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  #1    
Old August 20th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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I was browsing the internet earlier and came across a picture that I could relate to; I'll type it out instead of pasting though to emit all the swearing :p

Quote:
Things I Never Learned In High School
  • How to do taxes
  • What taxes are
  • How to vote
  • How to write/balance a cheque book
  • Anything to do with banking
  • How to take out loans for college
  • How to jump start a car or other emergency things
  • How to buy a car or house
But I'm so glad I know the Pythagorean Theorem. Thanks school!
So basically the question is: does the current school curriculum teach the right skills needed for life? These are mostly all skills that you learn later in life, but should these be taught in school to avoid the worrying or confusion that accompanies these tasks in the first place? I see no reason why this can't be a once a week lecture in the last year of college to prepare you for the big wide world outside of education, but currently these skills aren't being taught and are left to be worked out alone instead.

And as a second question, are the subjects taught in the current curriculum valid? If you take Maths at an advanced level, you'll come across numerous concepts such as integration, differentiation, vectors, parametric equations, etcetera, but are all these skills that are needed for later life? This applies to most subjects, so surely there must be some reason for learning this material other than for passing exams, but a lot of it seems so specialised that it simply won't be needed unless a very specific career path is followed - so why are we all learning it?
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  #2    
Old August 20th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Why college? Do kids that drop out of high school not need to know how to do any of those things listed?

I think as of now those kinds of things are relegated to families that teach you, which is why it would be much more useful freshman/sophomore year of high school for people that either aren't going to college or are dropping out of school. People that go on to college often have at least one family member or adult that they can count on (at least, it's far more likely than with people that don't go on to higher education or drop out), so they can ask about this kind of thing.
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  #3    
Old August 20th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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I actually had a class in High School that covered every single bullet point you mentioned, lol. Also, a lot of that is stuff you learn form your parents, (I did) or at least you should learn.
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  #4    
Old August 20th, 2012, 08:51 AM
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Mostly, yes. Where I live, sophomores are required to take a civics and economics class, which explains much of America's political system and handling money in general. The thing is, I've taken it at an honors level, not to mention that I tend to be one of the top students in my class, which means other students may not have acquired as much knowledge as I have. My school also offers electives that teach students about college life and even more in-depth and higher class related to economics.

And as Toujours said above, these things seem to be something that a parent should teach, nor a teacher.

And about your second question. It's understandable that someone who plans to major in writing does not need to know advanced calculus, but there are far too many jobs in the STEM field(and even some in the humanities) that requires a decent knowledge of math, even though most high school kids tend to simply shrug mathematics off as useless luggage. By removing the core math material (Such as the Pythagorean Theorem, which is one of the most basic concepts of geometry), we may end up inhibiting America's technological edge.
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  #5    
Old August 20th, 2012, 08:52 AM
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I actually learned how to vote in my government class and learned some of the basics of how to do my taxes in econ class. That's all due to a few outstanding teachers though. Others who had different teachers learned about supply and demand curves or whatever those things are. But, yeah, these things should be standard somewhere in your education just like learning the "facts of life" are.

But I also think learning math and science are important. I come across dozens of people every week in my job who don't know a thing about math. Like, they have to have a calculator to multiply two numbers together. I think we need to keep as many subjects available as possible so that students can have as many options open to them as possible. If students only learned "the things they'll use in life" then they'll never become scientists or anything like that. We'd be limiting their possibilities.
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  #6    
Old August 20th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Yeah.. I didn't learn any of that stuff in school. I learned most through my parents, but it still confuses me when they throw around terms like RSPs and some law stuff to do with banking.

