Friday, February 19, 2016

What college students (don't) know

This post features two articles at Ring of Fire by Sydney Robinson showing how little college students know about current events and American history. The first is about a study performed by a student group at Texas Tech University.

The student group PolitTech created their own version of a popular social experiment where they asked students at Texas Tech various political and historical question about the United States. Predictably, but also disappointingly, the students featured failed to correctly answer the most basic questions.

Students were asked difficult questions like “who won the civil war?” “Who is our vice president?” and “who did we win our independence from?”

But when asked about what TV show Snooki is on, the students without exception nail it. Ditto for Brad Pitt's wife's name.

OK. I hear you saying, with a sneer, that was the result for Texas Tech in Lubbock. You might charge that the best thing to come out of Lubbock was Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks, or Waylon Jennings' many songs, or Mac Davis' "Texas in my rear view mirror". I would be inclined to agree - I taught there for 11 years.

But! These enterprising students ran a second study at George Mason University. That's in Fairfax, Virginia, folks, right on the beltway. Surely these students are on top of current events?

They’ve done it again! The Texas Tech political awareness group Politech have released yet another video of college students sounding woefully undereducated about politics in America, this time in photo form.

The group traveled to George Mason University, just outside of Washington D.C. where they showed unsuspecting students photos of Vice President Joe Biden and former President Richard Nixon. “Uhh” was the universal response from the gals and bros in the video as none featured could quite figure out who these old white guys were.

Of course, a “control” of sorts was then administered as students were shown a photo of celebrity Kim Kardashian, made famous by her “leaked” sex tapes and vapid reality show. Guess what? The students knew who she was instantly!

Of course there are a great deal of informed, educated students and young people in this country – this video just didn’t find any of them!

You gotta watch the videos.

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