Jo-Anne Mabika


Cultural literacy is the knowledge required to be able to understand the everyday language, media, worldviews, and media issues that are encountered by people in our society today. A convenience sample of 20 men and 10 women undergraduate students at southern Adventist University in Tennessee. They were given The 2014 Cultural Literacy Test, which was a modified version of E.D. Hirsch survey and a demographics page was attached to determine whether or not cultural background, religious affiliation, parent’s education level, or family’s social class standing made a difference in cultural literacy scores on the test. Results supported the initial hypothesis, which stated that scores would be different between those students who had attended public and private school, but results were inconclusive. There was a statistically significant difference between parents’ level of education and cultural literacy scores. The higher the education level reached by the parent, the more informed they seemed on cultural literacy, based on the increase in test scores. Having the knowledge of various types of schooling better equips our students with higher levels of cultural literacy. This is helpful in raising capable young adults who are ready to face the world and all the hurdles that come with it. Future research should test cultural literacy, based on geographic area or socioeconomic status.

Keywords: Cultural Literacy, Hirsch, Americans, common knowledge, public school, private school