Also mortgages are a bit confusing to me..
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  #7    
Old August 20th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Guys guys, I wasn't saying you should learn these things from your parents. Do you want people without competent role models to be punished in life because they never got the chance to learn these kinds of things? I totally agree that this should be a small segment in school, preferably high school. In fact, I would add a few things to it:

-How to shop for value
-How to negotiate for a higher salary
-Necessary items to move out on your own
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  #8    
Old August 20th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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These are some good lessons too:

http://www.cracked.com/article_18611...in-school.html


Overall, though, these and the one's mentioned in the topic are important lessons regardless of who teaches them, so I don't care who does. Also, the Pythagorean theorem is awesome and anyone who snarks about it not being important deserves to be ridiculed.
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  #9    
Old August 21st, 2012, 07:31 AM
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-How to prepare to live on your own
-How to get and keep a job
- How to manage your money
These are useful things I wish school taught you. In my opinion, stuff taught in school dosen't prepare you for life in the real world.
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  #10    
Old August 21st, 2012, 10:24 AM
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I don't know how a school can be expected to teach you to manage your finances, get a job, and live on your own. Like, how do you teach and grade responsibility like that?
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  #11    
Old August 21st, 2012, 11:07 AM
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I never learnt to do hard fractions properly. And some other stuff.
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  #12    
Old August 22nd, 2012, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarf View Post
I don't know how a school can be expected to teach you to manage your finances, get a job, and live on your own. Like, how do you teach and grade responsibility like that?
It doesn't have to be graded. Schools don't grade you on sex ed (I hope) and this can just work that way. As for how to teach it, just give the basics. Maybe "how to live on your own" is a bit of a long-shot but I've come up with a list of stuff I was never taught which I wish I had been:

Spoiler:
-How to write a CV.
-How to apply for a loan, especially (and kinda ironically) as a student.
-How interest rates work.
-What taxes are and how they work.
-How to apply for a job.
-What types of bank accounts there are and how they work.
-How to be assertive and get what you want.
-How to sell yourself to an employer or otherwise.
-How to perform well in an interview.
-How to sound formal and professional on the phone and in writing.
-How to live on a budget.
-How to negotiate for a higher salary or a promotion.
-How to vote.
-How politics work.
-What a mortgage is.


And there are probably more.

On one hand, I'm not complaining about being taught the procedure by which DNA is duplicated or how electrophilic addition reactions work - these are things which helped me get into university. But amusingly, a number of the things in that list are things needed at university so lol.

Regarding who should teach these sort of things, I don't think it's the parents' job at all. The parents should help you develop as a person and care for you and stuff like that but with school involved they shouldn't have to teach anything that can be taught at all. Not all parents are even confident in these sorts of things anyway - I've asked my uncle several times about how interest on loans works, for example, and put simply he couldn't explain it properly because, as much as he'd hate to admit it, he didn't know what he was on about. No. It's the job of people who are able to teach and know what they're on about to teach these important things.

So, to answer the questions,
Quote:
does the current school curriculum teach the right skills needed for life?
definitely not imo. I'd ask if, aside from sex ed, schools even teach any life skills at all. That's what's so wrong here - the place where kids spend so much time and learn so much is also the place where they're taught absolutely nothing, in my experience, about how the adult world works. It's pretty bad.

Quote:
are the subjects taught in the current curriculum valid?
they're valid in the sense that they get you further on in life to where you want to be and I wouldn't remove any of them to add in the stuff I mentioned in this post. What does need to be done, though, is to add more time teaching the things that matter in everyone's life. Maybe just an hour a week would do it - anything to at least get the basic foundations of adult life in there.
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  #13    
Old August 22nd, 2012, 03:08 AM
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I've learnt a lot of this sort of stuff from a scheme I was part of that helps you with university applications and living at uni. We went on a 3 day residential at a college to prepare for uni, and learned things like good interview technique, budgeting, cooking, how to finance yourself as well as study skills. Learning this should be part of pse (personal social education). things like budgeting and learning how to write cvs are useful but a lot of it like cooking and cleaning are just common sense really :u
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  #14    
Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:10 PM
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I never learned any of those in high school that you listed. I was a little embarrassed when I had to ask my dad so many questions about writing a check/going to the bank for the first time.

