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British Children's declining abilities
New research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and conducted by Michael Shayer, professor of applied psychology at King's College, University of London, concludes that 11- and 12-year-old children in year 7 are "now on average between two and three years behind where they were 15 years ago", in terms of cognitive and conceptual development.
Guardian


January 30, 2006: Good grief, they have an epidemic of cretinism. Is it the result of garbage TV, X-box, junk food, one-parent families, or what? Probably all of the above, but the way they are taught can't help. My sister's five-year-old grandson has been having difficulty reading, which is a bit surprising as both parents are doctors, so one would not expect a defficiency of intelligence. But the puzzle was solved on examination of "Letter Cards" supplied by his school. The letter "R" was illustrated by a picture of a dog. Why? Because a dog goes "GRRRR." Gedit? And the letter "I" was illustrated by a mouse because a mouse goes "eeeee". You'd need to be a genius to learn to read that way.

Teacher, holding up a card with the letter "R": "What's this letter?"

Child: "Um, ..."

Teacher: "Well what does it remind you of?"

Child: "Um, Dog?, is it a 'D'"?

Teacher: "No, no, it isn't a 'D', 'Dog' begins with 'D', but what does a dog do?"

Child: "Goes 'bow-wow' 'woof-woof', is it a 'W'?"

Teacher: "No it isn't a 'W'. Now just think hard about what else a dog does?"

Child: "Pees on a lamp post? Is it a 'P'"?

Teacher: "No it isn't a 'P'. Try to remember your letter card, with the dog. What was the dog doing? Was he g... gr... growling? That's right he was going "GRRRRR."

Child: "In that case it must be a 'G'".

Collapse of elderly school ma'am.

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