And they think history started the day they were born…
I asked them to indicate where on the map South America is, where Africa is, and Antarctica, the Arctic, and to circle Europe, label Australia and show where Asia is and label the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and Mediterranean Sea — and I’ve become much simpler in what I have asked over the years.
I used to ask if they could identify France, England or Ireland — which is the background of a lot of students here, or Spain or Portugal, which is important for this part of the world, but I’ve stopped asking that.
A sizeable proportion of the class would reliably have no idea where the Mediterranean is. Some students would circle Africa and indicate that it’s Europe, and if asked to locate England and Ireland, they would put them in Africa. I have had students that aren’t able to correctly label the Atlantic Ocean, even though we are on it.