In the second part of a two-part “60 Minutes” interview which aired today, historian David McCullough took a swipe at American education, calling the country’s children “historically illiterate” and encouraging teachers to major in subjects other than education. McCullough was careful to spread the blame:
I ran into some students on university campuses who were bright and attractive and likeable. And I was just stunned by how much they didn’t know. One young woman at a university in the Midwest came up to me after one of my talks and said that until she heard me speak that morning she’d never understood that the original 13 colonies were all on the East Coast. And I thought, “What are we doing that’s so wrong, so pathetic?” I tried it again at several other places, colleges and universities, same thing. Now, it’s not their fault. It’s our fault. And when I say our fault I don’t mean just the teachers. I mean the parents and grandparents. We have to take part.
Viewers were quick to agree with McCullough’s dire diagnosis.
David McCullough says we are historically illiterate as a nation. Truth! We need to appreciate and learn the past.
— Raquel S. (@QuelleLove) November 12, 2012
David McCullough talking about how historically illiterate young Americans are… tell me something I don’t know.
— Jane (@MdsnJn) November 12, 2012
“I never knew the 13 original colonies were on the east cost” -a college freshman said to David McCullough; 60mintues. #whatafuckingidiot
— Casey Barry (@casebarr) November 12, 2012
60 Minutes’ interview with David McCullough made me very proud to have been a history major.
— Tom Kirby (@TKinRealLife) November 12, 2012
David McCullough tonight on #60minutes – amazing cry for historians of tomorrow
— Johnnie Kling (@johnniekling) November 12, 2012
David McCollough asserts we are “history illiterate”, especially the young. I concur, we’re doomed to repeat the worst. m.cbsnews.com/searchfullstor…
— David McKeehan (@davidmckeehan) November 12, 2012
Watching the 60 Minutes segment on David McCullough reminds me why I have a history degree and why I love it so much. Such a badass man.
— David Fifer (@D_Fifer) November 12, 2012
David McCullough: “We are raising children who are historically illiterate” … sadly, he is right. And many of the parents are just as bad.
— Crowley Report (@crowleyreport) November 12, 2012
“we are raising children in America today who are by and large historically illiterate” -David McCullough — PREACH.
— lay lay (@penstone) November 12, 2012
— Jay Eitner (@PrincipalEit) November 12, 2012
One fix suggested: bring back the family dinner table.
Agreed.. David McCullough, ‘parents, bring back dinner time and teach your kids’.Parents are failing kids in that way. turn off the tv.
— Stan Darke (@VintageStan) November 12, 2012
McCullough did call for the nation to “seriously revamp the teaching of the teachers,” adding that he didn’t feel that “any professional teacher should major in education” — another suggestion applauded by many.
David McCullough is dropping knowledge about the education problem in America right now.
— Andrew Harner (@beeeeeeps) November 12, 2012
Ah! David McCullough just made a point I’ve argued about for years. Teachers should major in a subject they want to teach, not in education.
— Tele (@LynnInOhio) November 12, 2012
here here! David McCullough! Teachers should be experts in a SUBJECT. Their passion transforms you.
— Beth Wareham (@GiantSweetTart) November 12, 2012
David McCullough is right, NO teacher should major in “education”, they should major in a subject. Have mastery and passion to pass along.
— Adam Stockinger (@AdamStockinger) November 12, 2012
— Beth Bye (@BethBye) November 12, 2012