What do you think that should be taught as "core" subjects in school ?
Many states are requiring that cursive writing and multiplication tables be taught, along with reading, science and Home Economics. What do you think that should be required in today's computerized world?
Reading and Writing, Mathematics, Science are the basics everybody needs to know about.
I do think most school system lack more practical things, though.
For instance, when I was going to school many of life's daily things were ignored. I wasn't taught how to write a good resume, balance my check book or even how credit worked.
I believe schools need to expand to teach our kids what we all REALLY need to know before they head out into the world on their own.
I do not see why cursive writing is being required by various states. I was taught cursive in elementary school or middle school (my memory eludes me), and never once have I used it since. On top of the standard math, reading, and science, I'd have to agree with tehgyb that schools need to teach more practical things that students will NEED in the "real" world. Surely, I commend anyone who can make beautiful handwritten documents using cursive, but I don't think its a necessary skill that should be forced on everyone. I believe that everyone should be taught, at the very least, the basics of computer programming. I'm not a programmer myself, but I'm slowly trying to teach myself and I plan on taking a few college courses on the subject as well. Almost all of us (at least if you are reading this) interact with some sort of technology on a daily basis, and yet we've no idea how it works. I also believe that philosophy courses should be required of students. I'm not a psychologist or well-versed in any sort of child development, so I can't say at what age philosophy would be appropriate, but it should at least be required in high school. We teach kids facts upon facts upon facts and then expect them to jump into the workforce and be able to critically think. But unfortunately, all they have learned to do is memorize. If you want kids to be able to think critically, and more importantly, if you want them to value critical thinking, throw some philosophy at them. And, to the best of my knowledge, philosophy and computer science actually compliment each other very well due to their heavy reliance on formal logic.
1. Reading, writing, mathematics, and the sciences are absolutely necessary.
2. Key skills course that includes such things as how to fill in forms, do tax returns, write letters, write a CV, drive vehicles, avoid getting into debt, avoid gambling and drug addictions, eat healthily, use a computer, etc.
3. Psychology. I know this seems a bit out of left-field, but an understanding of how we think and how to cope with life's difficulties can go a long way. Not only would it reduce depression, but it would help us to understand each other and ourselves more than we do. I'm sure there would be a lot less conflict in the world if we did.
Currently, schools only seem to be providing #1 from this list.
I have one child starting Kindergarten and one right behind him, so I am approaching this question from a personal standpoint.
I am a big believer in teaching children Economics because most people do not understand that even an adult. I was once a banker and it surprised me that most people don't even understand the concept of a simple checking and savings account. Unfortunately, parents usually pass on their bad money habits to their children, thus creating a cycle, which is a more important factor contributing to poverty than socio-economic policies.
Next, I am surprised that philosophy is not taught at an earlier age. Even though I understand most of the concepts are above what an 8 year old can comprehend, I still think that reasoning and ethics would be a good start.
I agree with you on Economics. I had my theatre students do a build-a-theatre production project where they had to balance a check book. A student ended up over $200K in debt. His response: "I still had checks left. I thought I still had money."
1. Media Literacy (how to navigate media knowing what is trustworthy and what is trash)
2. How to use technology
3. Reading technical documents, applications, articles, for pleasure, for understanding
4. Writing to communicate, writing in the professional realm, writing to express oneself and reflect
7. Historical Perspectives - to develop an understanding and appreciation of other cultures
8. The arts - creative expression and creation is so important. I took music all through my formative years and I believe it made me better at math and languages. Also, the creative classes KEEP certain students in school who otherwise have no desire to be there.
9. PE & Physical and Mental Health - My soapbox on PE. I hated it as a kid, but ALL students NEED physical activity every day and our technological and test-heavy world is not allowing it. Kids lose focus and muscle when they sit all day. Their brains function better when they exercise. And childhood and adult obesity could decrease if healthy movement and nutrition were emphasized and encouraged. Health is a duh, but mental health - our kids need coping mechanisms....
10. Careers - something to allow students to explore careers and their interests, to maybe intern or job shadow in an interesting field, and even to train as they get older. Also, these courses would teach the universal career needs (responsibility, efficiency, team work, etc)
11. Life Skills - budgeting, buying, investing, laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc.
12. AND I'm going to say it, but let lunch be healthy AND a time for students to socialize and move around. Give them a recess period to move and socialize. Quiet lunches are horrible!!! (This coming from the teacher who gets them AFTER the quiet lunch when they can no longer hold back the words they want to say!!!!)
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