This month's epistula features an article by Ned Bustard about the relevance of geography in an age of GPS and ever more portable computing devices. As someone who has never been particularly gifted in or appreciative of geography, I found it very compelling ...
I came across a video of a man-on-the-street interviewing Americans for an Australian television show. He showed them pictures of Big Ben, the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore, and the Sydney Opera House. He was then able to convince them that all these landmarks were in Australia. It turns out that the Mount Rushmore you think you saw on your road trip across the U.S. was, in fact, a copy.
Watching this video inspired me to search for more like it, and it seems that making “Stupid Americans” videos is all the rage. And if we think about it, we all have family members who would do miserably in an on-air geography questionnaire. And possibly, those family members are not even remote extended family members. The reason for this is that teaching geography isn’t high on the lists of important subjects that folks are urging their education administrators to cover. Math, science, English . . . even gym class ranks higher than geography.
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