英国の報道を２つ。Daily TelegraphとDaily Mail；
For one child in five, Britain is an undiscovered country
By Julie Henry, Education Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:34pm BST 21/10/2006
They are better-travelled than any other generation and are constantly told they are part of the "global village". But millions of today's schoolchildren do not even know where the British Isles are on a map.
Despite living in a country whose empire once stretched to every corner of the globe, one in five British pupils questioned in a survey could not pinpoint the UK and one in 10 were unable to name a single continent.
Forty per cent did not know where the United States was and nearly half failed to identify China, in the poll of six- to 14-year-olds.
The lack of geographical knowledge raises serious questions about the content of lessons and the quality of instruction in geography, which has been identified by Ofsted as the worst-taught subject.
Boys proved to have slightly better geographical skills than girls, with 65 per cent able correctly to locate a number of countries around the world, including France, China and Iraq, compared with 63 per cent of girls. Children in Scotland proved to be the most accurate, with pupils in the East Midlands performing worst.
The survey of 1,000 children, by National Geographic Kids magazine, found that while many children were ignorant about the nations of the world, nearly half were "very concerned" about the environment.
Teachers claim that geography is being squeezed out of the curriculum, especially in primary schools.
In a review of subjects by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority published last year, geography was singled out for the biggest criticism.
Lessons were often boring and repetitive with pupils being taught about the same countries and topics. The curriculum watchdog said that the subject's "critical state" and "low status" were creating a generation of young people lacking geographical knowledge. GCSE entries in geography have declined by nearly a third since 1996, while A-level entries have dropped by more than one quarter.
The Government has responded by announcing a £2 million scheme to boost the subject and promising that every secondary school in England will receive a copy of Michael Palin's best-selling book Himalaya.
One pupil in five can't find Britain on the map
By SARAH HARRIS
Last updated at 23:14pm on 22nd October 2006
One in five schoolchildren is unable to find the United Kingdom on a map of the world, research has revealed.
One in ten cannot name a single continent and more than 20,000 children in London do not realise they live in England's capital city.
Education experts described the findings as "rather frightening", saying schools must concentrate on the basics in geography lessons.
The subject is a compulsory part of the National Curriculum for five to 14-year-olds.
But critics attribute the lack of basic geographical knowledge on secondary school lessons which focus on green issues such as global warming rather than facts and figures.
The study was carried out by National Geographic Kids magazine which questioned more than 1,000 British six to 14-year-olds to mark its UK launch.
The survey showed that boys have slightly better geographical skills than girls, with 65 per cent being able to locate a number of countries around the world compared with 63 per cent of girls.
Less than two thirds of children (60 per cent) were able to locate the UK's closest ally, the U.S., and 86 per cent failed to identify Iraq, in spite of its dominance of the news agenda.
More Scots youngsters (98 per cent) were able to name London as England's capital city than English children (97 per cent).
Children from the East Midlands were the least knowledgeable, with only 61 per cent able to identify the named countries.
Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, said: "These results underline the need for education to concentrate on the essentials.
"How are children going to be able to get as much out of their life if they fail to have an understanding of the shape of the world?"
Environmentalist David Bellamy added: "People say the world is getting smaller but for children it's still an undiscovered place with many of them not being able to recognise their own country on a world map."
Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers, dismissed the magazine's findings as "nonsense".
He described the figures as another example of the "constant desire to produce statistics to do down the English education system".
An earlier study from Canterbury Christ Church University College in Kent warned that pupils were leaving secondary school knowing "everything about pollution but nothing about rivers or mountains".
A Department for Education and Skills spokesman said pupils should develop an understanding of where places are.
He added: "All 14-year-olds should be taught to use atlases and globes, and maps and plans at a range of scales."
Meanwhile more and more pupils are leaving school unable to write properly because they so often use computers.
Department for Education and Skills figures show boys in particular struggle with joined-up handwriting.
The findings are backed up by a U.S. study which looked at the essays of 1.5million 16 and 17-year- olds sitting the equivalent of the first-year A-level exam.
Only 15 per cent used joined-up handwriting.
I think our children are missing out. Even 20 years ago the subject did not teach fundamentals. There was a concentration on farming, igneous rocks, pollution etc, but many of us wanted a good grasp of physical and political geography first.
How can you learn about the destruction of the world's main rainforests if you don't know where to find them?
- Cate G, E Anglia
You mean someone's surprised?
- Bern, Canada
What was the ethnic mix of the children in London, the article did not state what nationality the children were and is English a first or second language, or am I not allowed to ask this.
- Lizzy Morris, bangkok, thailand
But I bet they are all very well versed on homosexuality, ethnic awareness and the slave trade!
- B. J. Carroll, Hong Kong, China
So what else is new? When I visit UK people often confuse Hong Kong with Japan. It's called stupidity and ignorance, but thick parents have thick kids.
