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Old 01-18-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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From my experiences in Europe, everyone I encountered had heard of Atlanta...though I'm not sure it went any further than that.

European knowledge of U.S. geography is just about as good as American knowledge of European geography...
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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My freshman year of high school, my American History teacher gave us a blank map of the US one day and told us to fill in the states. I don't mean to brag, but I was one of two students out of about 25 or so that successfully completed the assignment. I happened to glance over to the kid next to me, and he had Missouri (the state we were in), Florida, California, and nothing else!! Geography is vastly under-taught in American schools. Everyone should at least know what the 50 states are and where they are located! Sorry, but this is my biggest pet peeve. When I moved to St. Louis from Wyoming, I got very sick of people asking "is that a state?". The map is very funny by the way.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Strathclyde & Málaga
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Not all are ignorant of the U.S

I used to be a flight dispatcher and i used to get asked all sorts of strange questions from American tourists
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethewest View Post
My freshman year of high school, my American History teacher gave us a blank map of the US one day and told us to fill in the states. I don't mean to brag, but I was one of two students out of about 25 or so that successfully completed the assignment. I happened to glance over to the kid next to me, and he had Missouri (the state we were in), Florida, California, and nothing else!! Geography is vastly under-taught in American schools. Everyone should at least know what the 50 states are and where they are located! Sorry, but this is my biggest pet peeve. When I moved to St. Louis from Wyoming, I got very sick of people asking "is that a state?". The map is very funny by the way.
It's undertaught, yet your history teacher was teaching it...
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
It's undertaught, yet your history teacher was teaching it...
No, not really. This map assignment was about it. There wasn't even a geography class offered at my school.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lovethewest View Post
No, not really. This map assignment was about it. There wasn't even a geography class offered at my school.
I have always taught geography in my classes - in elementary school - and my coworkers do as well. It isn't a specific class because there isn't enough time in the day for anything else, but it is incorporated into other areas like Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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Funny, but why is New Jersey so big? I mean, New York is known worldwide, but New Jersey??
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:24 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
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Originally Posted by fnord View Post
Funny, but why is New Jersey so big? I mean, New York is known worldwide, but New Jersey??
Oh sure, thanks to The Sopranos.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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This map is funny and I always wondered just how well people in England know where the US states and regions are... probably they still know much more than we do about where, say, Sussex is. Now I don't know where Sussex is EXACTLY but I know it's not near Scotland... I know where London is located but have a vague sense of other cities like Liverpool and Manchester (I know what side of the country they're on but couldn't point to a blank map and tell you precisely where).

When I was a kid I traveled across the U.S. and when people would find out I was from Upstate NY, they would ask to hear my accent. Because apparently they thought everyone from New York was from New York City and tawked like Noo Ywokers. NOPE. Or they were surprised to learn there were farms and cows. Wow. And then I once heard from some lady who traveled across the state and saw the Finger Lakes and couldn't believe the scenery. What, do people think the entire state is paved?! And then often you have to explain to foreign tourists that you cannot visit New York City and also see Niagara Falls on a day trip.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
I have always taught geography in my classes - in elementary school - and my coworkers do as well. It isn't a specific class because there isn't enough time in the day for anything else, but it is incorporated into other areas like Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.
You're right... this is the problem. If school districts made geography a specific class, it would mean cutting something else out of the curriculum and we would be on here complaining about the loss of whichever aspect of the curriculum was lost in place of geography.

Given the state of schools around the country, there is so little else that can be dropped from the curriculum (or the budget). It's a shame, but it's reality.

As far as Europeans knowing US geography, I agree with the notion that they know as much about us as we do about them. I met some kids when I was younger vacationing in Scotland who gave me a puzzled look when I mentioned "Massachusetts" to them, but they knew Boston and even Cape Cod immediately. My experiences on other trips is that the average European knows most major cities and a good deal of secondary ones. They also know primary tourist spots (like the Yellowstone area on the map shows) such as Cape Cod, Maine, Florida Coast (and cities like Tampa and Miami), the Rockies, etc. I guess that's similar to us knowing about the French Riviera, etc.

When I was in college, I went to school in Maine. Back in Massachusetts one summer, a girl I went to high school with (she never left our hometown) asked me if people in Maine drive on the same side of the road as we do in Mass or if they spoke English up there (I'm not kidding).... We've got our own set of issues domestically as well.
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