Culture Quiz Results
We asked 144 students to write their answers to the following questions:
1. Who was the first American in space?
2. Who perpetrated the Bataan Death March?
3. Who were the Khmer Rouge?
4. Name the first book of the Bible.
5. Who wrote, “With malice towards none; with charity to all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right…”
6. To whom did Churchill refer when he said “Never in the field of human conflict, has so much been owed, by so many, to so few.”?
And I got the following results:
Around half (54%) could name the first book of the Bible. A little more than a quarter (28%) knew that the Japanese were the perpetrators the Bataan Death March.
4% knew that the first American in space was Alan Shepard. Popular answers were Neil Armstrong, the trumpet player Louis Armstrong and the Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong. Slightly over one in twenty (6%) recognized Abraham Lincoln’s quote from the Second Inaugural address; some attributed the quote to Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. Fewer than one in twenty (3%) s knew that the Khmer Rouge were the communist murderers responsible for the annihilation of 1/3 of Cambodia’s whole population, a massive feat of genocide. Fewer than one in twenty (3%) knew that Churchill was thanking the Royal Air Force for its heroic victory in the Battle of Britain; more than twice as many (8%) thought that Churchill was talking about the Nazis—an extraordinary answer suggesting either an inability to read English or to think straight.
40% of students could not answer a single question.
I will be writing a more complete article shortly to further explain the results of my poll.