The Civil War took place from 1861-1865.
If you did not know that, you’re not alone. The article, History Survey Stumps U.S. Teens, reports that less than half of American teenagers, when asked basic history and literature questions, knew the answers. I wonder how many adults know. The survey pulled questions from a similar 1986 federal study. Interestingly, the 1986 study brought about the same lackluster results, yet not much seems to have improved.
The article suggests that the No Child Left Behind Law has caused schools to become obsessed with standardized tests, which measure only reading and math scores. As such, the liberal and creative arts are suffering due to the lack of emphasis being placed on them. Whatever the reasons, it’s time to encourage creative thinking and problem-solving in our students. While math and reading are essential skills, children also need to understand how to combine them with powerful thinking for maximized results.
Additional questions to think about…
How can parents create an environment at home where culture, history and our collective heritage is emphasized and understood?
How can we help teachers to teach more broadly so that we have thinkers for the future who can innovate and creatively solve some of the world’s greatest problems?
What risk will be posed to our future if we have students and grads who have been taught to the test only, lack the ability to think critically and creatively and can’t imagine what is possible for themselves, their society and the world as a whole?
What role does creativity, imagination, optimism, inspiration and determination play in lifelong success? What is the best way for students to learn, and ultimately embody, these qualities.