent of students admitted were of color and 23.6 percent of our entering class is. These are increases of 75 percent and 28 percent, respectively [stress added]." Paul Zingg, 2005, Two Good Things. Inside Chico State, Volume 36, Number 1, page 2; http://www.csuchico.edu/pub/inside/05_09_08/twogoodthings.shtml.
I stand by my 1998 words; and, incidentally, please check out that original 1998 paper and note that in 1998 there were "live" links in the above paragraph and those links are no longer available today! While the World Wide Web is wonderful sometimes...things just vanish!
Teaching is fun and thinking about the future is also fun. While designated as "a Master Teacher" in 1997-1999, along with Laura McLachlin, Pamela Johnson, Madeline Keaveney, and Devon Metzger, I met with new faculty on an occasional basis. The five of us wrote of our various "teaching philosophies" and we met individually and collectively with new faculty for our two years as Master Teachers. We organized a few "Brown bag" luncheon meetings and at one in 1998 my presentation centered around "Dealing With Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom" and you might be interested in checking that page out: one of my favorite quotes for that presentation comes from Noel Coward (1899-1973): "Work is more fun than fun" and I add: being an anthropologist is fun! I have tried to share my enthusiasm for teaching as much as possible and in 2003, at a College of Behavioral and Social Sciences presentation I spoke about "Motivating and Engaging Students in Large Classes: A Personal View Since 1973" (and that item is also on the web; a brief version was also published in Inside Chico State, December 4, 2003 and is archived at http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/InsideChicoStateDec2003.html).
To round out my "perspective" on the millennial student and to place my own words in context (and hopefully demonstrate the "cumulative" aspect of life), the following might be of interest: I was born in 1942 in Jersey City, New Jersey, graduated from high school in 1960 and commuted to New York City and New York University for the 1960-61 Academic Year. After flunking out of NYU in 1961 I enlisted in the United States Air Force (1961-1965). (I show a transparency of my first-year college transcript to every class I teach at CSU, Chico and the message is clearly stated: "If I flunked out of college, so can you!") While in the United States Air Force I was stationed in Washington state and enrolled in courses on a part time basis at Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University). I learned about anthropology from a dynamic Professor at Western (Dr. Herbert C. Taylor, Jr: 1924-1991) and after I was honorably discharged in 1965 I became a full-time student at Western and was awarded the B.A. in Sociology-Anthropology in 1967. I wanted to become a professional anthropologist and was accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon. After coursework I was awarded the M.A. in Anthropology (1969) and after fieldwork in the South Pacific I received the Ph.D. degree in 1972. I taught at the University of Minnesota for the 1972-1973 academic year and joined the faculty of CSU, Chico in August 1973. And, since I ask my students on the first day of class to respond to the question of "What 'experience' (personal or world-wide) has had the biggest influence on your life to date?" I share with them what mine was: marrying my wife "Sadie" in Bellingham, Washington, on December 31, 1963.
TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
"Make sure your employees [or students!] are learning something every day. Ideally, they should learn things that directly help on the job, but learning anything at all should be encouraged. The more you know, the more connections form in your brain, and the easier every task becomes. Learning creates job satisfaction and supports a person's ego and energy level." Scott Adams, 1996, The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle's-Eye View Of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions, page 322.
"A play [or a classroom lecture or a public presentation] should make you understand something new. If it tells you what you already know, you leave it as ignorant as you went in [stress added]." (The character John Wisehammer. In Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good [based upon the novel The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally], 1989, Act II, sc. 7, page 89.]
