Students Lack History Knowledge

People have various strengths and weaknesses. This variety falls into almost every life category. People have different abilities when it comes to sports, arts, academics, and more. Some people are good at mathematical computing and others are better at remembering history facts.

I am a mathematical person. I enjoy logic and reasoning activities. However, my strengths do not carry over into historical facts and dates.

It seems that many teenagers into today’s classrooms must also share my weakness in history.

A recent survey found some very disturbing results when it comes to how much students actually know about their past and their country.

Less than half of the students that were questioned knew when the Civil War was fought. One fourth of the students stated that they thought that Columbus sailed to the New World after 1750 (not 1492).

Twelve thousand seventeen year old students were called by phone and surveyed. The survey took place in January and consisted of thirty-three multiple choice questions. The questions involved both history and literature ideas and topics. The questions were selected from a federal government test that was given in 1986.

Students struggled with a question about Hitler’s role in history and his identity. In the area of literature students struggled with titles such as Invisible Man. They also had a hard time putting personalities with Biblical characters such as Job.

Surveyors were given at least some positive feedback with having only about three percent of students not being able to put the speech “I Have a Dream” with the name of Martin Luther King Jr.

“To Kill a Mocking Bird” was also one of the well known titles that most students could recall.

Those who analyzed the results admitted, without directly blaming, that the No Child Left Behind Act did affect students and history knowledge.

The No Child Left Behind Act forces schools to put more emphasis on reading and math and less focus on history, science, and literature.

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