From: "Pedro Martori"
Subject: Young Americans flunk geography, Can't Find Iraq...
charset = "UTF-8"
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 10:02:00 -0500
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 10:02:07 EST
Organization: Bell Sympatico
De: "ricardo a gonzalez"
Asunto: Young Americans flunk geography, Can't Find Iraq...=20
Fecha: Jueves, 21 de Noviembre de 2002 03:48 a.m.
Survey: Young Lack Geography Skills
By Paul Recer
AP Science Writer
Wednesday, November 20, 2002; 3:29 PM
WASHINGTON -- One in 10 young Americans could not locate his own country =
a blank map of the world, a survey of geographic literacy shows. Only 13
percent could find Iraq.
"Someone once said that war is God's way of teaching geography, but
apparently today neither war nor the threat of war can adequately teach
geography," John Fahey, president of the National Geographic Society, =
The organization's survey found that about one in seven of Americans =
age 18 and 24, the prime age for military service, could place Iraq.
President Bush has said he is prepared to use force to rid Iraq of any
weapons of mass destruction.
The majority of young people surveyed knew that the Taliban and al-Qaida
were based in Afghanistan, but only 17 percent could find that country =
world map, though American-led forces have waged war there.
When more than 300 young Americans in the survey were shown a blank =
map and asked to indicate the location of the United States, only 89 =
could do so.
Only 25 percent could select the correct population figures for the =
States from a multiple choice list.
The international survey of young people in the United States and eight
other countries - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden =
Britain - asked 56 questions about geography and current events; there =
only slight improvement in the score when compared with a erage score of =
three points from a failing grade.
Sweden's 40 average led the way, followed by Germany and Italy, each =
38. None of the countries got an "A," which required average scores of =
correct answers or better on the 56 questions.
Robert A. Pastor, vice president of international affairs at American
University in Washington, said the survey was "a good test about young
people's knowledge of the world" and offered a snapshot of geographic
knowledge "that we should take very seriously."
Fahey said the results indicated a larger problem - which may take a
generation to correct - than the simple lack of geographic knowledge. He
referred to "the apparent retreat of young people from a global society =
an era that doesn't allow such luxury."
"This generation is highly skilled at what they want to block out and =
they want to know," Fahey said. "Unfortunately, the things that they =
out seems to include knowledge of the world that we all live in."
National Geographic is convening an international panel of policy-makers =
business and media leaders to find ways to improve geographic education =
to encourage interest in world affairs, the society said.
Other findings from the survey:
-34 percent of the young Americans knew that the island used on last
season's "Survivor" show was located in the South Pacific, but only 30
percent could locate the state of New Jersey on a map. The "Survivor" =
location was the Marquesas Islands in the eastern South Pacific.
-When asked to find 10 specific states on a map of the United States, =
California and Texas could be located by a large majority of those =
Both states were correctly located by 89 percent of the participants. =
51 percent could find New York, the third most populous state.
-On a world map, Americans could find on average only seven of 16 =
in the quiz. Swedes could find an average of 13 of the 16 countries.
-Only 71 percent of the surveyed Americans could locate the Pacific =
the world's largest body of water. Worldwide, three in 10 of those =
could not correctly locate the Pacific Ocean.
-Although 81 percent of the surveyed Americans knew that the Middle East =
the Earth's largest oil exporter, only 24 percent could find Saudi =
Results from the survey are based on face-to-face interviews with at =
300 men and women. The questionnaires were in the local language, but =
content was universally the same.
On the Net:
National Geographic survey: www.nationalgeographic.com/geosurvey
=C2=A9 2002 The Associated Press