I truly adhere to the words of Thomas Keneally (remembered perhaps for being the 1982 author of Schindler's List) and I tell my students that I will try and provide them with something new every day. In order to successfully do that it helps to know what the students already might know (and what they probably don't know)! With that in mind, I make a point of checking out the Beloit (Wisconsin) College "Mindset List" pertaining to the various "classes of" and refresh my memory! (Another interesting item, and I thank Karen Ward, is a September 4, 2005 story on the "Echo Boomers" and generational differences.) For the class of 2009 Beloit College points out the following:
"In the coming weeks, millions of students will be entering college for the first time. On average, these members of the Class of 2009 will be 18 years old, which means they were born in 1987. Starbucks, souped-up car stereos, telephone voicemail systems, and Bill Gates have always been a part of their lives. Each August, as students start to arrive, Beloit College releases the Beloit College Mindset List, which offers a world view of today's entering college students. It is the creation of Beloit's Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Director of Public Affairs Ron Nief. McBride, who directs Beloit's First Year Initiatives (FYI) program for entering students, notes that 'This year's entering students have grown up in a country where the main business has become business, and where terrorism, from obscure beginnings, has built up slowly but surely to become the threat it is today. Cable channels have become as mainstream as the 'Big 3' used to be, formality in dress has become more quaint than ever, and Aretha Franklin, Kermit the Frog and Jimmy Carter have become old-timers. 'Each year,' according to Nief, 'When Beloit releases the Mindset List, it is the birth year of the entering students that is the most disturbing fact for most readers. This year will come as no exception and, once again, the faculty will remain the same age as the students get younger [stress added].'" (From: http://www.beloit.edu/~pubaff/mindset/} Beloit College]
You are undoubtedly aware of this list and for several years, in order to learn more about the students in my classes, I have distributed a questionnaire which they fill out on the first day of class: I read the questionnaires overnight and make comments on them the next time we meet (please see Appendix II in this paper for a sample of the questionnaire). You will note I ask them for their age (or Date of Birth), a local number in case of an emergency, their hometown, and other information. (Many-many years ago, prior to the widespread availability and use of e-mail I asked about their access to e-mail: I obviously no longer ask that question!) I have discovered a great deal about my individual students over these past many years: they have traveled widely, have had a wide range of experiences, and have interesting "views" of what Anthropology is all about! For fall 2005, for example, in my "jumbo" ANTH 113 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology with 168 students), the following information was gathered from their questionnaires on Monday August 22 and shared back with them on Wednesday August 24, 2005. (As mentioned above, on the first day I verbally answer the same questions that I ask of my students.)
Any major travel? When? Where? Why?
The Millennial Students of fall 2005 have been all around the globe (just as student responses revealed in previous years). The following countries were listed in their individual responses on August 22, 2005: Australia, Austria, the Azores, Bali, Belgium, Belize, Bohemia, British Columbia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Egypt, England, France, the Galápagos Islands, Greece, Guam, Holland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Tahiti, Thailand, and Turkey! Our students have lived and traveled in 36 countries and many have seen various parts of the United States, including Wyoming, Virginia, Nevada, Indiana, Idaho, Hawai'i, Florida, various Western States, and the East Coast! All of this was fascinating and for years I have pointed out to my students that I did not leave North America for the first time until I was 28 years of age in 1970: going to Hawai'i en route to conduct my Ph.D. research in the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga. Individually they have traveled widely (and have already been exposed to many different "cultures") but collectively (when it comes to the map component of examinations) the results are shocking. On a relatively simple multiple-choice test I have had responses placing Mexico in South America and Brazil in the northern part of that continent. I have had Portugal identified as "France" with Switzerland and Poland being located in the Atlantic Ocean! (Please see Appendix III with illustrative WRONG answers on the "A, B, C, or D" map portion of their examination.) The map component is clearly explained in the syllabus and it only requires students to know where countries are located: not rivers, nor capitals, nor cities. These are countries mentioned in class and/or their reading assignments for the course. The maps, which will eventually appear on their exams, are also provided for them in the Guidebook I create for my various courses. Exam I covers South America and Africa and Exam II has a map of Europe. Map III, on their Final Exam, is a comprehensive world map. These dismal results come even though the students (pre-Millennial and millennial) know that a map component is part of every examination they will have in the course and there are some excellent web sites available for independent learning that I share with them in lectures and list in their course Guidebook. (Incidentally, prior to each exam I also show my students the "error maps" of Appendix III from previous semesters and encourage them to do better!)
What "experience" (personal or world-wide) has had the biggest influence on your life to date?
