Friday, May 23, 2014

Yikes! Students Don't Know History!

American students don't know history, according to Timothy Egan in this essay for the New York Times. He says that many Americans "can’t even place the Civil War in the right half-century," and notes that others "think we fought alongside the Germans in World War II."

Egan asked Ken Burns what he thought was the problem. He believes the problem is that we don't teach civics any more. He says that civics is  “the operating system” for citizenry; if you know how government is constructed, it’s no longer a complicated muddle, but a beautiful design.

David McCullough believes that educators share much of the blame for “raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate.”

Are Egan, McCullough, and Burns right?

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