Schools are already pressured and cutting out curriculums such as art, PE, etc in my area so I doubt they'll ever add these things to their list of priorities. Maybe if schools had more money and time it could be possible.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarf View Post
I don't know how a school can be expected to teach you to manage your finances, get a job, and live on your own. Like, how do you teach and grade responsibility like that?
These are really things one should be picking up from their parents & family members. Like, I knew how to write checks when I was a young. But then again, I was pretty perceptive and inquisitive as a kid, and my parents encouraged that, so.
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  #16    
Old September 6th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livewire View Post


These are really things one should be picking up from their parents & family members. Like, I knew how to write checks when I was a young. But then again, I was pretty perceptive and inquisitive as a kid, and my parents encouraged that, so.
Not everyone is in that sort of situation, though. In fact, I wouldn't say that many of my friends at all have learned these sort of things from their parents. I definitely never did. So, even though it's something that parents are able to teach, it's not really something that they all teach so I think that schools should still have an involvement with this sorta thing.
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  #17    
Old September 6th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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@Razor Leaf: Everything you've mentioned makes sense, and an extra hour a week or so to learn how to write a cover letter or take out a loan or vote seems good, but I just wonder about the chances of getting bad information. Like, I know there are always bad teachers here and there, but classes come with textbooks and so on and there's only so much a teacher can screw up. A lot of these life skills have an element of preference and choice in them, especially the ones like selling yourself to employers. I don't know if I'd like the idea of a teacher telling high school kids how to dress, etc. for a job interview or something like that. Not because there aren't certain expectations about that, but because a teacher could easily cross lines.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor Leaf View Post


Not everyone is in that sort of situation, though. In fact, I wouldn't say that many of my friends at all have learned these sort of things from their parents. I definitely never did. So, even though it's something that parents are able to teach, it's not really something that they all teach so I think that schools should still have an involvement with this sorta thing.
It's really as simple as walking into your kitchen or an office or wherever your parents lounge at or where they pay bills. I learned how to write a check just from the ones my Parents would write for my lunch money fro the week at school. :o
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Old October 13th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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After primary school, students should be able to choose different paths for secondary school. Those who plan on working after high school would have a program that is more vocational and teaches life skills, while those who plan on going to college would study subjects that are required for college admission and readiness.
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  #20    
Old October 14th, 2012, 12:45 AM
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For real, they need to have a survival class or something.
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  #21    
Old October 14th, 2012, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14 View Post
After primary school, students should be able to choose different paths for secondary school. Those who plan on working after high school would have a program that is more vocational and teaches life skills, while those who plan on going to college would study subjects that are required for college admission and readiness.
I wouldn't expect a primary school student to really know what they plan to do with the rest of their lives. Maybe this would work but only towards the last year or two of high school - but definitely not from the start of it. That's too soon.
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  #22    
Old October 17th, 2012, 06:43 PM
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I took AP in most of my subjects,and sadly,most of that was not included.
A parent should be able teach those sorts of things,not just because they are basic life skills,but also for the fact that kids should be able to learn that in a more personal way then a school could provide,makes any sense.
To be honest,I don't really use advanced mathematics,nor do I think i'll really need them all that much,but i'm not saying that i'd rather have not learned them. (I CRAVE knowledge!! 0.O)
As for whether or not they should add more subjects to the curricular of the average school/academy,my vote would be yes,but at the current state of their budget...it's rather unlikely. :/
If they did,it should be at the end of high school. Not everybody (myself included) want to,or are going to,college. :l
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  #23    
Old October 17th, 2012, 09:30 PM
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The only reason I know anything about financial stuff is because my mother is bank manager. Otherwise I'm positive I couldn't do any of those things. English class is the worst. Never in my life will essay writing skills be useful, I'm not going to continue studying English after high school and I don't know any job that you have to write frequent essays for.
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  #24    
Old October 18th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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I never learned how to do metric conversions in high school because they teach with a heavy dependence on imperial units, which really made it interesting when I got a job in Canada and started having to learn how to do metric-imperial conversions.

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