A recent survey of 500 elite business decision-makers found almost half believe today’s college graduates are less prepared for work than they were 15 years ago. They may be more tech-savvy than ever, but why aren’t students learning the skills they need to succeed?
They can navigate their smart phones update social media and retrieve info in a split second. But cognitive neuroscientist Jacque Gamino says todays’ students are lacking the basic skills they need to thrive in the workforce.
“They have information at their fingertips, more information than we had growing up, but they don’t know what to do with it,” said Dr. Jacque Gamino, Cognitive Neuroscientist, Center for BrainHealth, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman believes technology can work against students.
“We’re literally building an ADHD brain by jumping back and forth through our technology, too much shifting,” said Dr. Chapman, Founder and Chief Director, Center for BrainHealth, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Scientists at the center for BrainHealth have been studying a new way to help students by teaching them to think critically.
“Unfortunately, kids assume that learning is the same as memorizing and not thinking deeply about information,” Dr. Gamino said.
In a language arts class, students learn to bounce and customize what they read. They bounce out information that’s not important and customize something to make it understandable.
“Kids always think there is just a right answer and a wrong answer, but in life there’s a bunch of answers as long as it works,” said Gregory Parker, 6th grade teacher.
The SMART program encourages teachers to ask more questions and let the students answer them.
“It just taught us new ways to process information and comprehend it,” said Victoria, 8th grader.
Schools implement the smart program 45 minutes every other day for four weeks. Results show standardized test scores improve by 20 to 50 percent.
“If you know how to learn, it doesn’t matter what you’re learning, you can do it,” Dr. Gamino said.
In a recent journal article noted that a child born today will have spent a full year glued to screens by the time he or she reaches the age of seven.