Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Cultural Divide Between Us and Our Students

Whenever I make a reference to a historical event or literary piece, or an old movie or song, I take the time to explain it. Otherwise, I fear the students will not understand me. Here is confirmation from Clark DeLeon who writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer and also teaches.

This week I gave my freshmen a noncredit quiz to establish some sort of a historical baseline. I provided 20 famous quotations - such as "Give me liberty, or give me death" and "A date which will live in infamy" - and asked them to identify the speaker and the historic context.

The average score was 3 - out of 20. Six students scored lower than 3. The high score was 10. "Let them eat cake" was recognized by only one student. None of them had heard the words, "Give us Barabbas!" Only one recognized "Tramps like us, baby we were born to run" as a song lyric.

(Thnx to JimMaule)


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