Many Young Adults In The U.S. Can't Find "X" On A Map
I was saddened when I read this in today's Arizona Republic:
The piece goes on to tell how some Arizona teachers are laboring to redress their students' deficiencies in geographic knowledge. To read the whole article, click here.
A recent geographic literacy survey polled more than 3,000 18- to 24-year-olds in nine countries. The results: The United States came in second-to-last, ahead of Mexico. Eleven percent of young Americans couldn't locate their country on a world map.
Gale Ekiss, co-coordinator for the Arizona Geographic Alliance, said a push for geography education is more critical than ever as many of today's teachers, pressured by the demands of state and federal testing, brush the subject aside to concentrate on basic standards.
"We know reading, writing and math are essential skills, but geography provides context for a different set of skills," Ekiss said.
When children have a grasp on geographic concepts, Ekiss said, they might understand why conflict exists in the Middle East, why a tsunami struck South Asia, or why Arizonans encounter problems with water.
Here in our middle-sized California county, there is no school district where students study geography as a separate subject. According to the state academic content standards for history-social science, however, students are supposed to develop a comprehensive knowledge of geography.
But since geography is not a "testable" item, its study is being neglected in many California schools. We think that this will prove to be a disservice to the kids.
I guess that we are in for a few more disappointing poll results regarding American students' knowledge of history.
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