Geographic Illiteracy in US.

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posted on May, 19 2013 @ 05:08 AM
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Found an old statistics made 11 years ago. I guess not very much has changed though, so thought about sharing it



The National Geographic–Roper 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey polled more than 3,000 18- to 24-year-olds in Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden and the United States.

Sweden scored highest; Mexico, lowest. The U.S. was next to last.

About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn't even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean's location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent.

Despite the threat of war in Iraq and the daily reports of suicide bombers in Israel, less than 15 percent of the young U.S. citizens could locate either country.

More young U.S. citizens in the study knew that the island featured in last season's TV show "Survivor" is in the South Pacific than could find Israel.

Particularly humiliating was that all countries were better able to identify the U.S. population than many young U.S. citizens. Within the U.S., almost one-third said that population was between one billion and two billion; the answer is 289 million.

Of the 56 questions asked, Sweden came in first place with an average of 40 questions answered correctly. After them came Germany followed by Italy. Americans answered only 23 questions right while Mexico came in last place with 21 questions. Just above them were the UK and Canada with a score of 28 and 27.

According to these numbers, 39% of Americans would have failed the test and 9% of Americans would have gotten an A. What is especially alarming about this is that the questions asked were said to have been at the fifth grade level or lower. Some of the questions that Americans did the most poorly on were locating the average population of the country, which only 25% got right. They also had the most difficultly locating Japan, Russia, Afghanistan, and Argentina. Americans also had trouble associating Afghanistan with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and locating the Pacific Ocean, though the Swedes did even worse on this question.

However, 89% of Americans could identify the USA, better than the Germans, Italians, and British. Another interesting question that was asked was how confident Americans thought they were about their geography skills. The average answer was 59% which shows that they tend to overestimate just how much they know


news.nationalgeographic.com...
www.bloggernews.net...

2006 statistics:




• Three-quarters (74%) believe English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. It’s Mandarin

• Nine in ten (88%) could not find Afghanistan on a map of Asia, and regardless of the intense coverage following hurricane Katrina, two-thirds (67%) could not find Louisiana on a US map and half (52%) could not find Mississippi

About 50% said it was “important but not necessary” to know where the countries mentioned in the news were located, and only 14% said speaking another language “was important.”

54% tested did not know that Rawanda and Sudan were in Africa.

Ten percent said Sudan was in Europe.


technorati.com...

Wow. 69% can not find UK from the map??? In US I met a high-school teacher who thought Europe was a country... I guess one reason for it is focusing on states. Here we are not taught about all the states of US, as they are not countries. Although every country with capital is required + all the major lakes/rivers/mountains/highlands/lowlands around the world are required to be pointed out on the map.

Yet 1/3 thinking US populations is between 1b and 2b is just sad.
edit on 19-5-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)
edit on 19-5-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)
edit on 19-5-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 19 2013 @ 05:20 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Yeah, it's a shame indeed. I have a 14 year old son and I have to go the extra 3 miles to make sure he knows world geography. We live in So. Cal., and geography isn't a required class anymore in public schools. He does know his stuff in detail thanks to Mom. However, I suppose if you have around $40,000.00 for private school they will learn it there...you can be a super parent (or simply do your job) and make sure your child has the knowledge of the map and the so called histories of the world (yes, I have an issue with history as told by Westerners...because most of the history taught are lies IMO).

I will say however, that my family did pay the $40,000 for my daughter to go to private school for a couple of years and she learned her stuff and is now a pre-med student. It's funny how what we learned in school isn't taught nowadays.



ETA

But who really cares anymore where anything is when you have the good ol' internet
Fortunately for my son, I travel a ton and I know where almost everything is and so does he
edit on 5/19/13 by ThePublicEnemyNo1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 05:25 AM
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When I was in school we learned all 50 states, capitals, and major cities. We also learned all the countries in Europe and their capitals and/or equivalent. Not that any of that is important at this point in my life, as I don't remember a lot of it. I could still point out where A LOT of major geographic locations around the globe are.


Kids these days are simply becoming more lazy when it comes to school work/studies. They would rather to turn on some sort of electronic screen, instead of picking up a book and actually studying it's contents. This leads to distraction, and a copy/paste adventure.


I see it everyday with the high school kids that signed up for the extra college credits before graduation. They sit on their computers and cellphones during lecture, and really have no idea what's going on around them. Their presence is a joke, they're not even on campus to learn.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 05:41 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


With www. at our finger tips, there really is no excuse for not having a reasonible grasp of geog' - so long as the interest is there.


