A number of people have argued that a major problem (if not the biggest) in education in America is a long-standing trend of anti-intellectualism in American culture, which programs children to devalue general learning, studiousness, and abstract thought. Commonly made questions like "when are we ever going to use this?" and "how will this help me get a job?" are cited as examples of this cultural trend, as is the use of terms like "egg-heads," "pointy-headed academics," "ivory tower professors," "geeks," and the corresponding pop-culture depictions.
The question is this: is this anti-intellectual current in American culture a major problem in education, and if so, what can we do about it?