Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Cultural illiteracy yet again

There’s another survey--described in this article--that points toward the weakness of our schools as transmitters of anything like our full cultural legacy. Yes, the kids get Martin Luther King, but not Martin Luther; civil rights, but not so much the Civil War.

And this explanation won’t wash: it is, after all, possible to read about our history and culture.

I haven’t yet seen the report itself. When I find it, I’ll provide a link and will doubtless have more to say.

Update: You can download the report from this page and you can take a look at the survey’s sponsoring organization here.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I will file this article under the 112,956th reason we homeschool our son. He would know the answers to these questions as his history grade level is at 12th grade even though he is only in the 8th grade. Thank God for the 1960 hippies in California who pushed through legislation for not only free love, sex, drugs and rock and roll, but for the free school - do it the way it makes you feel good.... The hippies in California were good for something....

I don't cowgirl, I seen some really good students and really poor students come out of both home-schooling and institutional teaching. I think the problem lies with what and how it is being taught. We are also struggling with a visual, stimulative culture in which kids and adults do very little learning and reading about the good, the true, and the beautiful. Most people want movies, ipods, laptops, video games, text-messaging, and cell phones to the exclusion of serious books.

By way of vignette, my wife bought me the 2-volume edition of Robert Fagles' Homer. She told a guy at work (college-educated), who responded, "What does he want that crap for? Isn't that what you have to read in high school?" My wife asked the 40-year-old father what he received. "X-box" was the answer.

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