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#1
BEAVER

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A classic answer from Mrs South Carolina on why only 20 percent of Americans can identify the United States on a world map.


http://www.break.com...h-carolina.html

#2
ELeFevre

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A classic answer from Mrs South Carolina on why only 20 percent of Americans can identify the United States on a world map.


http://www.break.com...h-carolina.html


I'm not sure if that's as funny as it is scary!! OMG.



#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Hmmm...

She wasn't really coherent... Perhaps she's in the 20% group? ;)
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#4
ELeFevre

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why only 20 percent of Americans can identify the United States on a world map.


Out of curiousity, where does this percentage come from?.



#5
Jean-Louis

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Out of curiousity, where does this percentage come from?.

Yea, only 1 out of 5 Americans can locate their country on a map!. That sounds very far fetched to me. Maybe 1 out of 5 can't...The questioner probably mixed up the statement thus adding to the major Bimbo fest ...which is always fun to watch in any case. Thank God for the stupid they make us appear smart.
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#6
ELeFevre

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Out of curiousity, where does this percentage come from?.

Yea, only 1 out of 5 Americans can locate their country on a map!. That sounds very far fetched to me.


Exactly what I was thinking. If you asked a large sample of Americans to locate Poland on a map I'd believe that number...but 20%? It seems like junk "science" to me. Either way, I get the feeling one too many educators cut Mrs S. Carolina some slack along the way.



#7
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A 2002 National Geographic Society Survey (quoted on CNN) found that 11% of 18-24 y.o. Americans couldn't find the U.S. on a world map. And personally I find this distrubing: 70% cannot find New Jersey! :P

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#8
p-dub

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Poor thing...
She was confused when quizzed about her state capitals as well...

She wasn't sure if the capital of South Carolina is 'S' or 'C"...

#9
mike

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I had no clue why she brought South Africa, Iraq and Asia into the answer ...

#10
BEAVER

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I have no clue what she said at all. Brain dead.

#11
A. Fenix

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sadly, this is not surprising to me at all. if you turn your tv on in the US, you'll undoubtedly see something like this almost every time (don't ask me how i know that :rolleyes:). while i do think that percentage is too high, i wonder if this is more an issue of a lack of geo-spatial thinking taught in k-12 education. for example, often in US schools you'll find a map of the US standing alone (http://www.zenna-hol...ges/usa_map.gif), or placed in the exact middle of the world (http://www.world-atl...s/world-map.gif). this draws attention to the US, but not the US in a world context... (sad sigh)


anyway, i think that Mrs. S. Carolina could be a politician with that kind of rhetoric!!! :lol:

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#12
Charlie Frye

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...i wonder if this is more an issue of a lack of geo-spatial thinking taught in k-12 education


My son started High School this year and I was dissappointed to learn that he was not required to take a geography course. He got about 1 year in middle school, mixed in with social studies; he aced that--though his home enivorment is what makes a difference.

What I find more disturbing is that the vast majority of elementary and middle school teachers put on a good face and say they get geography and what's important about it. But they typically only teach "lakes and bays" geography, and when the curriculum actually forces geographic concepts, like understanding why a place is important, many teachers are unable to explain the concept. Granted there are a some excellent teachers, but it seems there's no "middle class". That is, teachers are either geographic rich or impoverished. Perhaps all teacher's ought to be required to take 15 credit hours of geography in college instead of 3--specifically the classic world regional geography course isn't nearly sufficient.

Leaving geography as an elective, with relatively few teachers who can make it interesting and relevant... it's little wonder the statistics on geographic knowledge are so depressing.
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#13
Sky Schemer

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Perhaps all teacher's ought to be required to take 15 credit hours of geography in college instead of 3--specifically the classic world regional geography course isn't nearly sufficient.


If we required teachers to take 15 credit hours of everything that every specific subject field thought was important they'd never finish college. The list of things "every teacher should know" or that "every student should learn" is dizzying.

My wife's a teacher. Teaching looks a lot easier from the students' side of the desk.

#14
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...i wonder if this is more an issue of a lack of geo-spatial thinking taught in k-12 education


What I find more disturbing is that the vast majority of elementary and middle school teachers put on a good face and say they get geography and what's important about it. But they typically only teach "lakes and bays" geography, and when the curriculum actually forces geographic concepts, like understanding why a place is important, many teachers are unable to explain the concept. Granted there are a some excellent teachers, but it seems there's no "middle class". That is, teachers are either geographic rich or impoverished. Perhaps all teacher's ought to be required to take 15 credit hours of geography in college instead of 3--specifically the classic world regional geography course isn't nearly sufficient.

Leaving geography as an elective, with relatively few teachers who can make it interesting and relevant... it's little wonder the statistics on geographic knowledge are so depressing.


I'd the say the problem runs much deeper than just the teachers not being up to snuff on their geography. My mother, for example, has taught biology and earth-science at the high school/college level for the past 25 years. Five or six years ago while teaching high school biology she was asked to pick-up a political science course because the district didn't have the funds to bring in a new teacher. Maybe they opted for new wrestling unitards or football helmuts instead.... or perhaps they didn't want to increase the class sizes any more. Who knows. Either way, at that point, what are they supposed to do? A common assumption seems to be that if you have a solid history of teaching experience you're qualified and capable to teach "everything!" at K-12, which is total BS. At the time I was taking a political science course and I ended up sending her alll of my course notes and reading list to help her prepare. The crash course certification they put her through didn't even scrath the surface. Even crazier, she was also asked to be the girls volleyball coach. My mother is 4'9" and never played the game in her life. Talk about comical. So, if the money isn't available, and the parents want geography as an option, they have to look to the current staff to fill the spot. I'm not saying this is always the case, but it is a common occurence and certainly raises more questions about the system as a whole.

Do public K-12 schools hire geographers or do experienced geographers primarily work at the University level? Do geography programs have tracts for students who want to teach K-12?? How many of us are willing to leave our duties as cartographers, geographers, et cetera and go the K-12 public school system. Not me. I shiver when I think back over the thousands of hours I watched my mother grade/read papers late into night. Yikes.



#15
A. Fenix

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How many of us are willing to leave our duties as cartographers, geographers, et cetera and go the K-12 public school system. Not me. I shiver when I think back over the thousands of hours I watched my mother grade/read papers late into night. Yikes.


being a "geographer" or "cartographer" is not the same as being a teacher. that's why i've decided to work with some local teachers here in oregon to put together a curriculum that merges gis, geography, cartography, and conservation concepts all into one package. we're at the very beginning stages of visioning and discussion, but we're hopeful that we can create something fun and meaningful for the students... once we get going i very well may be asking for input from my beloved cartotalk members...

my view is we need to start partnering and mentoring each other...

analisa
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