- Andrew Milner, Yokohama, Japan
I'll bet that the same children also have no idea about how close Britain came to living under a swastika flag either.
- Kim, auckland n.z
It's not surprising. Is Britain on the map?
- Paul Ward, Beijing China
It's because they never go anywhere! Working class parents have enough on working to meet the ever demanding taxes (thanks Gordon) & middle class parents (particularly mothers) would rather work to buy luxuries than spend time with their kids.
- Mandy, Sheffield
All part of Bliars Big Top circus education plan - if they don't know where they are they can't run away - the only trouble is the rest of the world seems to know where we are.
- Freddie, Northants
Bring back the good old proven methods of education that made Britain "Great". Before the experimenters messed it up, that is. Ask a teenager what 7 x 9 is and they must not use a calculator or fingers.
- Brian Deller, Marbella, Spain
In the fifties when I was at school, we used to write down where we lived, and try to make the adress as long as possible, for instance street, area, city, county, country, continent, planet, universe, and we were pre-teenagers, the kids today are semi-literate. We should stop them using calculators and computers at school, and get back to basics, geography, history, etc.
- Rod Thornton, Leeds, UK
Knowing very little of the world map was brought home to us in the late 70's when our eldest knew very little geography so out came the globe and now even our three year old granddaughter can point out places of the world on the globe and it is a game she thoroughly enjoys. Come on parents, globes cost very little and Christmas is a-coming!
- Lindy Wilson, Mersin 10, Turkey
And by attempting to eliminate Britain from maps, the EU is trying to accelerate this too.
- Ryk, London
New Labour again. They are such a joke.
- Jenny Thomas, Totnes
The children of this country must learn about the rest of world in preference to the UK. And the only time they know anything about another country is where the planes fly from and which beach they'll be sitting on. Lizzy also raises the point of ethnicity. If the children were from other backgrounds and have immigrated into this country, that should not make a difference. All children should be learning the basics, and if they are at a disadvantage because of the language, one should ask why they have not been taught English at home.
- Elaine Grant, Letchworth Garden City UK
Only 1 in 5?
- David, UK
Not surprised as the majority of school children can't read or write, or even speak English!
- Sylvia, UK
It's probably because they can't spell it, or have never heard of it.
- Hall, Saulieu, France
I'm not at all surprised - they are looking in the wrong place, try the third world - Bliar and his odious 'government' have all but destroyed UK as a going concern.
- Mike Randall, Worcester England
These days, one pupil in five couldn't find their own front door.
- Steve Webster, Amsterdam, Netherlands. (exiled)
Buy them a globe for Christmas - what a good idea.
- Roger, France
I bet they will know the way to the benefits office when they leave school!
- John Stone, Darlington,England
These kids are the future of our country (if they can find it). I think we should be worried, very worried.
- Pete, Harrow UK
This a result of labour experimenting with the education system in England, once too often.
- Robert Hall, Ilford, England
Most Americans don´t where England is either.
- Anthony Bain, Barcelona, Spain
The problem is the same here in American schools. Teachers have dumped the core cirriculum in favor of leftist indoctrination. Children are no longer taught the basics and instead are taught tolerance and multi-culturalism at the loss of actual knowledge.
- Dain, Washington DC, USA
Maybe social assistance should buy every child a globe.
- P. Cummins, East Canada
6 to 14, the age range they carried the survey out on, is a very wide age group. A 14 year old should know a lot more than a 6 year old. What is the proportion of 6 year olds who don't know where Britain is on the map? And the proportion of 14 year olds? We need to know these figures or the study is meaningless!
- James, Liverpool, UK
I've been trying to tell people this for years. I work with teenagers and often do little quizzes and there is no limit to what they don't know. Queen's name? Dunno. Capital of France? Errr? Capital of England? Blank. Is Wales in the United Kingdom? No idea. What countries are in the United Kingdom? No idea. What's furthest away, Berlin or Tokyo? What colour do you get if you mix blue with yellow? Um... orange? ...and so it goes on.
- Jrh, West London
So 1 in 5 of our children know nothing more than a chimpanzee. This is essentially what this article says and I am not surprised.
- Steve Davis, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Maybe they realise already what a mess the county's in, and don't want to find it.
- Kim, Hampshire UK
On a weekend half of them can`t find their way home so what's new?
- Philip F Graham, Ipswich Suffolk England
Perhaps the Government will give them a Sat Nav system.
- John, Farnborough, UK
Why is everyone so surprised when the school system is third world? Bring back the proper teaching methods and throw out all this PC garbage.
- Geoff Turner, Waterford, Rep of Ireland
Which only serves to confirm that the government's ludicrous claims to best ever examination results are a farce.
- Delphine, Buckinghamshire
The school officials are too busy worried whether they are PC or not!
- Forster, Austria
I could see this coming over 25 years go. Just those in a position to do something did nothing.
- Kay, Newmarket, Canada ex UK