‘Dumbing Down’?


The story that caught my eye this week was the accusation that the Irish education system has been dumbing down standards at Leaving Certificate and at University. Big employers like Intel and Hewlett Packard are increasingly disillusioned with Ireland’s supposedly ‘world-class’ education system and its failure to produce students with expected skills at maths and science in particular.

If ‘dumbing down’ is a fact, what might be the cultural factors behind making grades easier to achieve?

Is it everyone ‘covering their back’, massaging figures to make it look like targets are being met?

Or are there other factors at play?

Or is it part of a therapeutic culture where everyone is ‘special’?

This brings back a line from that great movie The Incredibles:

“Saying we are all special is another way of saying no-one is.”


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