Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28, 2012 2:30 PM--Geography Trivia

It blows my mind and it disappoints me at how much school students learn about geography, both in the U.S. and everywhere else in the world.  The average person knows very little about world geography outside of their own general region.

If the average American is having a conversation with someone and this person mentions Equatorial Guinea, odds are that that average American will not remember exactly what country was mentioned in that conversation.  They may remember it differently.  They may remember it as Ecuador.  They may remember it as New Guinea.  They may remember it as Guinea.  Unfortunately these four places (Equatorial Guinea, Ecuador, New Guinea, and Guinea) are entirely different.

3 of them are countries.
2 of them are in Africa.
1 of them is in South America.
1 of them is in the South Pacific split between two different continents.

Can you guess which one is which?  Give it a try before scrolling down to see the answers.  (Anyone who knows me knows I can correctly identify each one.)

Equatorial Guinea is a country in Central (or middle) Africa.
Ecuador is a country in South America.
New Guinea is an island in the South Pacific.  Half of it is part of Papua New Guinea and half of it is part of Indonesia (Papua New Guinea is in Oceania and Indonesia is in Asia, hence it is split between two continents).
Guinea is a country in West Africa.

How many did you get right?  I’m guessing most people who read this blog post could only probably properly identify one of them before looking at the answers.  This is why I think that most countries should totally revamp their geography curriculum.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jen,

    I am a social studies teacher in the United States, and can completely understand where you are coming from in regards to this. Our seventh grade classroom focuses on world cultures and we are currently studying Africa, though we spend the majority of our time on Southern Africa (notably South Africa). It is unfortunate that many do not have knowledge of that wonderful continent, but I can tell you that I am certainly doing my all to remedy this in my small town in Connecticut.

    Our curriculum focuses on many different places in the world (SW Asia/Japan/China), but the majority of our time is focused on the African continent. While I can understand that it may be frustrating that many people in the U.S., and the world, cannot find many places around the world (and notably the continent you're doing work in). Just know that at least one small classroom in one small town in a rural area of Connecticut is working hard to remedy these issues.