ERIC Number: ED213319
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
What College Students Know and Believe about Their World.
Freshmen and seniors in four-year colleges and students in two-year institutions were surveyed nationally in 1980 to determine their understanding of the world and world issues. The survey, which was based on a sample of about 3,000 undergraduates at 185 institutions, included a test of global understanding and three questionnaires on students' backgrounds and interests, their foreign language backgrounds and proficiency and their attitudes toward foreign nations and world issues. The performance of the students on the test revealed a considerable lack of knowledge of topics the test developers felt were important. All three groups did well on questions concerned with population, physical geography, and arts and culture. Their weakest performance was on questions having to do with energy and religion. Significantly, many students were uninformed about issues that have been widely reported and discussed in the news media. Even those students who were above-average scorers had serious misconceptions about many key world issues and facts, including: the causes of inadequate nutrition; and whether the comparative world membership of Islam predominates or has a significant minority. About 90 percent of the seniors reported in the language questionnaire that they had learned or studied a foreign language, but relatively few felt that they could put their language education to much use. The development and content of the questions in the test and the questionnaires, as well as results and interpretation are covered. (SW)
Descriptors: Civil Liberties, College Freshmen, College Second Language Programs, College Seniors, College Students, Energy, Environment, Ethnicity, Food, Foreign Countries, Global Approach, Higher Education, Humanities, Intellectual Disciplines, International Relations, Knowledge Level, National Surveys, Race, Religion, Second Language Learning, Self Concept, Student Attitudes, Student Interests, War, World Affairs
Change Magazine Press, 271 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801 (single copy, $5.95; 10 or more, $4.95 each).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council on Learning, New Rochelle, NY.; Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
Note: A synopsis of "College Students' Knowledge and Beliefs: A Survey of Global Understanding" by Thomas S. Barrows, Stephen F. Klein, and John L. D. Clark.