When I was in grade school, we had a subject called Geography, the main purpose of which was to understand the world we live in. We had to learn all the states in the U.S., all the continents, and all the countries.
By the time I got to junior high, they had changed the name to Social Studies and, while some of the topics were the same–we still had to know all the states and their capitals, for example–there were some things we didn’t have to do anymore. Country names and boundaries were changing in Africa and Asia, so we didn’t really focus on those as much. But we still had to know the countries in the other five continents.
Fast forward 20 years and my kids started school. I was impressed to see they still had to learn all the states and capitals. But there was very little in their curriculum about countries.
Fast forward another 20 years to today and it appears that, without their phones, lots of people have no idea where countries are on a map. This quiz from the Jimmy Kimmel Show is both funny and depressing because it shows just how far our education system has fallen.
I’m thinking that maybe we need a little more emphasis on the basics in today’s elementary schools….
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