Texas students give jaw dropping answers to political questions

Discussion in 'General Education' started by hbcaligirl1985, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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  3. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    I'm shocked not only by their lack of political knowledge, but their lack of knowledge of US History!
     
  4. GTB4GT

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    Wow. Don't know whether to laugh or cry at that. To be fair to these young scholars and their school, none of them professed to be history majors!;)
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I agree it's sad but Jay Leno does a similar bit with adults from all over and gets similar answers.

    I think the reason for this is many people unfortunately don't have an interest in history/politics (I can't tell you how many people I have had tell me it's boring) and often facts are only taught once or twice throughout their whole educational curriculum.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I don't find it too surprising. Most of the schools I have taught at in the last 15 years or so have cut social studies, government, history, etc out of the curriculum in favor of tested subjects.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Videos like this annoy me a little. Give somebody a camera and enough time, and it's a guarantee that they will eventually run into enough people who are some combination of clueless, distracted, or trolling to create a "blooper reel" video like this. Heck, if they had interviewed me, I probably would have given crazy answers, just because that is the sort of thing I would find funny.
     
  8. SF_Giants66

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    Is social studies in Texas schools geared to deprive students from learning or something?
     
  9. greendream

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    Exactly. You already know what the content of the video is going to be before you even watch it. How many rational responses were discarded to get this highlight reel?
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I didn't watch the video since I'm at school now but I'll watch it at home. I could probably answer more questions about history than politics. I have no interest in it. Yes, it's boring. I have a lot more on my plate than that stuff at the moment.
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yeah, this is pathetic, they need to stop promoting crappy teachers into administrative positions.

    Not understanding the value of social studies, government, history,..etc to testing is ridiculous.

    The thinking opportunities in these subjects is off the charts and have direct positive impacts on tested subjects tests.
     
  12. vateacher757

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    I adore history, government and social studies and I too hear kids in high school saying it's boring, I won't need this yada yada yada...but they will, it is important to the future of our great country to know and learn those subjects. They should not be put on the back burner.

    Lack of knowledge in those areas can be devastating.

    Who and how will our future leaders be if they know nothing about those subjects?
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'd be interested in having my Social Studies counterpart show this video to our shared students, stopping the video to see if they know the answers. I'll be they do.
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Pretty much every year or so, there's a controversy over something texas wants to add or remove to history textbooks (I seem to recall something a few years back about how they wanted to remove any reference to racial tensions in the 50s and 60s, and describe the civil rights movement as peaceful on all sides)
     
  15. SF_Giants66

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    So does Texas want to re-write history, or just change things around to make it friendly to what they want them to know? You know, like what churches do by omitting half the Bible and only telling them the redemption glory stories.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    That video went beyond history. Students didn't know the name of the current vice president. The funny thing is that I remember seeing that question on a job application back when the answer was Dan Quayle.
     
  17. SF_Giants66

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    Around 30% of Americans believe that the sun revolves around the Earth according to some surveys in the past 5-10 years.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I don't believe that this is just a problem in Texas.
     
  19. greendream

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    Link?
     
  20. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    That was a statistic I had heard several times. Drives me crazy.
     
  22. hbcaligirl1985

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    I asked the High School students I was subbing today all these questions, and then threw in some of my own (who was the 1st president, who was the president responsible for abolishing slavery, who was the president tied with Watergate) and they answered everything correctly.

    This video just...baffles me.
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

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    Honestly, I'm not sure why we need to know the specifics of certain wars, etc. as adults. If I was going into politics and making decisions like whether or not to go to war, I can see how that insight would be important. But for day-to-day livings of most people it's really not information you would need to access. I know it's important to teach it, like algebra, but not something that people use regularly. That's why the implication that they know pop culture and not history is a bad thing, that is a more immediate concern in their lives.

    I can name the Vice President and who won the Civil War, but ask more questions that are a little more detailed and I'd have trouble with that. Oh and the questions about Texas, they want the focus to be more about patriotism. There are some historical facts that don't jive with that so they'd rather leave those out of the curriculum.
     
  24. GTB4GT

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    as someone else said, they maybe culled a bunch of film posts to compile this video. but these people do exist unfortunately. As George Carlin once said...think of how stupid the average American citizen is. then realize that half of them are even dumber, or wtte.
     
  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    My husband is a history teacher in Texas. He doesn't recall this.
     
  26. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    It's been years since I had a class that even had 75% of my parents with a high school diploma. Recently, it's been fewer than 50%. Those that did graduate high school either graduated college or attended some.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  28. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    5th grade is US History in CA (and I think many other states as well), and this video makes me even more determined to teach it WELL.

    I am going to ask my 5th graders tomorrow if they know who the vice president is. I am genuinely curious.

    I'm pretty surprised by this - one of the comments mentions that US History is taught in 5th, 8th, and 11th grades in Texas, just like it is here. You'd think they would have picked up on something during one of those times...
     
  29. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Can't we be educated just for the sake of being educated? Why does everything we learn have to serve some sort of daily purpose? If that was the goal of education, we'd essentially teach kids to balance a checkbook, cook, and work a cash register.

