As citizens, we are ignorant to the world


When I say citizens, I mean American citizens, including myself especially. A big part of the reason we have these blogs is to read up on articles and create our own opinions on what’t going on across the world. But I just keep asking myself, “Why has it taken 19 years of my life to finally be pushed into learning about other countries in the world.

Some of you may disagree. I’ll admit there was a time when I researched a lot of South American countries for my Rotary Exchange program, but that is extracurricular and has nothing to do with our schooling systems. In elementary school, we have “social studies”, which is a very broad course where we learn mainly about ancient history of other parts of the world. I am not counting this as learning about other countries because while learning about King Tut may be interesting, it is NOT educational and does NOT help us see the other side of the world.

A lot of countries despise Americans because of our ignorance to them. Yes, it is harder for an American to travel to another country than it is a European, but really there is just no push for it. Only until college are we actually pushed to study abroad, but why can’t we at least learn about these places in high school or middle school?

Our government does its best to to make sure we are happy here in America and provide services many other countries do not. Our schooling systems do a lousy job teaching us another language (and by lousy, I mean it is almost worthless). If our country wanted us to learn another language, they would have us start in elementary school when we are more susceptible to learning it. It scares me that other countries in the world teach their kids English when they are eight years old, and we learn how to say “Hello” in Spanish when we are sixteen.

Like other countries, the United States wants their official language to spread across the world. But most countries realize the impossibility of theirs doing so, so they adapt and teach their youth English or Spanish. If we are to truly take part in this ever globalizing world, we must adapt to and embrace other countries when we are much younger so business and relations can become much better in the future.

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8 thoughts on “As citizens, we are ignorant to the world

  1. I think that you bring up a lot of good points throughout the blog. Teaching foreign languages comes so late in our education compared to other countries around the world. We generally don’t start until high school, and by this time, students across the world are already bilingual! I also agree that our school system does not do a great job about teaching us the rest of the world. And, when we did focus on topics of “world history,” I feel as if it were often taught from an strictly an American viewpoint, rather than a worldly one. Nice blog, Jack !

  2. It saddens me to say that I agree with you on many points you touched on through out your blog. I never really thought about how much information I wasn’t given the opportunity to learn while attending public school growing up. I honestly did not learn much about what was going on outside of the United States until I had the opportunity to take classes in college, which forced me to become more knowledgeable.
    One thing I question is how much of our lack of knowledge of the world is caused by our schooling system and how much is a result of our own lack of self-motivation. You said it yourself, you learned a lot about South American countries from your Rotary Exchange program, an extracurricular. Why is it that many Americans do not think to take the initiative to educate themselves on what is going on outside of the United States?

  3. I completely agree with your opinion in this blog. It was not until college that I spent my time trying to culturally educate myself and then educate my family about what I learned. American is behind in almost every subject and really needs to step it up not only in our normal education like math and reading but also our cultural understanding of different places around the world.

  4. I honestly do not think I would have been as interested in learning about other parts of the world if it wasn’t for this class. I feel like many people don’t even know where to begin when it comes to topics such as these, because it starts out so broad. I think the level of your education also depends on your schooling before coming to college. I had many history courses, but they were always looked at in a negative light because no one took them seriously. I have met many people who attended a high school that provided a strict curriculum, and they ended up benefiting more from it. There are many factors, but I do agree that it needs to be started at an early age.

  5. When I read this blog it was interesting to step back and really put these points into the perspective of my own schooling. I think that we do need to push to teach kids a second language at a younger age and not a lousy high school setting. If more Americans were to know a second language then this world would be a different place.

  6. Our system of schooling may not be as competitive as those of many Asian countries and, but I do believe it does somewhat of a decent job of preparing us for the future. I also agree to be globally competitive we should learn a foreign language starting in at least the 4th grade. I wonder how the rest of the world sees our educational system.

  7. I completely agree with you. I think our educational system isn’t up to par with a lot of other countries. I honestly wish that they would push us more to learn another language. It would only be beneficial for us. While every other country now learns English at a young age, the US still isn’t enforcing us to learn. I’m not sure what the percentage is but there is a good chunk of the country that speaks Spanish and yet Americans are oblivious to that fact.

  8. I definitely agree with some of your statements. I’ve always stood by the way other countries teach languages. The earlier, the better stands true with learning languages. I also believe that we need to be encouraged to gain a deeper knowledge of the world at an earlier age. Americans become comfortable and stagnant in a world that is consistently growing and changing. We need to be able to work with international people and compete with international people, and without a basic knowledge of the world we live in, how can we be expected to thrive anywhere but America?

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