Contemporary Education and Its Three Woes


Although education levels across the world are rising, the quality of students is steadily dropping. Lardieri reports that IQ scores in students across the world are in decline. This tendency is seen not only across the US but also in Norway, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Finland, among others (par. 3). Reasons for such developments are many, ranging from the environment to faulty educational reforms. Barutchu (620) states that IQ increases stem from the availability of information, comprehensive programs, and the ability to learn. The correctness of this theory can be seen when investigating modern students. The purpose of this paper is to argue that contemporary education has been in a recession because of the overabundance of subjects, the inability to learn, and the widespread use of the internet.

Students Do Not Know How to Learn

The abilities to apply effort, concentration, and overcome hardship are critical in learning. At the same time, many students do not seem to possess that ability. Lee (par. 4) argues that the modern educational system is focused on naturally intelligent students who can understand and comprehend material without studying. According to Lee, “For 15+ years, our education system has shown us that our lackluster efforts outside the classroom are sufficient to get by” (par. 9). This explains why people are so reluctant to improve themselves and their skills outside of school – because of a learning disability. Studying as a whole suffers because of these self-reinforcing practices.

The Internet is Modulating Our Brains

Millennials and Gen Z students are notorious for having low attention spans. Shatto and Ervin claim many students from the youngest generations have low attention spans when it comes to reading and studying. Carr explains the tendency as follows: “I can’t read War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it” (par. 6). He then states that the Internet affects not only the minds of students but also those of adults (Carr par. 7). Because online sources are often short and bite-sized, students gradually lose the ability to easily understand and comprehend larger swaths of text.

Students are Always Busy

Despite academic success scores and IQ scores in students failing, modern students are busier with studying than any previous generations before them. Kara finds that individual students spend between 8 to 12 hours a day studying, working on projects, part-time jobs, or earning extra credit (56). Kreider summarizes the tendency as follows: “Even children are busy now, scheduled down to the half-hour with classes and extracurricular activities. They come home at the end of the day as tired as grown-ups” (par. 4). Because of perpetual tiredness, they suffer from prolonged fatigue, depression, and anxiety. This, in turn, undermines desire and the ability to learn.


Modern students are suffering because of overreliance on the internet, a decreased ability to learn, and perpetual work-induced tiredness. It is likely for the trend to continue into further generations, should nothing be done. The modern educational system is evolving too slowly to accommodate students who require help now. Potential solutions require a wide-scale change not only in the system but in society as a whole.

Works Cited

Barutchu, Ayla, et al. “The Interplay Between Multisensory Associative Learning and IQ in Children.” Child Development, vol. 91, no. 2, 2020, pp. 620-637.

Carr, Nicholas. ” Is Google Making Us Stupid: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.” The Atlantic, 2008, Web.

Kara, Helen. Research & Evaluation for Busy Students and Practitioners 2e: A Time-Saving Guide. Policy Press, 2017.

Kreider, Tim. ” The ‘Busy’ Trap.” The New York Times, 2012, Web.

Lardieri, Alexa. “Study: People Are Getting Dumber.” US News, 2018, Web.

Lee, Jenny. “A Generation of Intelligent Students Who Don’t Know How to Learn.”, 2020, Web.

Shatto, Bobbi, and Kelly Erwin. “Moving on from millennials: Preparing for generation Z.” The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, vol. 47, no. 6, 2016, pp. 253-254.

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1. ChalkyPapers. "Contemporary Education and Its Three Woes." October 4, 2022.


ChalkyPapers. "Contemporary Education and Its Three Woes." October 4, 2022.