Human Devolution

Posted: August 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

Some people believe that humans have devolved as to their intellectual capacity. This is ironic considering how information communication technology has advanced in speed, capacity, scope and function. The decline of an individual’s intellectual potentials could be attributed to various factors. Schooling is just one of those.

Howard Gardner, defines intelligence as the human potential to construct outputs that are socially and culturally valuable. As a potential, intelligence is not easily measurable and each individual possess multiple intelligences. While intellectual capacity is measured by intellegence quotient scores, intelligence can not be easily determined in any paper and pencil test.

Why humans devolve in intellectual capacity, could be related to postmodernism and postructuralism. Intellectual capacity are indicated by norms of intellegent quotient. Citizens of the postmodern and postructuralist world have less regard for norms. Instead, individuals intend to identify themselves as their very own “self”. Different from the others.

While parents accomodate the idea of work to support the family needs, children are raised with the available media around them. Toys are made to be interactive to stimulate learning while the children are entertained as well. Children below age 5 can be observed to be very facile in using the computer, iphone, ipod, PSP, MP3 aside from operating the TV. They learned these on thier own upon observing adults or they were taught by adults.  How many books have these children been read as compared to the toys they were given?

The cognitive development of children have been left to the school. Parents seem to have their hands off to their child’s cognitive development, as they kept themselves busy at work and away from their children. They work so they can have money to pay their bills, buy food, clothe their family and pay the nanny. The nanny is left with the responsibility to look after the children until the time that they would no longer need a nanny. The nanny does everything for the children.

Then, the children grow to be dependent, lacking in skills and knowledge of even the basic things that they should be doing on their own. They grow up to be skillful in clicking the mouse, surfing the net, typing with the keyboard, playing online games and many other skills that are acquired from using innovative technologies.  But what do they create? What can they create?

A student is quick to search information in the net, and they too are quick to copy and paste information for their homework. Ask them a question, and they would ask the same question to the internet. In most cases, they will not even bother to process those information. They will not even think about whether they got the right answer or not. Critical thinking which is an intelligent process of constructing knowledge is competency that remains to be learned for these digital natives.

In one local school, it was found out that students have very low reading proficiency scores. This is based on a standardized test administered several times to the students. In this test, the low reading scores are believed to be indicators of poor reading habits, or the lack of spending time in reading. While the internet promises to provide rich information, the digital natives are not reading. Then what are they doing with the technology they have on their fingertips?

Marshall MacLuhan said that we create the tools that we need, consequently the same tools reshape us. The digital natives have devolved  to be who they are now for two reasons, they mastered the tools to master them, and they were not taught quite well how to master the tools that are available for them to evolve as civilization greater than their predecessors.

  1. Bea says:

    My brother posted something like this, which I echoed in my blog (pero comedy ang approach niya):

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