Our generation is commonly assumed to be uninformed and unaware of basic political and geographical information.
“I feel like it’s only in America that people are uneducated. When you travel, or meet other people, you see the difference. We have a very closed off education system,” said student Nahal Hosseini.
Having faith in my generation I decided to test out this assumption.
When given a set of five basic questions, very few of the students surveyed could answer them all correctly.
The study consisted of the following questions:
Who is the vice president of the United States, what continent is Brazil located in, how many U.S. Senators do we have in California, identify Oklahoma on a U.S. Map and how many continents are there on Earth.
Of the 10 students only four could provide correct answers for all five questions.
Two students could answer four correctly and the remaining four only knew two answers.
When surveyed, the majority of students who didn’t know the answers were embarrassed about their responses.
There is a consensus among students that they should know the answers to these types of questions.
So why such poor scores?
I think it stems from our lack of engagement in worldly issues.
America, California in particular is so culturally and geographically separated from the world that these students responses are no surprise.
We find ourselves maintaining the mentality that we are across the Atlantic and have an inward focus on ourselves.
A study done by USA Today reads “An analysis of words and phrases in more than 750,000 American books published in the past 50 years finds an emphasis on ‘I’ before ‘we’ — showing growing attention to the individual over the group.”
This may contribute heavily to the idea that our generation maintains an individualized focus and that becomes a barrier to educating ourselves on basic national or international facts or issues.
Student Rebecca Rasmussen said, “This makes me feel really upset, our generation isn’t set on getting an education and developing that into a career. We are more the YOLO generation, it’s sad.”
Others blame it on their lack of nurture.
“I’m a little embarrassed, but its also about the people that raised us, they contribute to our faulty knowledge,” said student Madyson Gutierrez.
I think it’s a mix of nature and nurture.
Our generation has a lack of initiative to get informed because we are generally self-absorbed and our parents and education systems enable us to be this way.
Student Pathik Patal said, “Americans don’t learn it, or try to learn it because the majority of time we just don’t care. Its very different from Indian culture.”
All hope isn’t lost for our generation, luckily most of us are still in college and still growing and molding our attitudes.
It’s time to get educated through utilizing university courses and study abroad programs.
Use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to follow news stations and political campaigns. Watch and read the news. Utilize the vast array of geographic information offered to students at Cal State, so we can improve our generation’s image.