Monday, May 15, 2017

Americans’ geography skills remain poor - Note for a discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United."

Below excerpt from (May 14, 2017)

image from
Americans’ geography skills remain poor
Americans’ inability to identify countries and places is not new. A Roper survey in 2006 found that, in the midst of the Iraq war, six in 10 young adults could not locate Iraq on a map of the Middle East; about 75 percent could noidentify Iran or Israel; and only half could identify New York state. But how important is this, really?
In “Why Geography Matters,” Harm de Blij wrote that geography is “a superb antidote to isolationism and provincialism,” and argued that “the American public is the geographically most illiterate society of consequence on the planet, [JB emphasis] at a time when United States power can affect countries and peoples around the world.”
This spatial illiteracy, geographers say, can leave citizens without a framework
to think about foreign policy questions more substantively. “The paucity of
geographical knowledge means there is no check on misleading public
representations about international matters,” said Alec Murphy, a professor of
geography at the University of Oregon. ...

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