Skip to comments.U.S. Students Ignorant of History; Will Repeat Mistakes of Past
Posted on 06/16/2011 9:58:07 AM PDT by Paladins Prayer
Once again, a study has show that American students are woefully ignorant of history. Test scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress demonstrate, writes the Wall Street Journal, that only 20% of U.S. fourth-graders and 17% of eighth-graders who took the 2010 history exam were proficient or advanced and only 12 percent of 12th-graders were so. In fact, their knowledge is so lacking that fewer than a quarter of American 12th-graders knew China was North Korea's ally during the Korean War, and only 35% of fourth-graders knew the purpose of the Declaration of Independence, the paper continued.
Other studies have shown similarly stunning results. In 2008, the New York Times wrote about how fewer than half of American teenagers knew when the Civil War was fought, and one-quarter thought that Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World sometime after 1750, not in 1492. The Times also reported that [a]bout a quarter of the teenagers surveyed were unable to correctly identify Adolf Hitler as Germanys chancellor during World War II, instead identifying him variously as a munitions maker, an Austrian premier and the German Kaiser.
Now, of course, this educational dysfunction inspires many to sound the alarm about Americas decline. And we hear many proposed solutions. Unfortunately, though, the typical ones will do nothing to right the ship.
Lets first explore what the problem is not.
(Excerpt) Read more at thenewamerican.com ...
“So what are the real issues? First, the permissive, undisciplined environment prevailing in most schools makes good education impossible. And this gets at a simple, universally-missed point: Discipline and obedience are prerequisites for learning. Why? Well, how can someone learn from you if he isnt first willing to listen to you? Memorize this last sentence, by the way; its something we should make a mantra.
“But while instilling obedience wouldnt be difficult, the methods necessary are so politically incorrect that few will contemplate them. It requires punishment sometimes corporal harsh enough to deter offenders. And it requires that we place incorrigibles in military-style schools so that they cannot poison the well for all. As it stands currently, however, teachers have to spend so much time on crowd control and coaxing kids into cooperating that little time is left for actual learning”
This hits the bulls-eye. A reasonable fear is a great motivator.
If you don’t know history, you don’t know socialism or communism has never worked.
Read the book “The Light and the Glory”. by Peter Marshall and David Emanuel, and you will see why we are exactly where we are today. I have never read a more beautifully written or better researched book on the history of early America from l492 forward. You can order it from Borders.
It is a book every American should read!
They don’t even know pop culture history from the 80’s and 90’s. Popular songs and bands that were around back then draw blanks. Youtube anyone? Even I knew my dad’s 50’s and 60’s music well when growing up. The memory hole astounds me.
I dunno - I diagrammed the sentence and it’s well within acceptable structure.
Why beat up on the kids? We have a president (Obama) who knows nothing about either American or world history!!! I being to bet that POTUS Obama could not name three American Generals or British Generals in the Revolutionary War, except possibly George Washington. And.....folks keep them union & tenure professors & teachers there and it will only get worse!!! Remember, if you do not know where and who you came from, you cannot know where you are going!!!
But the students MUST know history.
After all, they’ve been taught by the best union members.
With degrees in ......”Education”.
And we’re spending thousands and thousands per student.
And we’re also (sometimes) even teaching in English...and even less sometimes teaching real citizens.
So, unions, degrees in “education”, sometimes English, and lots of money.
What could go wrong?
Check out your child’s history text book. In the 70’s there was one paragraph only on Abraham Lincoln in my child’s text book!
Read the book “The Light and the Glory”. by Peter Marshall and David Emanuel, and you will see why we are exactly where we are today. I have never read a more beautifully written or better researched book on the history of early America from l492 forward.
You can order it from Borders.
It is a book every American should read! I’ll bet you won’t be able to put it down.
read the last 4 words......
I had no problem with it.
I suspect that the problem is the educational level the text is aiming to inform. It must be higher than the 4th or 6th grade level that the recently (25 years) educated expect.
A 1987 Gallup poll of more than 700 college seniors found: ... 23 percent thought the statement “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” was a part of the U.S. Constitution.
“makes impossible good education”? My college English prof, Professor Kiest, would give you extra credit!
I forgot the quotes. And I thought it was more than just 23 percent in 1987, but I am sure it is now.
The left - via unions and compliant, liberal teachers and administrators aided by the ACLU that has helped make classroom discipline impossible - has effectively destroyed the integrity of Americans once-excellent public education system - and we’ve allowed them to do it. Of course the left is delighted with youths that know nothing of American history and are consumed with Lady Gaga and other nonsense. This makes them malleable and easy to persuade with catchy slogans when election time comes around. In politics, we have effectively lost our youth to liberal ideology and sheer, carefully cultivated ignorance of American exceptionism. Nothing good can come of this.
Bingo. Goes counter to the pop culture new age 'let them find their path' meme, i.e., "I'm too lazy to parent, so I let them do any damn thing they want." "Stay up to midnight playing video games, no problem." "We're such good friends." They don't need you as a friend, they want and need you to parent.
