I'm shocked. My (apparently) highly intelligent Year 10 and 11 students are, it would seem, sadly lacking in basic general knowledge. Among the things I have discovered in the last week that they don't know are: Who Beethoven was ("Isn't he a dog?") Who Joan of Arc was The fact that we used to burn people at the stake (viz Joan of Arc) Why we used to burn people at the stake How else we used to execute people That Austria is in the continent of Europe That there is a Chinatown in London What a suburb is That Hawaii is in America That Charles Dickens lived in the 19th century That some Canadians speak french Where Libya is That Africa is a continent I can honestly say I knew all these things (and more) when I was 16. I mean I don't expect them all to be Einsteins, but I do wonder whether they all walk around blissfully unaware of everything that they are not explicitly told?