Thursday, September 20, 2007

Colleges failing in teaching History / Civic Literacy

No surprise here.

Students don't know much about history, and colleges aren't adding enough to their civic literacy, says a report out today.

The study from the non-profit Intercollegiate Studies Institute shows that less than half of college seniors knew that Yorktown was the battle that ended the American Revolution or that NATO was formed to resist Soviet expansion. Overall, freshmen averaged 50.4% on a wide-ranging civic literacy test; seniors averaged 54.2%, both failing scores if translated to grades.

source: USA Today


You can take the quiz here.

I missed 3 which was disappointing, but I still beat the Harvard and Yale average.

Some findings from the report:

In general, the better a college's U.S. News & World Report ranking, the less its civic literacy gain. Yale, with the highest-scoring freshmen (68.94%), along with Princeton, Duke and Cornell, were among eight schools with freshmen outscoring seniors.

...

Raw scores did not correlate to voting or civic participation, but the more seniors outscored their school's freshman average, the more likely they were to vote and be involved in civic activities.

...

"Several of the colleges at the lower end of our survey are some of the most prestigious in the country, with average tuition, room and board somewhere north of $40,000 a year," Bunting says. "These are the schools, although their stated mission is to help prepare active citizens, that are the most derelict in their responsibility."


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