There are a number of different things that people can be good at. Some people are very good thinkers and become rocket scientists. Others might not be as smart with their brains, instead, they are brilliant at practical things such as carpentry or a plumbing.
How useful are the things we learn in school anyway
When we left school, we knew a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff that we will never use in life. After completing high school, I went to university and completed 2 degrees. To this day I still haven’t used anything in physics or chemistry that I wasted hundreds of hours learning. I was also forced to learn French in school, which is brilliant because Australians often decide to take day trips to the Alps.
I knew a lot things I would never use again when I finished school but I wasn’t taught common sense or life skills. Thankfully my parents stepped in and showed me these things. I fear, however, for those children with parents who don’t do the same for them.
To illustrate, about a month ago I posted the status below on Facebook. It was a bit of a rant that was intended for my friends (as you can tell by the half-assed formatting and poor grammar!) but through the power of social media it went a little bit viral. It received 938 Likes over the course of a couple of days.
“Something costs $8.25, i give the girl a $10 note and 25 cents. She gives me back the 25 cents and said “you gave me too much ill get your change” i said “no, you keep the 25 cents and give me a $2 coin” she said “why would i do that?” i said “type $10.25 into the till and see what happens” she said “WOW i didn’t know you could do that”!!
I am not even joking, the look on the poor girls face when I explained it to her this was astounding. It was like I had just told her she had won a million dollars (assuming that she knows how much that is).
It is not common knowledge
I find it worrying that people do not have common knowledge about simple things like this. I have also met people who do not know how to use a tape measure, a spirit level or a hammer. This is worrying because how are they going to hang all the photos of them pulling duckfaces with their ‘besties’ on the wall of their loungeroom?
How about teaching kids how to wire a plug? Teach them how to cook a steak on a barbecue? What about some basic first aid and how to put out a kitchen fire? And nobody should be allowed to finish school without first having the common sense to not post videos of them and their mates breaking the law on YouTube. We could even add in a part that teaches kids the difference between art and vandalism showing them why it isn’t OK to scrawl your name across a wall with the flair of somebody who has a motor neuron disease.
What is the point in teaching school kids advanced things like trigonometry and physics when they don’t even know simple life skills? When I am walking and come to a hill, I look at it and if its too steep I don’t walk up it. I don’t need to do math to work out the angle of incline to tell me that it is too much for my lazy ass.
When I was in school I had to spend 30 minutes a day reading. Yes I can recite a couple of quotes from Shakespeare, but what use is that to anybody who doesn’t want a post-graduate degree in gobbledygook Look at the way he wrote; it doesn’t even make sense… He obviously spent a lot of the time drunk.
Schools should teach kids things they might actually need to know
Here is an idea Mr & Mrs Govern-mentalist… How about teaching school kids some practical things that they can use in every day life? Make schools more than a machine turning out kids with a letter attached to their names. Teach them the some of the skills they require to become an adult as well such as simple finance, how to apply for a job and how to wire a plug.
Instead of wasting time with silly languages spoken on the other side of the world. Schools could use the time to teach kids how easy it is to shop for healthy ingredients and cook them into proper meals. It sounds crazy but this might actually help stop the future obesity crisis that Australia is facing. This might stop people from waddling out to the nearest takeaway every night for a kilogram of chips and a deep fried Mars Bar, instead they might actually cook something healthy.
I know that there will be excuse after excuse about why this will never happen. The fluro jacket brigade will likely step in to demand that teachers will need a degree in cookery and a masters in health & safety otherwise the kids will be going home with 7 fingers and knives sticking out of their eyes.
Maybe it is time for those of us with common sense and logic to write a new curriculum.