Sadly, a new poll came out today stating that 1/3 of Americans between 18 and 24 cannot find Louisiana on a map (just one of many sobering statistics within this poll). Perhaps the even sadder news is that I am not surprised by this.
Of the 600+ students I had in my five year career, all of them were drilled and given map tests covering the entire world (minus Oceania/Pacific islands...impossible for even the best geographers). I'm sure if they were polled today, they would fare no better than the general public, despite my best efforts.
The truth is, until parents understand the importance of being informed of not only world events, but where those events take place and the cultures that are affected by those events, children/teenagers will not find those things important, either. IF the entire family gets together for dinner these days, the topic of conversation is not the day's news events, but is more likely to be the Astros' record or how many deer were shot the previous weekend (at least in the district I taught in).
Hopefully, Ryan and I can reverse this terrible trend, at least within our own household. It will be tough, however. Not only are we tempted to talk about more trivial things at the dinner table, but we want to protect Sydney from the horrors of the day's news. I only hope that we can find some kind of balance and that someday Sydney will blow those pollsters away with her knowledge of the world.
1 week ago