Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kim Jong Il: One of the most important figures in history

Now if that headline doesn't get your attention... I teach a class of gifted and talented middle school students from all over the this area and they were asked to write the 3 most important figures in history (with the caveat that they may only add 1 Korean to the list if they wish; see note below). Granted it's only 15 students (admittedly not enough to be a legitimate polling) but the results might suprise you. Below is the list of responses with the number of repeat votes.

  1. Adolf Hitler - 5
  2. Kim Jung Il - 4
  3. George W. Bush - 3
  4. Thomas Edison - 3
  5. Albert Einstein - 3
  6. Bill Gates - 3
  7. Abraham Lincoln - 3
  8. Christopher Columbus - 2
  9. Ahn JoongGeun (Korean independence activist)
  10. King Sejong - 2

Other mentions (1 each)
Michael Jackson
The Beatles
A.B. Nobel
Lee SunShin (Korean Admiral)
Winston Churchill
Stalin (Spelled "Starlin" )
Steven Hawking
Nikolai Lenin
Issac Newton
Ludwig VonBeethoven
William Shakespeare
Alexander the Great
Mahatma Ghandi
Mao Zedong

Belly Belly Intulesting, No?

Note: I knew that if I did not include the limit of one Korean, I would have had a list of the most important Korean historical figures (it's happened before). I explained as kindly as I could think of that even though Korea is a fine country with some great and interesting historical figures, its influence on WORLD history is very limited. I asked them to keep in mind that we were talking about the greatest figures in ALL of history. This is what they came up with. It is also worth noting that one student asked me during the polling if all the people should be "good" people; I responded that they could choose whomever they thought was the most significant in history and emphasised that there are 'important' figures in history who were VERY bad. D'ya think that influenced them at all :) Ah...young minds!

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