Here, somewhat consistently for many years, I get information pertaining to what I call the "3Ds" that have affected our students: Death, Disease, and Divorce. These 3Ds have had an influence on some of our students; this has been true in past years and was true in fall 2005. Some of our students have had a divorce and some have had parents who are divorced. In addition to these three major experiences, our students have obviously traveled and have seen people in poverty around the world. Our students have had accidents, have become independent, have had unique high school experience and have made the transition to Chico State. They have had their best friend attempt suicide, have had accidents, and have been influence by the events of 9/11. The millennial student (as students in the past) are in a current relationship, are married, have been influenced by their parents and family, are concerned about Iraq, interested in music and religion, and hold down jobs while attending school. In fall 2005 one student wrote that the experience that has had the most influence on his life was the destruction of the Library in Alexandria and there was one student who wrote "my birth" and another "I honestly couldn't tell you."
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term Anthropology? Or Anthropologist?
This one has always been one of my favorites, because I am curious about what they "might" already "know" about the discipline that I have been engaged in for more than four decades. My basic credo concerning "Anthropology" is that it is as simple as the ABCs. My view of Anthropology is the Appreciation of Basic Cultural Diversity Everywhere. This is what we do as anthropologists: document the diversity around the world; and there is certainly diversity in our individual classrooms! In fall 2005 there was not a single "Indiana Jones" listed (which I've had in the past) but responses ranged from "not sure" to the "study of people" as well as "studying dead people." When thinking about anthropology the millennial student has humans, caves, tribes, people, and "wow!" in mind. They also think of Egypt, fossil bones, artifacts, a museum, diversity, and lost cultures. To one fall 2005 student Anthropology is a "science" and to another an Anthropologist is "a person interested in human existence at all levels" and finally, in response to the above question, one student in fall 2005 wrote: "My Mom: She's an Anthropologist!"
TEACHERS, STUDENTS, AND ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Clarke's Third Law, Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible by Arthur C. Clarke, 1984, page 26.
"A teenager without a cell phone is, like, so yesterday.... Kids have their own agenda, and calling mom and dad doesn't top the list. A cell phone has become an adolescent rite of passage, a token of social respect and a sign of independence [stress added]." John Murawaski, 2005, The Chico Enterprise-Record, September 4, 2005, page 10C.
The Belgian Anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep (1873-1957), who gave us the phrase "rite of passage" would be delighted with these words because they are absolutely correct! A striking "rite of passage" occurred on this Chico campus after "9/11" occurred: cell phones (and eventual sporadic classroom interruptions) began. Please consider some other words concerning the millennial students that surround us:
"Before they can even read, almost one in four children in nursery school is learning a skill that even some adults have yet to master: using the internet. Some 23 percent of children in nursery school--kids age 3, 4 or 5--have gone online, according to the Education Department. By kindergarten, 32 percent have used the Internet, typically under adult supervision [stress added]." Anon., 2005, Young children learning Internet skills before reading. The Chico Enterprise-Record, June 5, 2005, page 12A.
"Researchers say too much TV viewing in childhood has long-term effects on learning. In one study, they found that simply having a TV set in a kid's bedroom can be linked to lower academic skills. In another, researchers in New Zealand tracked 1,037 children for nearly 30 years in the first long-term follow-up measuring childhood viewing and educational achievement. They say those who watched the most TV from ages 5 to 15 were least likely to graduate from high school or college by age 26.... [Another survey of] 386 third-graders in the San Francisco Bay area in 2000.... found that those with TVs in their rooms had much lower reading, math and writing scores on standardized tests [stress added]." Greg Toppo, 2005, Three studies suggest TV hampers kids' academic skills. USA Today, July 5, 2005, page 7D.
