We need to rethink school

As I get older and older and forget so much more I really start to wonder what use most of what I learned in school was. I love science and I love math and I love history but I barely remember any of the specific things I learned in those subjects because I never had to use that knowledge. Was taking a year of Biology or Chemistry simply to teach me that such subjects exist? If I had not taken them (or Physics) would I still like science?

I think that grade-high school curriculum should be refocused. I think that all those 12 years could be better spent teaching children the following:

  1. how to read and write
  2. basic math
  3. problem solving (how to troubleshoot,  how to look up things, how to engineer a solution)
  4. how to manage your life (balance checkbook, figure out interest rates, read legal documents before you sign them, etc)
  5. relationship management (including treating people with respect, being aware that you aren’t the only human in the world, etc.)
  6. health (including how to eat well and sex education)
  7. creative process (learn that it’s ok to express yourself and learn how to harness creativity through art, music, etc.)
  8. civic responsibility (how to change your world, how to participate in society)

In short, we have all this time to teach children how to survive in this world but instead we leave the important things out and assume that society will teach our children these things. Most don’t learn them at all. Imagine how wonderful a place America would be if all kids when they graduate high school know these things.

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