The American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl™ (AHWCCB) is an academic competition and scholarship for college/university student teams who compete in their knowledge and understanding of Western Civilization and of America’s history, founding philosophy, and civil institutions in order to determine America’s top colleges in educating students on these subjects.
American Heritage Education Foundation (AHEF) started AHWCCB™ to address a growing problem—the increasing deficiency in and need for strong civic education in our nation’s schools, culture, and society. Americans of all ages and backgrounds are increasingly uninformed about America’s founding history, principles, and civic institutions. Further, many schools and colleges no longer teach or require students to take civics, American history, or Western Civilization—though such education is a fundamental responsibility of schools. Studies and reports in the last 20 years confirm these trends.
For more information, see also article on AHWCCB™ 2017.
Below is a video from the inaugural AHWCCB™.
The Coming Crisis in Citizenship: Higher Education’s Failure to Teach America’s History and Institutions
“For the second year in a row, America’s elite universities and colleges have failed to rise above a ‘D plus’ on tests of basic knowledge about civics and American history, maintains a study commissioned by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).”
“ISI’s final report entitled, ‘The Coming Crisis in Citizenship: Higher Education’s Failure to Teach America’s History and Institutions,’ presented four pivotal findings:
- The average college senior knows very little about America’s history, government, international relations, and market economy. Their average score on the civic literacy test was 53.2 percent. ‘No class of seniors scored higher than 69 percent, or D plus.’
- Prestige doesn’t pay off. ‘An Ivy League education contributes nothing to a student’s civic learning. .. .There is no relationship between the cost of attending college and the mastery of America’s history, politics, and economy.’
- Students don’t learn what colleges don’t teach. ‘Schools where students took or were required to take more courses related to America’s history and institutions,’ says the ISI, ‘outperformed those schools where fewer courses were completed. The absence of required courses in American history, political science, philosophy, and economics suggests a negative impact on students’ civic literacy.’
- Greater civic learning goes hand-in-hand with more active citzenship. ‘Students who demonstrated greater learning of America’s history and its institutions were more engaged in citizenship activities such as voting, volunteer community service, and polticial campaigns.'”
“In 1777, John Adams wrote to his son about the importance of education. He said it was necessary to teach the next generation about America’s founding principles in order to preserve the freedom and independence so many of his fellow countrymen sacrificed to achieve. Only when we know and embrace those principles can we pass on to a new generation that which we inherited from the past. The ISI study reveals severe cracks in that foundation; cracks that need immediate attention and repair.”
-Cal Thomas, “Colleges are cheating their own students,” 2007. https://www.americancivicliteracy.org/2006/summary.html
More on AHEF addressing the need for civil education: http://www.americanheritage.org/problem