Saturday, April 10, 2010

Knowledge of History

A great post from Tom Carter at Opinion Forum on the sad paucity of knowledge today's students have of the US history:
Students leaving high school and entering university score at around 50 percent on a test administered during the past five years by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Worse, they finish their university studies and, on average, score only 54 percent. Universities are obviously doing a poor job of training students in these essential subjects.
Read more of the post here and take the test in question here. I got 81,81% on the test, which is a lot more than what an average "college educator" gets. I'm proud of myself but I kind of hoped I would get 100%. I don't teach US history but I'm fascinated by this subject.

14 comments:

Pagan Topologist said...

I got 100%. However, several of the questions I remembered from my own lifetime (Cuban Missle crisis and Sputnik, for example.) A couple of the questions I had to guess at, since I do not believe any of the answers given were correct.

Clarissa said...

Wow, good for you!!! That's really impressive.

The question I got wrong that I'm ashamed of the most is about what Roosevelt threatened the Supreme Court judges with. I had no idea about that entire situation.

Pagan Topologist said...

Yes, he wanted to increase the court to 15 members, I think.

Clarissa said...

I can't wait for the semester to end because then I will have a chance to get reunited with my textbook on US history. :-)

Veronica said...

LOL ! I got 93.94 and I'm Candian !

Clarissa said...

Yay!! Canadians rule!

Tom Carter said...

Thanks, Clarissa.

Not only are high schools in general not teaching things they ought to teach as basic requirements, they're passing the burden on to colleges and universities. You really shouldn't have to waste your time teaching students things they should have learned as young teenagers.

From everything I read, it's just going to get worse, not better.

Kola Tubosun said...

I got 72.73 :( I'm ashamed of myself :D

Clarissa said...

Come on, Kola, how highly would Americans score on a test about Nigeria? :-) So who needs to feel ashamed? :-)

Izgad said...

I got 100%. I was heavily into American history as a kid and I continue to read a lot about American politics.

Clarissa said...

I am beyond happy that the readers of my blog are such smart, well-informed people. This makes me very proud.

I thought about having my students take the test but then I decided that it might upset me too much. I'll wait for my grad course next Fall.

Jennifer said...

87.88 for me. i got 4 questions wrong. I was rather shocked at some of the questions I had to guess at, like the Lincoln-Douglas debates. I knew about them, but I had never realized I didn't know what they were about. Time to go read some history.

Canukistani said...

Hi Clarissa,

I got 81% also and I'm a Canadian. I'm interested in history also and like to have conversations with Americans but when I do my Due Diligence and admit that some of my kids' ancestors were United Empire Loyalists the conversation stops.

NancyP said...

Some of the questions were not particularly well written, and one had to identify the probable "right" answer. International trade and specialization: the view differs from Vietnam and the U.S.A., for instance.