Does travel broaden the mind?

By | Category: Travel news

Older readers may take a dim view of educational standards in schools compared to when they went to school.

Tower Bridge in London. A familiar sight but how many primary schhol age children know London is the capital of the UK?

They may be right if the results of a recent survey of primary school children are anything to go by!

Leapfrog, a company that promotes education growth in children by technology, asked a variety of questions about geography in the world which has resulted in some, frankly depressing, conclusions. That is, unless the kids haven’t been taught this information by their schools or their parents in the first place

Take the capital of the UK. It’s London, of course, and you would expect all children to know that but apparently 7% of primary school age children don’t.  Saying that 95% do recognise that London is the capital is to put a positive spin on what surely every child should know?

That 79% are unaware that the Acropolis is in Athens, 49% have no idea that the Colosseum is in Rome, only 19% thoughts that the Taj Mahal was in India and 35% didn’t know that Berlin was in German is perhaps less concerning because how much overseas geography is taught either by schools or parents. I would have thought the concentration would be on your own country first.

But 52% didn’t know that Ben Nevis is in Scotland. I wonder how many adults know?

Leapfrog point out that this generation of children is widely travelled. Parents were also quizzed and they say that their children are much more worldly than they were at the same age. 

The average child goes on two holidays abroad a year, and has visited more than five countries outside of the UK. One in 10 have flown either premium economy or business class.

One of the arguments traditionally used by the travel industry – and me – is that travel broadens the mind. You learn about different cultures and see how others live, what they eat and learn about their heritage.

Could it be that we are misguided? Could it be that children are absorbing less than we think?

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