Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Don't Need to Know Much About History

Bob Samuelson makes an interesting point in today's Washington Post - Americans are woefully ignorant of history, but it doesn't really matter. He argues that despite low test scores in history most Americans intuitively understand the principles of American life - even if they don't know when the Bill of Rights was signed or what party Franklin Roosevelt was a member of. Perhaps even more interesting is his point that this lack of historical leaning isn't anything new: "In 1943, a Gallup poll found that about 30 percent had never heard of the Bill of Rights and fewer than 23 percent could identify it as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution; the rest were confused about what it was." Take that Golden Age education reformers. The average has always been an ignorant creature.


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