Why students fall behind on history

I recommend a read of this short article from CNN.com discussing and demonstrating the levels of cultural illiteracy that we have reached. What is not explored in this article is the implications that this will have for the future of Western Civilization, but I think that goes without saying (for those of you who read this blog regularly). A highlight:

At Caprock High School in Amarillo, Texas, teacher Jeff Frazer said he’s surprised by how many of his incoming students know that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 but don’t know that it was a list of grievances against Great Britain.

“I think they learn information by itself, in isolation,” Frazer said of his students. “But putting the big picture together is not happening.”

And during the comparative religions unit at Rutland Middle School in Rutland, Vermont, Ted Lindgren regularly asks students, “What is Easter about?”

He said they invariably br ing up the Easter bunny but don’t know the significance of the holiday to Christianity. It shows a lack of cultural literacy, Lindgren said, that they have to compensate for during class.

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