TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Should the American school system place a greater focus on International Studies?

In some places in the US, Texas for example, teaches Texas history with little focus outside of the state through high school. With the current state of technology and an ever increasing global economy, should it not be a concern to avoid the "American" stigma and allow our children to be knowledgable of world history and things outside of America?

It may seem like a common sense question, but I just don't see the focus, especially in public school systems.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 6 2013: Yes. As an Australian participating in an American forum I am often surprised by how little knowledge the "average" US citizen has of even close allies like us or New Zeland. To a large extent I think its because the US has been self sufficient for so long and not had to look over seas for resources or technology. The problem is you eventually stop looking outside your box and miss really good stuff. I must admitt it is a pet hate of mine that most Americans assume so many things are US developed or discovered when they actually come from elsewhere. We get a lot of US TV here and I tend to cringe when Dr OZ or someone does an article about some new medical breakthrough that we've had in Australia for years.(helicobacter pylori, cochlear implants, spray-on skin for burns etc)
    • Feb 6 2013: I do love American culture, and I also love other cultures as well. My undergraduate experience in a school with several different types of people represented opened my eyes to the world beyond the US. I truly appreciate the things I have learned from different cultures. I look at places in Europe where it is almost the norm to speak a second language; however the typical American may believe English is the only way. This is one of the factors that contribute to why I posed the question. Language is sometimes the gateway to another culture.

      Point blank, I think International Studies and its importance is undervalued in the American school system.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.