Consider the following from the year 2000 and the student who is probably in my class right now:
"And then the revolution came. ... Computers and modems and the mighty Web are as ubiquitous in a child's vocabulary as the multiplication table. ... Experts say that computers, and more importantly, the Internet, are changing the way children learn, develop and think. Amanda Stanley had a computer in her home even when her family chose not to keep a TV or radio in the house. 'I've been around computers all my life,' she said. The 13-year-old, who comes from a family of computer enthusiasts, learned how to paint jeans at a camp last summer. Now she wants to sell her wearable art online. She is enrolled in Giga Gals, a program that started at the Austin [Texas] Children's Museum in February . Web designers help 9- to 18-year-olds get online and start their own sites, from Web diaries to e-commerce ventures [stress added]." Omar L. Gallaga, 2000, For High-Tech Kids, Computers Are The Norm, Not A Novelty. The San Francisco Chronicle, May 29, 2000, page B5.
In preparing for this presentation I did a brief Google Search for "The Millennial Student" on September 16, 2005 and came up with approximately 322,000 "hits" in 0.24 seconds (including PDFs, PowerPoint Presentations, and various web pages) and for a valuable PowerPoint presentation, see Searcy Taylor and Nancy MacNeil's May 2005 presentation to the Midwest Association of Financial Aid Administrators (MAFSAA). In brief, there is a great deal of information out there on the "millennial student" for us to use and incorporate as best as we can see fit. It doesn't make sense to continuously re-invent the wheel: we should just be aware of what is going on right now and perhaps use what we can to "invent" the future. (No one can predict the future, merely invent it!) This "need" to be aware of what exists "out there" right now is true for teachers, students, and enrollment management individuals! We are deluged with a sea of information and we must constantly sift and choose that which is of value to us. The thing is, some of this information has always been around: consider, if you will, the following statements from the previous decade (some of which come from my aforementioned 1998 paper):
"A population burst unlike any since the heyday of the baby boom has entered the American system. And although its members are still children, their impact on business and society is already immense. ... The annual number of U.S. births started rising around 1980, ending the baby-bust years. In each of the years from 1989 to 1993, U.S. births exceeded four million for the first time since the early 1960s. Today there are roughly 57 million American under age 15--and more than 20 million in the peak years between four and eight. ... 'Technologically, this generation is going to make the Gen-Xers look like fuddy-duddies,' says Frank Gevorsky, a 41-year-old social historian at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle think tank. He predicts that within five years, members of Generation Y will be producing term papers with full motion video. 'They're on fast-forward,' he says. Generation Y was born into a world so different from the one their parents entered that they could be on different planets" [stress added]." (Melinda Beck, 1997, Next Population Bulges Shows Its Might. The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 1997, pages B1 + B2, page B1)
Perhaps this is why I am so interested in technology: individuals, or children, from "different planets!" What an opportunity for cross-cultural research and longitudinal studies:
"It's a cliche of the digital age: Parents wonder how children so helpless in the real world can navigate the virtual world with such skill. Using computers is second nature to most kids--and with good reason, according to many neurologists. Being exposed to the wired world at early ages is effectively wiring children's brains differently, giving them an ease and comfort with computers that adults may never match. Will the new millennium see the generation gap turn into the digital divide? ... The cognitive gap is likely to continue well into the future, even as today's cyberkids become tomorrow's parents. While kids are growing up with brains well suited to the digital world of today, as adults they are likely to face the difficult task of adapting to a future where technology evolves even more rapidly--and more profoundly--than it does today [stress added]." Yocki J. Dreazen & Rachel Emma Silverman, 2000, Raised In Cyberspace. January 1, 2000, The Wall Street Journal, page R47.
"...I realized what a different technological life my kids live. [When I was their age] I thought the most modern of conveniences was an electric typewriter, a dishwasher, and a color TV. Today anyone without a computer is deprived. ... Their lives revolve around technology. They were born after the computer chip was perfected. They know only how to turn on appliances containing one or more chips. The students in our schools are in the same bucket. They've grown up with technology most of us only read about in science fiction novels. Our kids can expect even more. I just read an article about kids in a forth [sic.] grade class reading e-books. No textbooks were being purchased for the class this year; information comes from electronic books. ... Their world will be one of computers, video cams, web sites, and who knows what else [stress added]." Joni Samples (Glenn County Superintendent of Schools), 2000, Mom's Memories of the ancient ways of typing. Enterprise-Record/Mercury-Register, Sunday, March 12, 2000, page 3B.
