Americans’ ignorance of history is a national scandal

Washington Post - 02-20


According to Benjamin Schmidt of Northeastern University, the number of bachelor’s degrees granted in history declined from 34,642 in 2008 to 24,266 in 2017 even as other majors, such as computer science and engineering, have seen rising enrollments. Today fewer than 2 percent of male undergraduates and fewer than 1 percent of females major in history, compared with more than 6 percent and nearly 5 percent, respectively, in the late 1960s. History departments are cutting courses and curtailing hires because of falling enrollments. The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point may even abolish its entire history department. History education in schools is so poor that students often enter college ignorant of the past — and leave just as unenlightened.