It's an old one, yet a good one.




posted on May, 19 2013 @ 05:59 AM
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Originally posted by Perhaps
reply to post by Cabin
 


With www. at our finger tips, there really is no excuse for not having a reasonible grasp of geog' - so long as the interest is there.


It's an old one, yet a good one.





I just about popped a button on my already "Too Slim Jeans"...that was a funny map
However, the internet is great, but it's just not the same as drawing your own map and looking through the world Atlas with your very own fingertips.

Not sure how old you are but, if you're at least 38-42 remember when we had to color code our maps (I still make my son do this...he-he)? Remember when we had to learn entire Terrains? At least I did way back when





ETA
Why is Australia green, tiny and illegible? What does your map read Mate? Australia, is the only continent I haven't visited...dying to go however. One more thing, Zoo animals are found in Africa, but so is the world's largest producer of chocolate.

Gotta' love Planet Earth....she's all we've got!
edit on 5/19/13 by ThePublicEnemyNo1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 06:43 AM
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Being from the UK and of a certain age I remember when the Atlases we used had huge areas of the World coloured in pink for the British Empire. Books weren't replaced every year so we had this for some time after the Empire started to collapse.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 06:52 AM
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I noticed the fact back when I was living in LA that most people only know the names of the streets that they routinely take to work and home every day,and nothing more.I also heard people saying Jesus was originally of a white European decent.You should have seen the look in some peoples face when I told them that Egypt is an African country and not in the ME!....I think that happens with over confidence,when you consider yourself to be a superior race and do not feel the need to know what you don't really care about.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 07:01 AM
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reply to post by ThePublicEnemyNo1
 




However, the internet is great, but it's just not the same as drawing your own map and looking through the world Atlas with your very own fingertips.
Agreed, a world Atlas should be a treasured resource in every household.




Not sure how old you are but, if you're at least 38-42 remember when we had to color code our maps (I still make my son do this...he-he)? Remember when we had to learn entire Terrains? At least I did way back when
Ha... we had stencils of the continents, using a map as a model we'd place them on an A3 sheet, trace around them, pencil in major nation boundries and island nations then yeah, colour them in, name them as well as the oceans/seas.

I can remember doing the nations flags as well - love geography.




Why is Australia green, tiny and illegible? What does your map read Mate?

... of all things, "kangaroos" - sheesh.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 08:40 AM
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Slightly off topic, but still...



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 08:49 AM
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Math is taught by calculator right in the classroom and on the final (calculators were on every desk and used by everyone on the final test.... believe it or not). Cursive writing isn't just cursed as it was when I learned it. Those who are now adults and didn't like it, decide no one should have to bother learning to write anyway....why after all? We have keyboards. :shk:

So it's of absolutely no surprise to hear how few people can find the basics on a world map, with all the time to think about it and basic questions like "Find the Pacific Ocean'. It's no wonder the world really doesn't have much respect for us. America would care...but first we have to work on finding the rest of the world to care about. The 'known world' stops firmly at the U.S. border for a majority.


I have a feeling that Diversity training is mandatory and doubled if one doesn't get it right the first time...but Geography isn't required. Of course.. Who needs that 'fancy book learnin stuffs', anyway? Just makes us all look smart or something silly like that. What a waste.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by ThePublicEnemyNo1

ETA
Why is Australia green, tiny and illegible? What does your map read Mate? Australia, is the only continent I haven't visited...dying to go however. One more thing, Zoo animals are found in Africa, but so is the world's largest producer of chocolate.
G
otta' love Planet Earth....she's all we've got!
edit on 5/19/13 by ThePublicEnemyNo1 because: (no reason given)


For Australia the answer is Kanga-roos.

Australia: Named after the countries Austra and Alia.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Probably gonna get bashed for this, but what the heck. The people giving these geography tests are probably the only ones that think geography is important. When is the last time anyone took a geography test to get a job? When did anyone need to study years of geography to find a grocery store, or factory, or hospital?

It's just not that important (if at all) in our daily lives.

I know that Iran is in the Middle East. But, why would I need to waste some brain space so that I would be able to stick a pin in its exact location on a map?

How much value is there in learning and remembering that the population of Timbuktu is 5,000 or a gazillion?

I still believe that it is not important to know stuff, rather it is exceedingly important to know how to find it when you need it. I can't tell you how many times my acquaintances go around asking questions (and not getting the answers), when they all have computers at home that are on-line!



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 

I don't mean to be cruel by saying this... I hope you know that. It's not personal either...I hope you know that as well..

However.. in your message...You've essentially just defined what it is to not only be ignorant, but be happy with that state of affairs, complete with rationale for why remaining that way is not just a decent thing, but the best overall approach to life.