    Instead we aim higher because we want our youth to be able to engage in educated discourse. Make informed decisions when voting, and be able to draw upon the lessons from the past, such as mistakes made in past wars, and patterns to avoid that led to certain past problems. The past informs every decision I make, and every thought I have, even if it's not related to politics or history. It's a part of my mental wealth that was left to me from our predecessors. When you don't learn lessons from the past, you throw that all away, and settle for ignorance.

    Also, even if we may not make important decisions using politics or history ourselves, we constantly learn from our environment so our discourse may inspire someone else, perhaps someone young to think about things in a different way.

    There can be no harm from highly educating as many people as we can, only benefits. There can be indefinite amounts of harm for settling for less.
     
  30. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Agreed...They probably just showed the people who looked like idiots. I'm sure some people knew the answers. Still sad, though.
     
  31. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Absolutely-I said I think it should be taught. I don't think everything has to have a a purpose but if they don't use it daily I wouldn't expect them to remember everything they learned in middle and high school and imply they are stupid for not knowing those facts. I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person and someone who actually does follow politics more than the average person-I certainly don't all those historical facts I learned 20 years ago and actually find some aspects of our political system very confusing.
     
  32. SF_Giants66

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    What are they being educated on though? Learning facts and filling in the correct bubble on a test? Social studies should be about thought and reflection. I loved history, but I hated history class, because it often didn't attempt to expand our horizons, but tested whether we knew how to memorize and pass a test on it.
     
  33. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    More than a "bubble subject"

    I can only speak for my school but our Ss classes are more than a bubble subject . In fact none of my tests are bubble answers nor were any when I went to school. While we aim for those thoughtful and reflective conversation, that CANNOT happen without a foundation of knowledge on the topic. It is easy to just remember "how we learned back in the day" but I encourage you to step into a Ss class at your school and see if there are any changes. I truly believe that if you cannot understand the past history of our country and the world, then you cannot adequately understand the present or even help change the future.

    I think videos like these are set up but also highlight the importance of putting social studies back on the same ladder as ela and math and science
     
  34. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Exactly!

    I am in several history and govt classes with high school students because I am there to assist other students.....I love the subject but am bored to death as are the students so boredom leads to not having an interest or desire to learn and understand it. It's just teaching the material needed to pass a test via more lecture than anything. No thought, refelction, debate etc nothing.

    I remember when I took history classes if something happened say for example political debates were coming on IF that was not what we were discussing at the time we would then discuss and cover that as it was happening...we had to watch the nightly news and discuss something we heard this kept us engaged in what was happening around us and in the world.


    NCLB in many ways has hindered us as a nation. We are going to wake up to the blind leading the blind.
     
  35. greendream

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    According to the National Science Foundation survey referenced in your link, Americans are doing better than Europeans and Chinese on the whole sun-earth-orbit question. Here are the full results. While 71% of Americans got the answer right, only 66% of people in the EU did, and only 59% of Chinese. But I know we love the whole "America is the most uneducated nation" train of thought, so please don't let a little thing like data derail it.
     
  36. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    I used to hate history when I was in school. I found it dry, uninteresting and unhelpful.

    It really wasn't until law school that I developed an appreciation of it -- because understanding and debate of so much of present government and politics involves understanding the past.

    Without a basic understanding, students are vulnerable to the arguments of historical revisionists -- those who would cherry-pick examples, misrepresent quotes out of context, and twist words to mean something different than what was actually intended. To take one easy (and not one that people make serious arguments about, but shows up on the internet all the time), the first amendment starts,
    Some will take this to mean that only Congress is restricted and will argue that municipalities, for example, are unaffected by this.* It takes understanding that the 14th amendment applied the first 10 to the states to be able to argue against the literal reading of "Congress".

    Anyway, making history relevant to the present day is what made me much more interested.

    * They're usually arguing this in only in favor of very specific results, because if anyone actually considered whether this should hold they'd likely be horrified by the broad implications.



    -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
     
  37. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Personally, I do not find satisfaction in that we are doing better than other nations, I am more concerned with the idea that 29% do not know.
     
  38. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Thanks for the work; it is good to keep things in perspective.

    Some of those statistics do surprise me a bit -- if there are a bunch of true/false questions, you would expect the worst percentage correct would generally be around 50% (where people didn't know and were just guessing). Anything below 40 would seem odd, and even the "People came from an earlier species of animal" -- an answer a lot of Americans would presumably answer incorrectly due to their religious beliefs -- we have a percentage of 44. So how are we seeing percentages below 20% on some of these, on topics that don't seem like they'd be controversial at first glance?
     
  39. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    To be completely honest, I do not remember EVER learning about space, the solar system, planets, etc. I'm sure I did, but it definitely wasn't in middle school or high school. So maybe in elementary school? It's not part of our 2nd grade curriculum, so I don't teach it, either.
     
  40. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    As a history teacher, this does not surprise me. There are a lot of facts to remember in high school history courses and many students "learn" (memorize) just enough facts to pass a test or course. There often is no long-term retention of these facts because many of them are seen as useless and/or never-ending (always more to learn).

    SS is a field that lends itself to teaching critical-thinking skills and discussions, but in many states/districts (like mine) this is hampered because the end-of-course assessment is a fact-based test. Either you know the info (and remember it) or you do not. These assessments are not designed to test critical thinking/CCSS skills.
     
  41. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I love this, this is why social studies is sooooo beneficial to ELA state tests.....so much critical thinking, reading skills, discussions..etc.
     

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