Mindset List, Class of 2011

Every year, Beloit College publishes a mindset list of its incoming freshmen class. Yesterday, the college published the Mindset List for the Class of 2011.

Our effort is to identify a worldview of 18 year-olds in the fall of 2007. We take a risk in some cases of making generalizations, particularly given that our students at Beloit College for instance come from every state and scores of nations.

The “Class of 2011” refers to students entering college this year. They are generally 18 which suggests they were born in 1989.

The list identifies the experiences and event horizons of students as they commence higher education and is not meant to reflect on their preparatory education.

Hypothetically, these could be the students who graduated from our schools last year. Are their worldviews, experiences and event horizons different from the students we taught ten or twenty years ago? Are their worldviews radically different from those of the teachers who instruct them? What does this say about the experiences and event horizons of the students who will flock to our schools next week?

The big question: how do we most effectively teach these students who have been shaped by experiences and event horizons such as the following?

  • They never “rolled down” a car window.
  • General Motors has always been working on an electric car.
  • “Off the hook” has never had anything to do with a telephone.
  • Women have always been police chiefs in major cities.
  • American rock groups have always appeared in Moscow.
  • Fox has always been a major network.
  • Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time.
  • China has always been more interested in making money than in reeducation.
  • Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre.
  • MTV has never featured music videos.
  • They’re always texting 1 n other.
  • The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.

For the rest of the 70 items, visit Beloit’s Mindset List, Class of 2011. Upward and onward!

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