Friday, September 28, 2007

Quiz Time

And this one counts - more than you know.

"America’s Founders were convinced American freedom could survive only if each generation understood its founding principles and the sacrifices made to maintain it.

Failing Our Students, Failing America: Holding Colleges Accountable for Teaching America’s History and Institutions asks: Is American higher education doing its duty to prepare the next generation to maintain our legacy of liberty?

In fall 2005, researchers at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy (UConnDPP), commissioned by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s (ISI) National Civic Literacy Board, conducted a survey of some 14,000 freshmen and seniors at 50 colleges and universities. Students were asked 60 multiple-choice questions to measure their knowledge in four subject areas: America’s history, government, international relations, and market economy. The disappointing results were published by ISI in fall 2006 in The Coming Crisis in Citizenship: Higher Education’s Failure to Teach America’s History and Institutions. Seniors, on average, failed all four subjects, and their overall average score was 53.2%."

Take the quiz here.

I went to university to become a high school history teacher and was so disturbed at the level of cynicism exhibited by the teachers I did field work with that I quickly changed my career plans. While I have never really regretted going into teaching, I have to admit that when I see articles such as this I do tend to dispare. Many people do not enjoy history and as a result tend to be uninformed about the spectacular experiment in self government this country truly is. Sometimes I think that if I had become a teacher I might have been able to make a difference.

I have also contended that many on the Left fail to grasp essential political issues because they do not know their own history or they have been exposed to flawed versions which this article makes abundantly clear. The Left often desires a certain outcome because they want it - not because they understand all of the history behind why things are the way they are. We can always change our government and or country but take the time to understand them first. You might just find out more than a few things you didn't know.

So, how did you do on the quiz?

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