Today’s Telegraph contained startling news from the U.K. that makes me wonder about the U.S.
…Four in 10 children have never seen the inside of an art gallery, while 17 per cent haven’t visited a museum with their parents.
…a quarter of children haven’t been to the theatre, while six in 10 have never heard or been to a classical music concert. One in 10 kids hasn’t even left their home town to visit other cultural sites in the UK.
And half of parents admit they make little effort to educate their children on culture or history, relying on schools to do so.
The story did not include a margin of error, and admittedly was based on a survey of only 2,000 parents of five to 12 year-olds throughout the UK. But I have no reason to believe that numbers would be better in the U.S. Please comment if you can shed light on this.
Perhaps the most worrisome statement in the article was this: “The poll found today’s children are more likely to think of ‘culture’ as modern technology such as computer games, the rise of the digital age and fast food restaurants.”
That is backed up by the way “culture” is written about in newspapers and magazines. Video games, web phenonmena, and restaurants are all grouped together in Style or Culture sections. That may, though, be a mixed blessing — a true Culture section might simply be ignored. Again quoting the Telegraph,
When questioned on why they make no effort to make their children more ‘cultured’ and knowledgeable about past history, a fifth of parents claim their offspring simply wouldn’t be interested.