May God help them and us all. . .
I agree...but it is not just today's kids, or our ignorant (of history) resident in the WH...it is half of America NOW. The half that voted Obama into office and all the Socialist politicians who are there. The adults of voting age probably know even less than the kids in school. Americans have been being "dumbed down" for the past 40 years since the Liberals have had anything to do with governing.
Do not underestimate Barack Hussein Obama. He knows exactly what he is doing. He promised during his campaign that he would bring......”Hope” for the masses, and “Change”! Didn’t anyone listen to him?
By doing what he has done he has changed a uniquely successful Republic into a third world nation! He has taken from the productive and given to the slackers! He has assumed more power than any precious president! There is nothing dumb about Obama. And there is nothing Godly about him either!
Much of the damage was done through the past six decades, but Obama is deftly putting the icing the Communist cake!
will definitely check it out, thanks.
A friend of mine stopped being a Chicago Public School teacher for precisely this reason. “I’m nothing but a babysitter.”
If anyone knows of an age appropriate book I can teach him history from please advise
Up until this year (when us parents put a stop to it) this is the garbage my son's school was teaching. No kidding, i could not understand his 2nd grade math problems.
Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth
Thirty years ago when I graduated from high school, the only reason I could have correctly answered many of those questions was due to factors outside my formal schooling. History was something we memorized, regurgitated for a test, and then promptly forgot. There was never any real importance attached to it, other than getting a good grade. Test scores were important, understanding was not.
For the benefit of our 9 year-old son, we have taken a chapter from the book, How to Raise an American, and applied it to our lives. Each month we have a Patriots Birthday Party held for a famous American, or someone who contributed to our society in a great way.
We will not only discuss what the person did to make them special, but what America was like at the time, what they wore, what they ate, toys their kids may have played with, and songs they may have sang. Often my son will get a small gift related to the person or event, like for Columbuss Birthday he got a compass, and a lesson in basic map navigation like Columbus would have needed to know how to do. A Kite on Ben Franklins day, a new Baseball glove on Lue Gehrigs day, and so on.
We also plan our meal around it - with the Birthday of Columbus we had Italian, for Ben Franklin Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich and French Fries for being the first ambassador to France. For Neil Armstrongs day we ate good old fashion TV Dinners and freeze dried astronaut ice cream. And for Ronald Reagans 100th we had Jelly Beans for desert.
When possible we will also watch a movie or documentary together about the person, or get a book from the library.
Its great fun and educational, and he cant wait to see who I pick next month.
Get the Idea?
The possibilities are as much fun planning as doing it. Reagan, Washington, Harry Truman, Sally Ride, Lou Gehrig, Henry Ford, Jesse Owen, Walt Disney, Jackie Robinson, Abe Lincoln, Father Flanagan, and on and on.
I was lucky. My high school American History teacher was passionate about the job. He really got into it, and loved to dive into to details not discussed in the history book. Especially if it grossed out the girls in class, like what a mini-ball will do to your bones, or how American Indians would torcher captives. Yea he was somewhat of an oddball, but he got you to listen.
Unless your son is at genius level, I believe the books by Ingri & Edgar Parin Daulaire, which include George Washington, Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln would be a good place to begin. They are wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated, an I think they would introduce a hunger for more information on these men and their times.
I believe these books are out of print, but check it out with Barnes and Noble because they might be reprinted. In any case I found my original copies on eBay, so you might try there.
If you are a garage saler, or are near a used book store you might find them there. Good luck.
You are a good dad.
You are right on,my friend!!! If you or I were to go up to Boston and at random pick out ten “Harvard” students, let’s say all seniors, and ask them who Nathaniel Greene was, who Daniel Morgan was, who George Thomas was, or even who George Patton was, I’d bet eight out of the ten would have no idea!!! Ask POTUS Obama the same questions and he might get George Patton correct!!! And let us not forget Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Robert Goddard, etc. These are all easy basics which should be taught in school, but we have let the union thugs steal our education systems. At the end of the day, sad to say, we are the guilty ones for just standing by and letting that happen. We, however, have a golden opportunity coming in November, 2012, not only to destroy communist POTUS Barack Hussein Obama, politically, but the entire liberal, Democrat, RINO establishment. It is our last chance, IMHO, so we better get everyone ready for hard work and action at the polls!!! We cannot lay back or rest for one minute!!!
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When I was growing up, H.S. asst. principals were typically the “enforcer” and kept a paddle in their offices. I suspect similar for you.
I was never paddled in H.S., or even middle school, though I was a time or three in elementary school.
>>Thanks for the tip. A great book recommended on the Glenn Beck program was A Patriot’s History of the United States. It’s a bit heavy for my 9 year-old, but it is a great reference book, and will be more so as he grows older.
It is worth noting that the author, Larry Schweikart, is long-time FReeper LS.