Skip to comments.Most college students think America invented slavery, professor finds
Posted on 11/02/2016 2:31:13 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
For 11 years, Professor Duke Pesta gave quizzes to his students at the beginning of the school year to test their knowledge on basic facts about American history and Western culture.
The most surprising result from his 11-year experiment? Students overwhelming belief that slavery began in the United States and was almost exclusively an American phenomenon, he said.
Most of my students could not tell me anything meaningful about slavery outside of America, Pesta told The College Fix. They are convinced that slavery was an American problem that more or less ended with the Civil War, and they are very fuzzy about the history of slavery prior to the Colonial era. Their entire education about slavery was confined to America.
Pesta, currently an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has taught the gamut of Western literaturefrom the Classics to the modernat seven different universities, ranging from large research institutions to small liberal arts colleges to branch campuses. He said he has given the quizzes to students at Purdue University, University of Tennessee Martin, Ursinus College, Oklahoma State University, and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
The origin of these quizzes, which Pesta calls cultural literacy markers, was his increasing discomfort with gaps in his students foundational knowledge.
They came to college without the basic rudiments of American history or Western culture and their reading level was pretty low, Pesta told The Fix.
Before even distributing the syllabus for his courses, Pesta administered his short quizzes with basic questions about American history, economics and Western culture. For instance, the questions asked students to circle which of three historical figures was a president of the United States, or to name three slave-holding countries over the last 2,000 years, or define capitalism and socialism in one sentence each.
Often, more students connected Thomas Jefferson to slavery than could identify him as president, according to Pesta. On one quiz, 29 out of 32 students responding knew that Jefferson owned slaves, but only three out of the 32 correctly identified him as president. Interestingly, more students six of 32actually believed Ben Franklin had been president.
Pesta said he believes these students were given an overwhelmingly negative view of American history in high school, perpetuated by scholars such as Howard Zinn in A Peoples History of the United States, a frequently assigned textbook.
Whats more, he began to observe a shift in his students quiz responses in the early 2000s. Before that time, Pesta described his students as often historically ignorant, but not politicized. Since the early 2000s, Pesta has found that many students come to college preprogrammed in certain ways.
They cannot tell you many historical facts or relate anything meaningful about historical biographies, but they are, however, stridently vocal about the corrupt nature of the Republic, about the wickedness of the founding fathers, and about the evils of free markets, Pesta said. Most alarmingly, they know nothing about the fraught history of Marxist ideology and communist governments over the last century, but often reductively define socialism as fairness.
Pesta also noted that, early on, his students blissful ignorance was accompanied by a basic humility about what they did not know. But over time he said he increasingly saw a sense of moral superiority in not knowing anything about our racist and sexist history and our biased institutions.
As we now see on campus, Pesta said, social justice warriors are arguing that even reading the great books of Western culture is at best a micro-aggression, and at worst an insidious form of cultural imperialism and indoctrination.
Pesta, an outspoken critic of Common Core, said he believes that these attitudes will become more pronounced moving forward, due to Common Core architect David Colemans rewrite of Advanced Placement American and European history standards.
Pesta argues that Coleman, now president of the College Board, has further politicized the teaching of history, reducing the story of Western culture to little more than a litany of crimes, exploitations, and genocides, while simultaneously whitewashing the history of ideologies like socialism and communism.
Despite no longer giving the quizzes, Pesta told The Fix that he continues to seek effective ways to teach students the literature of Western culture, which it is not only alien and complex, but often condemned by students before it is truly encountered.
We must absolutely teach those areas where Western culture has fallen short, but always with the recognition that such criticism is possible because of the freedoms and advantages offered by Western culture, he said.
They are not just students, they are “Comrade Students.”
The dumbing down of America has been a huge success.
i worry about my great nephew’s future.
Don’t worry, enough foreign students who are studying all the Science disciplines will save American R&D while the American kids Major in “Massage Therapy” or “Gender Inequality”...If American colleges accept the cream of the crop and this is how they respond to general knowledge surveys, we are doomed.
You're not kidding! I had a very difficult argument with a 24 year old relative last month about the American election. She called me a fascist pig who wanted to bring back slavery. When I explained to her that the Republican party was the reason for the emancipation of the slaves and for the restoration of civil rights in the 1960s, she went completely silent for a moment and gave me a laugh-inducing "Not uh!"
At first I thought she was kidding, and then I had to explain to her how Democrat governors in the south were the reason blacks were treated so poorly through institutional racism. She was dumbfounded. She literally called me a liar and charged out of the room when I told her that MLK was a Republican. It would've been hilarious had it not been so sad.
Public schooling at its finest.
Private/home schooling isn’t about what you do get.
It’s about what you don’t get.
I empathize. My son is a Democrat.
None of this will be a surprise to you.
We must figure out how to get your histories to replace Zinn’s in our schools.
Most colleges teach them the same things and worse.
Lots of good replies for that one.
Universities should reduce the cost of taking Science oriented courses by half and increase the Liberal Arts Zero Majors 3 fold...
Great. Tuition is astronomical, and everyone has a ‘smart phone’, but actually know less and less.
Results like this come from allowing the government to run public education.
Blacktivists have repeated the mantra “400 years of slavery” for so long many believe it; the US had legalized slavery for about 80 years (from independence until the Civil War).
Of course, they don't know it was the Republicans who ended it.
You should have slapped her face for calling you a pig!
How silly. Everyone knows that Republicans invented slavery so that Cheney and Halliburton could profit off of cheap labor.
Saw a college kid on campus one time wearing a t-shirt that read: I’m glad I are a college student.” Says it all.
It is the psychological manipulation of the little kindergarteners that embed emotions which cause “cognitive dissonance” when you expose these brainwahed children to Truth (God)-—ideas of the Founders.
The Fabian Socialists started their destruction of Western Civilization (Christianity) in 1930 with the communist/Humanist John Dewey who literally took Objective Truth out of the curricula as much as he could because we had local control of education at that point still. The Marxists took control over textbook publishing and all our major newspapers/Hollywood.
These kids are being programmed-—starting with TV/Movies-—most created by Marxists/Satanists to destroy moral formation in our children and create people who have no attention span (can’t read and understand a page in a complex book).
It is evil-—the destruction of critical thinking skills in the masses. Wisdom is ONLY acquired with a Classical Christian Education-—the ideas which created the Mind of Newton, Tesla and the Wright Bros. “Thinking” has to be practiced and critical thinking is taught-—by real life experiences and human interactions (unstructured) where children learn agency-—initiative (thinking for self). Schools embed dependency and hate for truth and create tribal minds (group-(non) -thinkers) who only “feel” the truth because they are devoid of the philosophy and wisdom of the ages and trained like Pavlov’s dog and have no agency.
These angry, brainwashed people are created by Marxist curricula called “critical theory” which just tears down all the heroes of a culture and never transmits the myths and truths-——which ALL cultures need if they are to exist. The Marxists never teach the Truth-—that this country was a Christian country and only Christianity created Free Will and Individualism and Modern Science and the Age of Reason and the US Constitution. It is the only culture which created true “education” (Classical Christian education which included the Bible, Aristotelian Logic, Rhetoric, Socratic Method and Euclidean proofs.
Now our children get “queer” studies to destroy Common Sense, warp their understanding of Truth, God, and Self——to literally flip Good and Evil . Discerning Good and Evil is what makes one wise-—now we teach kindergarteners that sodomy and baby-killing are virtues and Christianity is evil and bigoted-—the ONLY religion which is the most rational and is the ONLY religion which made Slavery into “Evil”.
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