Comedian Jay Leno periodically devotes a few minutes of his TV show to “jaywalking” segments, where he and his camera crew take to the streets and quiz passersby about basic historical facts. Most interviewees embarrass themselves by not knowing, for example, the name of the first U.S. president.
Leno’s comical surveys hint at a real problem: The gaping hole in average U.S. history knowledge. The Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based think tank, recently published a paper, “Shortchanging the Future: The Crisis of History and Civics in American Schools,” addressing this issue and where it starts—schools.
“Shortchanging the Future: The Crisis of History and Civics in American Schools,” Pioneer Institute, April 2013: http://heartland.org/policy-documents/shortchanging-future-crisis-history-and-civics-american-schools. ;
Image by Lee Wright.
Via Marilyn Armstrong