There are startling gaps in the knowledge of people in history, literature and other cultural subjects because of an over emphasis on teaching students how to think without giving them any content. Curriculum emphasizes skills over knowledge. Teachers are taught to stress methods over subject matter. Text books are flea markets of disconnected facts. Even testing programmes such as the Standard Aptitude Test avoid evaluating substantive knowledge.
A recent survey in the USA found 43% of 17 year old tested could not place World War I in the correct half century, 39% could not do the same for the writing of the USA Constitution and nearly a third placed the date of Columbus's first landing in the New World after 1750.