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历年考研英语阅读理解2004年04

所属教程:历年考研英语阅读理解

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[00:05.97]2004 Text4

[00:08.49]Americans today don't place a very high value on intellect.

[00:13.23]Our heroes are athletes, entertainers,

[00:16.56]and entrepreneurs, not scholars.

[00:20.38]Even our schools are where we send our children

[00:23.00]to get a practical education

[00:25.12]--not to pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

[00:28.45]Symptoms of pervasive anti-intellectualism

[00:31.67]in our schools aren't difficult to find.

[00:35.51]"Schools have always been in a society

[00:37.84]where practical is more important than intellectual,"

[00:40.75]says education writer Diane Ravitch.

[00:43.77]"Schools could be a counterbalance."

[00:46.31]Ravitch's la-test book, Left Back:

[00:48.93]A Century of Failed School Reforms,

[00:51.58]traces the roots of anti-intellectualism in our schools,

[00:55.48]concluding they are anything

[00:57.02]but a counterbalance to the American distaste

[00:59.72]for intellectual pursuits.

[01:02.55]But they could and should be.

[01:04.67]Encouraging kids to reject the life

[01:06.90]of the mind leaves them vulnerable

[01:08.60]to exploitation and control.

[01:11.42]Without the ability to think critically,

[01:13.42]to defend their ideas and understand the ideas of others,

[01:17.15]they cannot fully participate in our democracy.

[01:20.99]Continuing along this path, says writer Earl Shorris,

[01:24.93]"We will become a second-rate country.

[01:27.08]We will have a less civil society."

[01:30.38]"Intellect is resented as a form of power or privilege,"

[01:34.41]writes historian and professor Richard Hofstadter

[01:37.93]in Anti-Intellectualism in American Life,

[01:42.27]a Pulitzer-Prize winning book on the roots

[01:44.57]of anti-intellectualism in US politics,

[01:47.59]religion, and education.

[01:49.85]From the beginning of our history, says Hofstadter,

[01:52.47]our democratic and populist urges have driven us

[01:55.79]to reject anything that smells of elitism.

[01:59.73]Practicality, common sense, and native intelligence

[02:03.28]have been considered more noble qualities

[02:05.39]than anything you could learn from a book.

[02:08.70]Ralph Waldo Emerson and other Transcendentalist

[02:11.94]philosophers thought schooling and rigorous book learning

[02:14.88]put unnatural restraints on children:

[02:18.01]"We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms

[02:21.13]for 10 or 15 years and come out at last

[02:24.66]with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing."

[02:28.90]Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn exemplified American

[02:32.23]anti-intellectualism. Its hero avoids being civilized

[02:37.17]--going to school and learning to read

[02:39.79]--so he can preserve his innate goodness.

[02:43.44]Intellect, according to Hofstadter,

[02:45.85]is different from native intelligence,

[02:48.68]a quality we reluctantly admire.

[02:52.23]Intellect is the critical, creative,

[02:54.67]and contemplative side of the mind.

[02:57.29]Intelligence seeks to grasp, manipulate, re-order,

[03:01.21]and adjust, while intellect examines, ponders, wonders,

[03:06.15]theorizes, criticizes and imagines.

[03:10.39]School remains a place where intellect is mistrusted.

[03:14.43]Hofstadter says our country's educational system

[03:17.35]is in the grips of people who

[03:19.16]"joyfully and militantly proclaim their hostility

[03:22.28]to intellect and their eagerness to identify with

[03:25.71]children who show the least intellectual promise."

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