April 15, 2018

Don't Know Much About History - and Proud of it

Dana Mathewson

Anecdote: I was doing my grunt work correcting test papers yesterday. These are Missouri kids, and frankly, I doubt they are dumber or smarter than any representative similar group of kids from anywhere in the country. In fact, most of 'em seem darn smart.

The essay job was as follows: they were given two source readings (one was about the new Museum of the American Revolution, which just opened last year in Philadelphia, and the museum in Stockholm of the warship Vasa, which has recently been raised from the watery grave it has occupied since it sank on its maiden voyage back in, what, 1623. The students were to write an essay referencing both source readings and making a case for which museum they though would be more interesting to visit.

Without going heavily into this one kid's answer, it was snarky and full of "why would I want to see the Revolution Museum, I know all about it already; and anyway, my parents and grandparents lived through the war, so they can tell me anything I need to know that I don't know already."

I stress that this kid was NOT typical of the ones we've encountered!

2c from Jack Kemp:

When I went to Mt. Vernon, VA, to Washington's home, a guide said that she encountered visiting teens who thought the British won the Revolutionary War.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:24 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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