Friday, March 02, 2007

College Students More Narcissistic Than Ever

The Leftist "self-esteem" gospel in action

Today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society. "We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back," said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. "Kids are self-centered enough already."

Twenge and her colleagues, in findings to be presented at a workshop Tuesday in San Diego on the generation gap, examined the responses of 16,475 college students nationwide who completed an evaluation called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006. The standardized inventory, known as the NPI, asks for responses to such statements as "If I ruled the world, it would be a better place," "I think I am a special person" and "I can live my life any way I want to." The researchers describe their study as the largest ever of its type and say students' NPI scores have risen steadily since the current test was introduced in 1982. By 2006, they said, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores, 30 percent more than in 1982.

Narcissism can have benefits, said study co-author W. Keith Campbell of the University of Georgia, suggesting it could be useful in meeting new people "or auditioning on 'American Idol.'" "Unfortunately, narcissism can also have very negative consequences for society, including the breakdown of close relationships with others," he said.

The study asserts that narcissists "are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors."

Twenge, the author of "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before," said narcissists tend to lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism and favor self-promotion over helping others. The researchers traced the phenomenon back to what they called the "self-esteem movement" that emerged in the 1980s, asserting that the effort to build self-confidence had gone too far. As an example, Twenge cited a song commonly sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques" in preschool: "I am special, I am special. Look at me." "Current technology fuels the increase in narcissism," Twenge said. "By its very name, MySpace encourages attention-seeking, as does YouTube."

Some analysts have commended today's young people for increased commitment to volunteer work. But Twenge viewed even this phenomenon skeptically, noting that many high schools require community service and many youths feel pressure to list such endeavors on college applications. Campbell said the narcissism upsurge seemed so pronounced that he was unsure if there were obvious remedies. "Permissiveness seems to be a component," he said. "A potential antidote would be more authoritative parenting. Less indulgence might be called for."

The new report follows a study released by UCLA last month which found that nearly three-quarters of the freshmen it surveyed thought it was important to be "very well-off financially." That compared with 62.5 percent who said the same in 1980 and 42 percent in 1966.

Yet students, while acknowledging some legitimacy to such findings, don't necessarily accept negative generalizations about their generation. Hanady Kader, a University of Washington senior, said she worked unpaid last summer helping resettle refugees and considers many of her peers to be civic-minded. But she is dismayed by the competitiveness of some students who seem prematurely focused on career status. "We're encouraged a lot to be individuals and go out there and do what you want, and nobody should stand in your way," Kader said. "I can see goals and ambitions getting in the way of other things like relationships."

Kari Dalane, a University of Vermont sophomore, says most of her contemporaries are politically active and not overly self-centered. "People are worried about themselves - but in the sense of where are they're going to find a place in the world," she said. "People want to look their best, have a good time, but it doesn't mean they're not concerned about the rest of the world." Besides, some of the responses on the narcissism test might not be worrisome, Dalane said. "It would be more depressing if people answered, 'No, I'm not special.'" [Brainwashed]


Canadian homosexual Activists Consider Targeting Private Christian Schools for "Homophobia"

Ontario private schools are coming increasingly under the lens of homosexual activist groups for "homophobic" teaching stemming from the schools' primarily religious foundations, a report in Ottawa's homosexual news media indicated earlier this week.

In an article warning about the increasing trend toward private and religious schools in the province, Ottawa's Capital Xtra objected to religious schools that teach children "only their own values."

The article quotes Tony Lovink, a homosexual Christian teacher in the Ottawa public school system, as saying, "All private schools tend to be at least implicitly homophobic. And I would say all religiously formed independent schools are definitely homophobic."

The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario said they were concerned the provincial ministry of education wasn't "exerting more control" over the curriculum used by private religious schools. Unless a school wants to grant students government-recognized Secondary School Diplomas, Ontario private schools are free to use their preferred curriculum. Even schools that do grant the government diplomas may teach any additional material they choose, so long as the required curriculum is covered.

As well, the CLGRO objected to provincial standards that permit private schools to hire teachers based on the school administration's own qualification requirements.

In October 2006 the Quebec government ordered private Christian schools in the province to begin teaching sex education and Darwinism in compliance with the provincial curriculum, threatening schools with closure if they failed to comply.

Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham, then-director of law and public policy with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, told LifeSiteNews at the time that parents' right to educate their children in accordance with their religious beliefs is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In 1986 the Supreme Court ruled that although an Alberta pastor who was running a school out of the basement of his church did have to license the school, the provincial government had to provide reasonable accommodation for religious belief.

The court ruled that the province must "`delicately and sensitively weigh the competing interests so as to respect as much as possible the religious convictions as guaranteed by the Charter,'" Dr. Epp Buckingham quoted.