For readers of this web-paper, you will note that the apparent computerized "spell checker" obviously allowed the incorrect "forth" for the correct "fourth" above! People are still needed! Continuing with children growing up right now, consider video games that children "play" with: Minoru Arakawa, of Nintendo of America, made a statement which appeared in USA Today on June 23, 1997; discussing the activities of Nintendo, which began in the old days of 1979, and the following question and answer appeared:
"Q: How do those older games from the '80s compare with games for the current system, the Nintendo 64? Arakawa: It's like a university compared with elementary school. The graphics are so much better. The sound is much better. Everything is much better [stress added]. "Nintendo Plans Zelda 64 For Next Big Play" by Mike Snider, USA Today, June 23, 1997, page 10B)
"Everything is much better" and this is what our future (and current) students expect (and will expect) when it comes to educational delivery systems. Please think about the following statements from various years:
"Teachers Are Lagging Behind in Logging On. With more computers than ever ready to be booted up in classrooms across the country, our schools should be turning out thousands of Bill Gates clones. Not so fast. It seems half the screens are dark because the geeks who backed this rush to get computers in schools forgot one key element--training the teachers. Education Week magazine has just completed a comprehensive report on technology in schools that shows teachers don't know what to do with all that RAM. Almost 50% don't use computers at all in teaching, and only 61% percent [it is written this way in Time] use the Internet. And the educational software that's out there doesn't provide much promise: 71% of high school teachers said finding useful products is nearly impossible, and the software-savvy give materials that are usable a grade C or lower. Sally B. Connelly/Washington [stress added]." Time, September 27, 1999, page 26.
"Nearly 80 percent of seniors at 55 top colleges and universities--including Harvard and Princeton--received a D or F on a 34-question, high-school level American history test that contained historical references....'These students are allowed to graduate as if they didn't know the past existed [stress added].'...." Anon, 2000, American History Quiz Stumps Many College Seniors. San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 2000, page A3.
"Here are some of the unsettling results of recent polls and studies taken in the United States on geography awareness: One in seven U.S. adults could not locate the United States on a world map. Three out of 10 Americans cannot distinguish north from south on a map. Nearly half of the college students in California could not identify Japan on a map. ... Twenty-five percent of high school seniors in Dallas [Texas] couldn't name the country on our southern border. In Baltimore [Maryland], 45 percent of high school seniors couldn't shade in the United States on the world map. ... In Miami [Florida], 30 percent couldn't locate the Pacific Ocean [stress added]." An "Editorial" in The Chico Enterprise-Record of February 3, 2002.
"One in 10 young Americans could not locate his [or her?!] own country on a blank map of the world, a survey of geographic literacy shows. Only 13 percent could find Iraq. ... survey found that about one in seven of Americans between age 18 and 24, the prime age for military service, could place Iraq [stress added]." The Chico Enterprise-Record of November 21, 2002.
"On the test: 57% of seniors could not perform even at the basic level. 32% performed at the basic level. 10% performed grade-level work, and 1% were advanced or superior. ... The federally mandated test was administered to 29,000 fourth-, eighth- and 12th-graders at 1,100 public and private schools. Fourth-and eighth-grade students did better than seniors, but not by much. ... [Sample Question]: When the United States entered the Second World War, one of its allies was: A) Germany. B) Japan. C) The Soviet Union. D) Italy. 52% failed to pick the correct answer, C. ... [stress added]." Tamara Henry, Kids get 'abysmal' grade in history: High school seniors don't know basics. USAToday, May 10, 2002, page 1.
"Most fourth-graders spend less than three hours a week writing, which is about 15 percent of the time they spend watching television. Seventy-five percent of high school seniors never get a writing assignment from their history or social studies teachers.... These are among the findings of a report issued Friday [April 25, 2003] by the national Commission on Writing in America's Schools and Colleges, a blue-ribbon panel organized by the College Board [stress added]." Anon., 2003, Schools get knuckles rapped for neglecting writing skills. The Sacramento Bee, April 26, 2003, page A7.
