Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Take out your Pencils

I just took THIS 60 question quiz on American history, government, international relations and market economy which was given to about 14,000 freshmen and seniors at 50 U.S. colleges last fall. How did they do? Freshmen averaged 50.4%, while seniors averaged 54.2%.

My score:
You answered 27 out of 60 correctly — 45.00 % (Yowzer!)

History has NEVER been a strength of mine, however those college statistics pose some interesting questions. Are college (or highschools) for that matter, teaching our children enough about our country's history? This all reminds me about the theories of E.D. Hirsch and his idea of a Cultural Literacy. Cultural Literacy revolves around the idea that Americans should have a knowledge of background information in order to understand and to communicate in our society. I own a Dictionary of Cultural Literacy and it is an interesting read. Full of facts about a variety of topics (Bible, Idioms, Geography, Folklore, etc.) I found a lot I didn't know. It really is fun to read and if you can take a copy out of your library, I recommend it.

I don't know if it is possible for schools to teach all that is contained inside-but I can understand the need for a basic core knowledge among Americans. It seems like other cultures are more educated about our country than we are and that is not right.


Jennifer said...

I did it. I answered 31 out of 60 correctly — 51.67 % so don't feel bad, I didn't do all that much better. It was annoying b/c some of the ones I got wrong were ones I knew it was between two answers and I had picked the wrong one. History wasn't always my favorite subject or strong point.

Jessica said...

Hey, I get to "brag": 42 of 60, 70%.

Hurry, someone knock me off my pedestal.

I'm actually a little disappointed because as I was taking the test, I was thinking, "Hey, I'm doing really well!" Wrong, wrong, wrong. If I'm going to score a C- on a test, I should at least suspect I'm in the C- range.