Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Geography not our strong suit

National Geographic has conducted a study on American students' knowledge of geography and the results aren't encouraging.

  • One-third of respondents couldn’t pinpoint Louisiana on a map and 48 percent were unable to locate Mississippi.
  • Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.
  • Two-thirds didn’t know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.
  • Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.
  • While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.
  • While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.
  • Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.
  • Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world. Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.

Geography, both national and international, is definitely under-emphasized in our classrooms. The ethnocentric attitude of some people hasn't helped either. How many American adults, many of them also critics of the schools, could point out countries like Venezuela or Pakistan on an unlabeled map? I'm venturing a guess that quite a few would have trouble.


At 5/03/2006 07:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I drink to much at the tavern, I have a hard time finding my house


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