"In the 1960s, 4% of kids were obese. Today , 16% are overweight, according to the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. It can be seen in their brains. Studies indicate that children who spend lots of time outdoors have longer attention spans than kids who watch lots of television and play video games.... Children ages 8 to 10 spend an average of 6 hours a day watching television, playing video games and using computers [stress added]." Dennis Cauchon, 2005, Childhood pastimes are increasingly moving indoors. USA Today, July 12, 2005, pages 1 + 2, page 2.
These are some of the "millennial" students we might have in our classes today (and think about the class of 2019!).
CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
"Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men [and women!] are guilty if they forget what it was to be young." (Albus Dumbledore, in} J. K. Rowling, 2003, Harry Potter And the Order of The Phoenix (NY: Scholastic Press), page 826.
"There are many things about life that do not change with age. Older people have some advantage over the young because, having been young and having been old, they know both ages. Young people, on the other hand, can only guess what it must like to be old. I know exactly what it is like to be young and what it is like to be old. I am aware of myself now and remember what I was like then [stress added]." Andy Rooney, 2002, Common Nonsense Addressed to the Reading Public (NY: Public Affairs), page 161.
"You are what you know. ...Today we live according to the latest version of how the universe functions. This view affects our behaviour and thought, just as previous versions affected those who lived with them. ...At any time in the past, people have held a view of the way the universe works which was for them similarly definitive, whether it was based on myths or research. And at any time, that view they held was sooner or later altered by changes in the body of knowledge" [stress added]. (James Burke, 1985, The Day The Universe Changed, page 9)
To the words of James Burke I add the following: you are also what you don't know! Your ignorance (as well as mine) contributes to your actions and attitudes about the things you do know about. Some suggestions: (1) have the students who participate in "Summer-O" fill out a questionnaire, providing some information for the faculty for Monday August 21, 2006, with data about the books the in-coming students have recently read (for fun), countries visited, travels, movies seen, records/music that they've listened to, as well as their dreams for the future; (2) create a "Beloit College Mindset List" on this campus for the Academic Year beginning in August 2006 and distribute it to all faculty for the first day of classes; and (3) keep talking to one another and share information and ideas with appropriate individuals in the campus and community. I truly appreciate the words of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the third President of the United States when he wrote the following:
"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."
Jefferson then went on to say: "He who receive an idea from me, receives instruction himself [or herself!] without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receive light without darkening me." I like sharing information and this is why I teach (and participate in meetings such as this.)
To begin concluding: I believe that we haven't seen anything yet and the "problem" of the millennium students (and the "opportunities" to work with the millennium students) have always been with us! Everyone is probably familiar with the words of Charles Dickens (1812-1870 ) and his immortal 1859 words which begins The Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." (Incidentally, 1859 is the year that Charles R. Darwin [1809-1882] published the first edition of On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life .) Another appropriate quote that I like to end this brief paper comes from the American author Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) and we should also keep his words in mind:
"The enormous multiplication of books in every branch of knowledge is one of the greatest evils of this age...it presents one of the most serious obstacles to the acquisition of correct information, by throwing in the reader's way piles of lumber in which he [or she!] must painfully grope for...scraps of useful matter.... [stress added]." Edgar Allen Poe,
I wonder what Poe (or Darwin) would say about the information available on the World Wide Web today?
VERY IMPORTANT 16 SEPTEMBER 2005 POST SCRIPT
Two lengthy quotes to end with and for you to think about:
"As recently as the early 1990s, most people had never heard of the internet, and no projection about which direction computer technology would grow most rapidly mentioned the internet. According to Time magazine, it took forty years for radio to gain 50 million American listeners. It took thirteen years for broadcast television and cable to gain 50 million domestic viewers. But it took only four years for the World Wide Web to get 50 million domestic users. The phenomenal growth of internet commerce and communication was totally unexpected, confounding futurists and catching the tech world by surprise [stress added]." Tomas M. Georges, 2003, Digital Soul: Intelligent Machines and Human Values (Westview Press), pages 167-168.
