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Don't Know Much About Geography

August 19, 2010 14:05:26.142

Phillip Greenspun has a depressing piece up about the inability of people to tell which direction is which. My favorite test along these lines is to pull bills out of my wallet, and ask kids (high school age, since that's my daughter's cohort at present) who is on them. The quizzical looks are either amusing or disturbing, depending on my mood that day....

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Don't Know Much About Geography

[HKN] August 20, 2010 1:29:50.640

the only important things on bills are the words (currency) and the numbers. I hope the kids can count at least. Aren't bills outdated anyway?

Re: Don't Know Much About Geography

[james Robertson] August 20, 2010 2:14:52.236

The point isn't the money; it's that they can't identify the people on them.

Re: Don't Know Much About Geography

[anonymous] August 20, 2010 21:47:44.847

What causes the seasons Mr Robertson? Apparently 90% of people start blabbering about eliptical orbits...

Re: Don't Know Much About Geography

[W^L+] August 21, 2010 21:56:44.723

Somewhere, the decision was made that this isn't as important for students to learn. It wasn't just schools that stopped teaching these things--parents also stopped emphasizing them.

When my now-22 year-old was younger, I would suddenly quiz him during trips. "What direction are we heading? Which way is East? What city are we in? How do we get home from here?" He had to give me correct answers to my questions or hear me lecture him. The result? He usually knows his directions and can figure out how to get from point A to point B.

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