In an ongoing battle over homosexual content in BC public school curriculums, parents are struggling to gain assurance from the school board that they may withdraw their children from pro-homosexual content in the classroom.

Homosexual activists Murray Corren and Peter Corren were granted an unprecedented say over the development of new pro-homosexual content in the provincial curriculum, as part of settlement in a human rights lawsuit against the province's Liberal government in June 2006. The agreement also introduced a policy that would prevent parents from withdrawing their children from the classroom when the material was being taught.

The Catholic Civil Rights League is continuing efforts to ensure all 60 BC school boards acknowledge parents' rights to oversee the education of their children.


Australian Federal Leftists get on school standards bandwagon

The cartoon above refers to the fact that the new Federal Labor party policy is very similar to the policy of Australia's Federal conservatives. The main difference apears to be that the Left will not put much backbone into it

Kevin Rudd has pledged to introduce a back-to-basics national curriculum in maths, science, English and history within three years of winning office. In a move aimed at seizing the initiative on the national curriculum debate after years of discussion, the Labor leader said it should be "concise, in plain English and understandable to both parents and teachers".

And in a challenge to teachers' unions, Mr Rudd said union leaders would not be offered a place on the National Curriculum Board that a Labor government would establish to develop consistent national curriculums from kindergarten to Year 12.

The new benchmarks would include a recommended reading list of Australian literature and classics, which the Opposition confirmed last night would include Shakespeare. Younger maths students would be required to understand multiplication and fractions, and senior history students would have to demonstrate a systematic understanding of Australian history.

"Australia has been talking for years about the need for a national curriculum," Mr Rudd said yesterday. "A national curriculum will mean that a student moving between Western Australia, Queensland, NSW and Victoria will not be disadvantaged." Labor predicted the plan could be achieved in consultation with the states. It immediately won qualified support from Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, but the NSW Government remained sceptical about the value of a national curriculum, even under a federal ALP government.

Labor's plan would also include a new discussion to boost languages in schools, echoing the elevation of "language other than English" program in the Queensland Goss government during the 1990s, when Mr Rudd was director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The program, introduced in 1991, had set an ambitious target to have all Queensland students studying a second language by 2000.

A veteran of battles with the teachers' union in Queensland during his years as a public servant and more recently during the debate over the state's controversial Studies of Society and the Environment, Mr Rudd said there was no place for unions on the curriculum board. "We will not have representation from the unions," he said. "This is a professional curriculum body with representation from the states and territories and curriculum experts from the non-government sector as well."

Mr Rudd's show of determination to resist union pressure on education came as the Government sought to paint him as weak on industrial relations. A succession of government ministers demanded Labor reveal whether it would keep small business exempt from unfair dismissal laws after Labor frontbencher Craig Emerson hinted on Tuesday night that Labor would give the sector special treatment. Dr Emerson's comments at a meeting of small business people caused jitters among some Labor MPs and unionists, who are demanding Labor give all workers the same treatment, regardless of the size of their employer.

In parliament, Education Minister Julie Bishop accused Mr Rudd of plagiarising the term "education revolution" from [disgraced] former Labor leader Mark Latham. "Naughty boy! You stole that idea, didn't you?" she said, later adding: "You will have to go to the naughty corner, won't you?"

Ms Bishop said the suggestion that a national system could be achieved through co-operation with the states was "politically naive" and signalled she would introduce her own plan for a national curriculum by using the threat of funding to force action.

Labor was also on the attack over early childhood education in parliament, seizing on secret cabinet submissions revealing the Prime Minister had recommended action in 2003 but failed to deliver.

Mr Beattie yesterday backed the plan to develop a national curriculum, but only if standards were lifted. "We don't want to lose the edge that we have, but if it means lifting the national standard up to Queensland standards then we would support that," he said.

NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt welcomed the more consultative approach adopted by Mr Rudd and Opposition education spokesman Stephen Smith, but said NSW would not accept a national curriculum simply for the sake of uniformity. "I remain concerned that any move to a national curriculum could result in an undermining of our standards," she said.

The chairwoman of the Australian Council of Deans of Education, Sue Willis, said progress towards a national curriculum framework was continually being derailed by short-term policy bursts that failed to provide any consistency over the long term. Victorian Education Minister John Lenders said he was confident that Mr Rudd's proposal would "lift standards rather than dumbing down standards to the lowest common denominator". "Ms Bishop's approach has been aggressive and confrontational," Mr Lenders said.

NSW Teachers Federation president Maree O'Halloran said it was essential for teachers to be involved in any national curriculum. "The people who actually develop and deliver the curriculum and understand the needs of students and teachers are the people in our classrooms currently," Ms O'Halloran said.

The announcements build on Labor's policy to invest $450 million to provide four-year-olds with 15 hours a week of high-quality early childhood education and provide $111 million to encourage students to study maths and science at university.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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