Magnified Ignorance

stupid-manBeing the field of education, this is hard for me to watch. The ignorance of the average person today is mind-blowing. I can understand being stumped on difficult or intricate questions about certain things; after all, a person can’t know everything, right? So what should be some of the basics? I have composed a list of the minimal things a person should know:

  • How to spell their own children’s name (believe me on that one)
  • The first president of the United States
  • How to multiply numbers . . . numbers, not people . . . too many have already stumbled across that one
  • How to give the correct change from, let’s say, a $20 bill . . . without looking at the cash register ten times
  • The good guys and bad guys in World War II
  • Planets are in our solar system
  • The name of our galaxy
  • 3/4 of the Earth’s surface is covered by
  • How many letters in the alphabet
  • Who assumes control of the U.S. in the event of the president and vice president’s death
  • Whose picture is on the American quarter
  • Purpose of the American Revolutionary War
  • Writer of Romeo and Juliet
  • The number of Great Lakes
  • The birthdays of your children
  • The name of the large body of water between America and Europe
  • The purpose of the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Number of stars on the American flag
  • Why Americans celebrate the 4th of July
  • Double digit dividing
  • Difference between a mammal and a fish
  • The human body’s largest organ
  • Find  your hometown on a paper, three-state map
  • The main decade of The Great Depression
  • Name one flightless bird
  • The primary language spoken in the United Kingdom
  • The Pope’s religion
  • The grades your children are presently in
  • The state famous for the Kentucky Derby
  • Difference in a complete sentence and a fragment
  • Country known for the Eiffel Tower
  • Any famous painter
  • The name of an animal that consumes meat
  • The author of any book
  • The century airplanes were introduced
  • Why the Earth rotates around the Sun
  • The fastest land animal
  • The nationality of people known for wooden shoes
  • The number XVII
  • Sram or Shimano (Yes, it’s important)

It isn’t so much the lack of knowledge that concerns me that much. It is the lack of care to even obtain a basic knowledge that is scary. Many high school students only learn enough to take a test and move forward. The thirst for wonder starts at a young age. Have you been around a five year old, lately? It is the responsibility of the family to feed that hunger and wonder in a child’s life. We must constantly challenge ourselves to learn and grow and teach our children the love for learning. With the instability of the family, combined with the fact technology provides more and more for us, it should not be shocking that we are devolving.


16 thoughts on “Magnified Ignorance

  1. Having worked in education for ten years previous to my current job, I was always blown away by some of the basic everyday stuff students just didn’t know. Not stuff taught at school, but general knowledge and life skills that should have been nurtured in the home.

  2. My twelve year-old even scored a 95% on that one – and she got the SRAM/Shimano question right… Shimano components, SRAM cassettes and chains, KMC Missinglink. 😉

  3. How about “who won the Civil War” or what’s the name of your (whichever subject) teacher?

    Having been a teacher for over 20 years, I’m mortified at the inability of students to think independently and critically. While standards are a good thing, generally, clearly it isn’t working. My dad’s 8th grade education was far better than what most kids come out with at the HS level. I do *not* blame teachers . . . I am concerned that we are eliminating play (recess/gym class), creativity (music), languages (English grammar AND other modern languages), critical thinking skills–all so schools will have better numbers on exams. I pity teachers today, they cannot teach what needs to be taught, and now kids have no sense of wonder, curiosity.

    I see this play out in college, and have for over 20 years–it’s getting so much worse. Love teachers. Love students. Wish I knew where the true problem actually existed. Wish someone could fix it.

    Great post!!!

    1. Wow! Thank you, Sandra! I’m on my 16th year, and it is so much more apparent every year. It saddens me. I know in my gut that it’s in the home (family) . . . THAT I really don’t know how to fix. The awe of life is so astounding in small children and quickly eroded away. Yes, playing and painting and building forts and exploring possibilities are keys that have been lost.

      1. No. I don’t want to know what they say. ;-). Besides, I am on spring break. A writing retreat. I have five manuscripts that just need a day or two of revisions!

        I will ask when I return. Sigh. So very sad. Bless you for trying!!!!

        FYI: I took my class to Fort alarmed and we stayed in the officers’ quarters for three days, while exploring, reading journals, getting tours, going on night hikes, etc. it was awesome.

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