Thursday, February 07, 2008

History As Told to Your Children

News item:

USA Today reports on a poll taken of American high school students, asking them to name the "most famous Americans in history," starting with Columbus to the present day.

Asked to name the most famous Americans in history, high school students put 20th-century black Americans in the top three slots. Here are the top 10, with the percentage who chose each:

1. Martin Luther King Jr.: 67%
2. Rosa Parks: 60%
3. Harriet Tubman: 44%
4. Susan B. Anthony: 34%
5.Benjamin Franklin: 29%
6. Amelia Earhart: 25%
7. Oprah Winfrey: 22%
8. Marilyn Monroe: 19%
9. Thomas Edison: 18%
10. Albert Einstein: 16%


For what it's worth, when the researchers polled 2,000 adults in a different survey, their lists were nearly identical. To Wineburg, that shows that what's studied in school affects not just children but the adults who help them with their schoolwork.

Of course, "famous" is not the same as "significant."


HT: Dreher


steveegg said...

There are just so many things wrong with that list, I don't have time (or space in the comments) to deal with it all.

Anonymous said...

I'm just happy that it wasn't Derek Jeter, Shaq and Beyonce at the top.

The Asian Badger said...

Boy, are those kids going be confused at Mount Rushmore! Of course, the teachers will be confused, too.