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Prof Finds Most Students Believe America Invented Slavery

Prof Finds Most Students Believe America Invented Slavery

“Most of my students could not tell me anything meaningful about slavery outside of America”

It’s astonishing that someone who has completed eight years of grammar school and four years of high school wouldn’t know slavery has existed since the beginning of civilization.

The College Fix reports:

Most college students think America invented slavery, professor finds

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 literature—from the Classics to the modern—at 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.


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ugottabekiddinme | November 2, 2016 at 1:01 pm

No surprise to me. I have taught college classses in business law in recent years, and found that even well-qualified students in the program had been taught next to nothing of history in their so-called “social studies” courses.

Not only ignorant of world history, they were generally unsure of most of American history. Before we could study laws and legal processes, then, I had to present a mini-course just to provide them with some basic facts: the founders establishing three co-equal branches of government to divide and allocate the sovereign’s power, and their utility in forestalling power aggregation which could lead to tyranny; the fact that the Constitution is more than rights, but rather a limitation on federal power (a concept almost beyond comprehension to today’s students), and so on.

A people without its history wanders in the dark.

Etymology of the word “slave” would be a good starter in the education:

Thomas Sowell’s “Conquests and Cultures: An International History” should be required reading in that education.