Every back-to-school season Beloit College releases its Mindset List. This list describes the world as seen by the entering class of freshmen. Some of the perspectives on the mind of the class of 2014:
- Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.
- DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.
- Czechoslovakia has never existed.
- Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.
- They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.
Students born in 1992 may have historical knowledge of the Cold War or life before the human genome, but they have no personal experience with it. For professors, it is important to know the audience. Seeing the world through their eyes allows us to tailor the concepts we teach. One of the most effective pedagogical tools is to drastically interrupt a deeply-held expectation.
These students still have a ways to go before graduate school, but their worldview is not so far off from that of the entering class of medical students.