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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Here is my answer.

    I don't know what the average American knows about Canada, but I had assumed that most Americans could easily identify it on a map. Maybe I'm wrong about that. I really think every American should have basic knowledge about Canada.

  2. #52
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    I love this!!!
    And still, no one is answering my question...
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  3. #53
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    I don't know why Americans are bad at geography. I'm pretty good at it, I enjoy those quizzes where you have to identify countries/cities on a blank world map.

  4. #54
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    in college i've never had a lot of exams, and the ones i've had have been essay short answer most of my classes were final papers or projects that you worked on most of the semester. or were suppose to. my cultural theories class this semester is a two part exam one part of essay questions another part oral plus a case study.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  5. #55
    Senior Member Uytuun's Avatar
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    From the age of 5/6 onwards (most toddlers start school at age 3), I've had to take an exam every school year in order to be able to advance to the next year (every kid in Belgium, not just me). Not state exams, mind you. I've had to take one centrally-determined exam so far. At age 12. That's it. I'm not sure whether in the US they have binding exams every year.

    I've had an entirely multiple choice exam once in 18 years (in my second year of college). But then I did languages and literature. Multiple choice is much more common in the exact sciences.

    North-American scholars do have a reputation for lacking finesse and background when it comes to theory and fundamental science/thinking over here (once again, in the arts faculty). Also, lack of language knowledge. And knowledge in general, you know, the cramming stuff. Sometimes they aren't taken very seriously. Hah, I sound pretty French right now. My own experiences do confirm that college-level can in fact (I imagine it depends on the institution with the most expensive/prestigious colleges being very different from...other ones) there's no other way to put it, easier than over here. From what I've heard, I think that goes for all levels of education - there's just a different focus, extracurricular and social stuff seems to be way more important in the US - and I don't think that (in general, on average of course) you guys ever really catch up in certain areas.

  6. #56
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I really can't understand why Americans have such a poor grasp of geography.

    I've always known North American geography pretty well. I knew roughly where all the states were, and I knew that Canada was in the North, Mexico was in the South, and Europe was to the East, across the Atlantic. I kind of assumed most Americans knew this, because I've known it since age 7.

    I've also known Western European geography for a while, though most Americans I know, don't know that. Part of the reason I know it well, is because I took a class called "AP European History" in High School. It was an advanced, optional course that I took my Senior year in order to see if I could handle an AP class. Even before that, I knew where England, Germany, Spain, and France were on a map of Europe, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uytuun View Post
    My own experiences do confirm that college-level can in fact (I imagine it depends on the institution with the most expensive/prestigious colleges being very different from...other ones) there's no other way to put it, easier than over here. From what I've heard, I think that goes for all levels of education - there's just a different focus, extracurricular and social stuff seems to be way more important in the US - and I don't think that (in general, on average of course) you guys ever really catch up in certain areas.

    I do have to say that I feel like I had trouble understanding how things were done here, though, and I didn't focus on extracurricular or social stuff at all, and I feel like I've been penalized for it because it turns out it was expected. I was always a more focused individual, just wanted to learn. But to be fair, I think our schools are that way because social skills and having passions are extremely important to getting a job or functioning here. People don't respect you if you just want to "get a job to survive," your job is supposed to be the focus of your life, no matter how mundane it is.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Uytuun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I do have to say that I feel like I had trouble understanding how things were done here, though, and I didn't focus on extracurricular or social stuff at all, and I feel like I've been penalized for it because it turns out it was expected. I was always a more focused individual, just wanted to learn. But to be fair, I think our schools are that way because social skills and having passions are extremely important to getting a job or functioning here. People don't respect you if you just want to "get a job to survive," your job is supposed to be the focus of your life, no matter how mundane it is.
    On the upside you guys are probably nicer than the French on average and in general.

    It's just very different. Refreshing, really, but it's got downsides as well.

  8. #58
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Fair enough, at least in terms of knowing all capital cities etc. I don't think that's an absolute requirement. But I'm talking about REALLY REALLY BASIC geography. Like when someone from Ireland goes to the US and gets asked "Oh, you're from Ireland? That's in Germany, right?" and then looks confused when the Irish person explains that Ireland and Germany are two separate COUNTRIES and Germany is on the continent while Ireland is an island. Stuff like that...and that was an American in New York, not somewhere in the sticks.
    Well if they don't know that Ireland is a country then that is really terrible. I've got no explanation for that. American schools pre-college have got problems, but I'm not sure why geography would be any worse than anything else.

    EDIT: Also, I'm not sure the argument about Europe not being a world power like the US, and therefore not very important, stands. That just seems like a very US-centric worldview. Countries such as Britain and Germany are enormously influential on the world scene politically and economically. Then there's the fact that Europe is the cradle of Western civilization...
    Again I'd say that China is far more influencial than any European country. Any yet I never hear anyone complain about ignorance of Chinese geography. Coincidentally it's always when an American doesn't know something about that person's country that they get upset. Their national pride is being hurt. Europeans expect Americans to know a lot about Europe. That's a European centric worldview.
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  9. #59
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Again I'd say that China is far more influencial than any European country. Any yet I never hear anyone complain about ignorance of Chinese geography. Coincidentally it's always when an American doesn't know something about that person's country that they get upset. Their national pride is being hurt. Europeans expect Americans to know a lot about Europe. That's a European centric worldview.
    Actually its pretty bad with New Zealand too but its not just Americans - I've heard plenty stories about Britons and Canadians that have said stupid things about NZ. For example, phrases said to myself and other family members while travelling:

    - "Which part of Australia is NZ?" - Americans, Canadians, Britons
    - "Did you see the thing on the news about Australia?" - Canadians (even though they have been told repeatedly that the person is from NZ)
    - "Isn't it near Iceland?" - Americans
    - "Isn't it above Canada?" - Americans
    - "What language do they speak in NZ?" - Americans, Colombians
    - "Do you have laptops and ipods in NZ?" - Britons
    - "Are there any sealed roads in NZ?" - Americans

    And my personal favourite:

    -"Do you walk to Australia when the tide is out?" - Americans, Canadians (no, actually there's 2500km/1200mi of water between us)

    Even though its a small, insignificant country its annoying when people have all these nonsensical ideas about it. I wish they would just admit that they don't know anything about it than make stuff up and regard it as good as fact.
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    Hahaha, I've heard some good ones too. My favourite is Were the Beatles popular in NZ? Japanese have a really great impression of NZ though. Pity tickets aren't cheaper, a lot more people would go.

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