Monday, March 30, 2009

Back To Basics

According to a new report by the Canadian Council of Learning, 20% of Canadian university students can't read above a 3rd Level, which means that they are functioning illiterates.

As a Canadian, I hope this shocks you but I must say that as a TA in a Canadian university, this doesn't shock me at all. Some of the stuff I read would give an English Lit Doctor, heart palpitations.

I suppose I spoke too soon when spoke about the Big Decision. I suppose the decision shouldn't be "College" or "University" but rather "Dr Seuss" or "Judy Blume"? Hell, even R.L Stine would do the trick. Anything to get people reading, I suppose.

Because this is not just a problem for the TAs of the world who are forced to read papers with spelling mistakes on the title page or 6 page papers with no paragraph break, the truth is that statistics like this are a real smear on anyone's BA. If I have a BA and you have a BA, but I can read at a university level and you're at the junior high level, suddenly my BA doesn't look so good.

But above all else, it is a true disgrace that in Canada, in 2009, 20% of university students are functionally illiterate. Think about those that didn't make it into university and then the statistic really starts to sink in.

We are in a world of hurt if we don't get this addressed.

1 comment:

Ren said...

What boggles my mind is: How is this even possible? How do you get that far in life with nothing? Maybe I'm guilty of putting Universities on a pedestal, but as far as I'm concerned, it's for the 'smart kids'. The big leagues - and 20% are functioning illiterate? NOT COOL.
Put down the fucking make-up, WoW and GMA San Andreas and take in some mutha'flippin' Great Gatsby, yo!