The important thing isn't knowing stuff but how to look it up? Good Lord...this is precisely why we have a good % of the world looking at America and our citizens over the top of academic world wide comparison scores ....with pity and that look reserved for the step child that just can't quite 'get it', no matter how much time is spent on a thing.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


As an American there really is no need to know where anything else is. America is the center of the universe and is the only country we need to know about.

Shame on the 11% who don't know where America is!



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by seabag
 

You're right. Silly me... How could I have been so blind? I forgot the one fact the pretty well makes everything else moot. Of all the 200+ nations on Earth to have been born in, Chuck Norris chose this one. That does pretty well define the center of the known world and active Universe, does it not?

A right point then. All that 'out there' stuff past our borders is just a support system for us.



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Drones don't need to know geography.

They just need to consume and produce.

Now get off the computers and go outside and chant "USA, USA, USA".




posted on May, 19 2013 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by jiggerj
 

I don't mean to be cruel by saying this... I hope you know that. It's not personal either...I hope you know that as well..

However.. in your message...You've essentially just defined what it is to not only be ignorant, but be happy with that state of affairs, complete with rationale for why remaining that way is not just a decent thing, but the best overall approach to life.

The important thing isn't knowing stuff but how to look it up? Good Lord...this is precisely why we have a good % of the world looking at America and our citizens over the top of academic world wide comparison scores ....with pity and that look reserved for the step child that just can't quite 'get it', no matter how much time is spent on a thing.


It's okay, Wrabbit, I do understand your thinking. But, you think certain things are important to know only because you were brought up around those that told you they were important.

Example, a numismatist might think it's important to know the currencies of other countries. Now tell me honestly, off the top of your head can you tell me what currency is used in Ethiopia? I'll tell you this: One American dollar is worth 18.6293 Ethiopian what?

And, why would you need to know it and hold onto this info in your daily life?



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 

Well, actually..No, I didn't know the Birr is the unit of currency for Ethiopia. That is a new one and a level of detail I probably don't need to know. On the other hand, knowing that Africa was ruled and spanned by great tribes which formed true Empires before the Europeans discovered the interior IS critical to understanding the socio-economic landscape we see before us in Africa today. The fact that native African peoples AVOIDED concentration of living spaces and avoided settling on water ways and lake shores ...while Europeans embraced these things, and then died from disease left and right ..IS important to know in a well rounded look at the state of life there as we find it.

Well rounded education and cultural awareness isn't something I see as peripheral to being a well grounded person for interpreting the world around us ....It's a basic starting point to knowing more than our own living experience for how anything came to be how it is ....let alone, how it's likely to develop and evolve over time. All based on that knowledge of culture and it's formation from the past.

For instance.... Some people state with certainty that the Europeans stole the land from the Native Americans. That holds some truth to say ...but which ones? There were over a dozen MAJOR tribes, and all fighting each other as much as curious by the newcomers, when Europe found the Americas. At least back 17,000 years, that history thus far supports, that was the case. Many many peoples...from different geographic areas..all competing across this continent for territory and supremacy. What, before that? See.....at least when we want to chat on such topics, that baseline of knowledge is what an America used to have from education we all received?

Now? That baseline of knowledge may or may not even see them knowing North/South Korea from Australia. (sigh) ... A man on the street interview segment shown on the last day of my Geography course had a shocking number of people pinning Australia as North Korea and Tasmania as South Korea just because the hosts had changed the written label. One even showed shock that North Korea was SO MUCH larger than poor little South.

That would have been hilarious to watch....if not such a pathetic statement as to the pure epidemic of willful ignorance in our nation.
edit on 19-5-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by seabag
 

You're right. Silly me... How could I have been so blind? I forgot the one fact the pretty well makes everything else moot. Of all the 200+ nations on Earth to have been born in, Chuck Norris chose this one. That does pretty well define the center of the known world and active Universe, does it not?

A right point then. All that 'out there' stuff past our borders is just a support system for us.



Hey...who needs Chuck Norris we have Steven Segal....and man, he's been everywhere




ETA
But on a serious note, it is important for everyone on the planet to know where everybody else lives...just my opinion though. Maybe I have this opinion because I have travelled and I enjoy knowing where people are and I think it makes me look smarter
edit on 5/19/13 by ThePublicEnemyNo1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2013 @ 10:39 AM
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I'm not good at maps. I can never find Atlantis on a map, no matter how hard I try to find it.

I can't identify where the state or country boarders are by just a dot on the map with a city name. I have this problem a lot when looking at earthquake maps..



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