Finally, for readers of this paper, I ask you to consider where you were and who you were (and how old you were) in February 1986 and consider the changes in 19 years. In Time magazine of February 10, 1986, a full-page advertisement appeared which stated (in part) the following:
"IT'S SO FAST, YOU'LL FLY THROUGH YOUR WORK. Introducing the NCR PC6. Whoosh! That's information up on the new NCR PC6. The PC6 is NCR's most powerful personal computer yet. It's powered by the advanced Intel 8088-2 microprocessor. So you can process information nearly twice as fast as the PC XT. At that rate, you can load programs faster. Recall files in an instant. Calculate in a flash. And get home earlier. The PC6 stores a lot, too--up to 40MB of hard disk space, or about 7,575 single-spaced typewritten pages. Of course the PC 6 is compatible--running over 10,000 business software programs. In fact, a special switch lets you operate at either 8 MHz or 4.77 MHz, allowing you to run software that some other high performance PCs, like the PC AT, can't run. And, just in case, you can get a built-in streaming tape back-up system to guard against accidental erasures, disk damage, or coffee spills. The NCR PC6. To see it, fly on down to your NCR dealer today [stress added]."
Whoosh! You haven't seen anything yet!
# # #
Mumble, mumble, roar!
Harry, do you realize you just invented the wheel?
I know, I know.
All was in chaos 'til Euclid arose and made order.
What is the good life?
And how do you lead it?
Who shall rule the state?
The philosopher king.
You mean all the people?
What is the nature of the good?
What is the nature of justice?
What is happiness?
Roman law is now in session.
Allah be praised, I've invented the zero.
What is the shape of the earth?
What happens when you get to the edge?
You fall off.
Does the earth move?
The earth moves.
The earth is round.
The blood circulates.
There are worlds smaller than ours.
There are worlds larger than ours.
Hey, whatya doing?
I'ma paintin' the ceiling.
I'ma paintin' the floor.
Darwin says man is an animal.
Rot. Man is not an animal.
Hmmm. Shall we start from the beginning?
I'm a bug, I'm a germ.
I'm not a bug, I'm not a germ.
Think it will work Alfred?
Let's give it a try.
All men are created equal....
Life, Liberty, and the pursuit....
Workers of the world....
Government of the people by the people....
The world must be made safe....
The war to end all wars....
A league of nations....
I see one third of a nation ill-housed....
Important Note: for the actual questionnaire administered on the first day of class each semester, adequate space is allowed for each response and I do "fill in" the questionnaire for them from my own perspective.
ANTHROPOLOGY 113-01} Mon, Wed, & Fri / Fall 2005} 22 August 2005
LOCAL PHONE # (IN EMERGENCY):
MINOR (IF ANY):
PLEASE CIRCLE: FR SO JR SN GR OTHER__________
ANTICIPATED DATE OF GRADUATION:
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OUT OF THIS COURSE? ANY PREVIOUS ANTHROPOLOGY COURSES? WHERE? (Please use the reverse side of this page if you wish to elaborate on any response.)
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE STRESSED? AND WHY?
WHY ARE YOU TAKING THIS PARTICULAR COURSE/SECTION?
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND when you hear the term Anthropology? Or Anthropologist?
ANY MAJOR TRAVEL? WHEN? WHERE? WHY?
WHAT "EXPERIENCE" (personal or world-wide) has had the biggest influence on your life to date?
WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE living 5 or 10 years from now? On August 22, 2010 or August 22, 2015? DOING WHAT? (Please use the reverse side of this page for this response and if you wish to elaborate on any response.)
APPENDIX III: Incorrect Student Responses From a Multiple-Choice Map Tests (with A, B, C, or D choices).
(1) © [All Rights Reserved.] Placed on the World Wide Web on 16 September 2005, for a presentation (with visuals) at the Annual Enrollment Management (ENR) Meeting at California State University, Chico, on 16 September 2005.To return to the beginning of this paper, please click here.
Department of Anthropology;
to Enrollment Management;
to California State University, Chico.
[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ENRMeetingSep2005.html]
Copyright © 2005; all rights reserved by Charles F. Urbanowicz
16 September 2005 by cfu