A R C H I V E S
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|11/21/02 at 10:28:41|
|Geography quiz stumps college-age Canadians|
WASHINGTON -- Think college-age kids are pretty smart? Think again.
Canadian troops are poised to join a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq, yet barely one in 10 college-age Canadians can find the rogue Middle East country on a map, according to a survey by the National Geographic Society.
Shown a map with borders but no country labels, and few more can pinpoint other global hot spots, including Afghanistan and Israel.
That kind of performance puts Canada near the bottom in a ranking of 18- to 24-year-olds from nine countries -- a couple of notches worse than in 1988, the last time a similar survey was conducted.
[i]Only the United States and Mexico fared worse.[/i]
If it is any consolation, only 13 per cent of young Americans got the Iraq question right.
Perhaps most telling, more young Americans could identify the island setting of TV's current Survivor than they could Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Israel.
Pop quiz: Can you name just four countries that officially acknowledge having nuclear weapons? And, no, Canada is not one of them. Pencils down, please.
Only 17 per cent of the roughly 300 Canadians surveyed got that one right.
(The correct answer is any four of the following: the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France, India and Pakistan.)
National Geographic said it revived its survey to test young people's knowledge after last year's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
"We commissioned this current study to see if the history-altering events of Sept. 11 had increased young people's engagement with the world," National Geographic president and CEO John Fahey said.
And while the attacks may have changed many things, he said, they did not change "the insularity of our young people."
Mr. Fahey said the results are deeply troubling.
"What they don't know is pretty shocking," he said, adding that there has been a marked "retreat by young people from a global society in an era that doesn't allow such a luxury."
After Americans' last-place ranking in the 1988 survey, National Geographic undertook a massive education campaign, spending more than $100-million (U.S.) to improve geographic knowledge in and out of the classroom.
Those efforts included the creation of the annual National Geographic Bee and programs to educate teachers.
But after all that, the United States moved up just one rank.
"I wouldn't say it was a failure," Mr. Fahey said of those efforts. "Our students did perform better, over all. But we're a drop in the bucket."
Yesterday, National Geographic announced a new effort: a coalition to promote geographic awareness, largely focused in the United States. Recognizing that young people are acquiring much of their knowledge from television and the Internet, the society has recruited media organizations, such as America Online, Sesame Street, News Corp. and Nickelodeon, to help.
In the survey, Sweden earned top marks, with respondents answering an average of 40 out of 56 questions correctly. Germany and Italy tied for second place, with an average 38 right answers each. France, Japan and Britain ranked third, fifth and sixth. Canada, the United States and Mexico followed.
Only Mexico, with an average 21 right answers, did worse than the three primarily English-speaking countries quizzed: Britain, Canada and the United States.
Among the most troubling findings, Americans scored dead last on a question dealing with the size of the U.S. population, with one out of four answering correctly that it is between 150 million and 350 million.
Nearly a third said it was between one billion and two billion. (lol!) :-/
Canadians knew better, with 56 per cent getting the answer right.
In another startling finding, more Canadians (95 per cent) than Americans (89 per cent) could spot the United States on a world map.
Other questions dealt with the geography of places in the news, including identifying the Taliban's home base (Afghanistan) and the world largest oil-exporting region (the Middle East).
National Geographic officials suggest that Canadians and Americans may score worse in part because they travel less than their European counterparts. North Americans, along with young Britons, are also less likely to speak more than one language. The survey likewise found that North Americans are less likely to acknowledge that knowing the locations of countries in the news is important.
It was also found that fewer North American use the Internet to get news. The survey showed that young people who receive their news primarily through television achieved notably poorer marks than those who supplemented it by reading newspapers and magazines and listening to the radio.
Do you know your geography?
A recent poll commissioned by the National Geographic Society measured the geographical knowledge of young adults aged 18-24, in the United States and eight other nations.
Below are three sample questions from the poll:
1. On the map above, locate the following countries
2. Which of the following religions has the largest number of followers worldwide?
3. Which two countries have had a long-standing conflict over the region of Kashmir?
A. Israel and Egypt
B. India and Pakistan
C. China and Russia
D. Iran and Iraq
Question 2: A
Question 3: B
SOURCE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
|Re: Kinda funny..|
|11/21/02 at 11:56:15|
Ok, so I'm going to tell on myself. When we got the new member's map thingy I was sooooo excited. I thought I would just have to type in my place of residence and I'd get a flag. 8) But nooooooo, we had to put that pin thingy on the map to show where we were. :o I didn't know where Egypt was. (i knew N. Africa though) :-[ I had to go look up a map and find it.... Im soooooo American I guess. I'm learning though. :'(
[quote]Among the most troubling findings, Americans scored dead last on a question dealing with the size of the U.S. population, with one out of four answering correctly that it is between 150 million and 350 million.[/quote] I wouldnt have known this either.. :'(
The last 2 questions I got right, alhamdulilah. The first question I'd probably get 60% right..
Atleast I know there is a rest of the world now. :) Islam is beautiful.
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