To every story, or at least most, there is a beginning, middle, and end. In my journey through American Historical, Political, and Civics, I started at the bottom of American knowledge. Moving through my own research, things got worse. People did a lot worse on my test for this topic, with approximately 75% of people failing to answer (a minimum) 6 questions correct. As of now, nothing has and is being done to change American Intelligence. The truth is, the American government does not care to do anything because if the public is ill-informed it benefits those elected. What is even more disheartening is without awareness at the least of american ignorance, the trend will continue of Americans failing to pick candidates for elections who accurately represent their views. Some of you may be confused so here is the explanation. My topic covers civics and politics, and politics was the category citizens were least proficient in. Not being proficient or knowledgeable in politics has a huge downside because when election season comes around, those who are clueless (in politics) are more likely to pick a candidate that is manipulative and does not represent their views because they have no idea what they are doing. Instead of handing out flyers on elections days saying which candidate believes in what, education before hand and at young age is the best way to cure ignorance.
My graph from Last Blog showing the disconnect of knowledge
Education, however effective it may be, has its faults and weaknesses. The biggest weakness being that students will not remember most of the information they are taught. That though, is another issue. Other methods would be as I first suggested, handing out informational pamphlets every election. The disadvantages with that, is you have to repeat the process, waste paper and you don’t actually plug the leak, you just mop up the drops. A third course of action would be to call out politicians for not being honest. That would be too time consuming, irrelevant and the amount of pushback from government you would get would be too much to handle. Considering all that I stuck with Choice 1, education. Now I had to zoom my lense in even more, did I want to petition the School district to teach 12th graders about elections or should I make a generalized lesson plan for teachers to use. The lesson plan is what I did, it could be used any time and is more accessible as well as adaptable. So I got a template/example from a teacher here at SLA who teaches some political happenings, and I modified it to fit my subject.
A screenshot of my LP
As a short description, this lesson plan who have the class mainly focus on researching candidates and comparing what for say, is in the papers, to what's on a non partisan or non candidature affiliated website. I chose this to be the focus because if not everyone has access to the neutral websites, through research they could deduce the most accurate and or honest medium of information.
Change is slow and most likely come to light when the next election rolls around as my LP was not finished in time to be used. That part disappoints me, but working on an LP is no picnic and you have to make sure it covers what you want. I wanted to show what information people are missing out on and prove that being uneducated is detrimental. Having done all 3 parts, I feel baffled at the lack of knowledge on the topic from the public as it is not uncommon to be wrong on this topic. I also feel that could have done something else, but appealing to the public is a daunting task as they aren’t very open to or willing to change their habits/ways.
Going over it all, the one part I would have changed was the focus of my LP. Being too specific missed out on the other important topics that I had worked on and excluding them was as if I had done the work for naught. Though you, yes you! Can make my time well spent by taking the time so when you grow up and vote, you vote with confidence that you made the right choice for you. You help the country (and me!) by weeding out the unqualified and adding the right people to politics. Be the better person and study up when voting, you’ll thank yourself for being smarter than the average citizen.