20 things that should really be taught in school
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Thursday 5th August 2021
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
20 things that should really be taught in school
You spend 13 years in school and, by the time you graduate, you’re ready to take on the world. Or are you? Here are 20 things that should really be taught in school to prepare you for life.
Growing food is a great hands-on way for students to learn about where food comes from, develop healthy eating habits, get some outdoor exercise, and work together to accomplish a goal. With childhood obesity on the rise, there’s no better time for schools to start teaching students how to garden.
Just the thought of taxes brings a shudder to many an adult, likely because they never learned how to do them in school. According to a 2016 study from PricewaterhouseCoopers, only 12 per cent of K–12 teachers in the United States incorporate financial education into the classroom. Everyone must pay taxes, so teaching students how to complete a basic tax return would have lasting benefits. Taking it one step further, it would also be beneficial to teach students what governments use taxes for.
- Mental health
While physical education is often covered, many schools ignore students’ mental health. Yet, since mental health issues often develop during the school-age years, it stands to reason that mental health should be part of the core curriculum. Students could learn coping techniques for stress and depression such as meditation and mindfulness, talk about taboo topics like addiction and suicide, and learn to destigmatize mental health issues at large.
At its core, teaching consent is about teaching respect, which can and should be taught at any age. For young children, that may involve teaching the concepts of personal boundaries, the body, space, and touch. For older students, discussions can delve into sexuality, relationships, and communication.
It’s often reported that voter turnout is lower than many would like it to be, with countries like the United States seeing about 60 per cent voter turnout in recent elections. Perhaps those numbers would go up if students were taught concepts such as citizenship and participation, learned the history of voting and the democratic process, and took part in mock elections.
- Personal finance
In many countries, household debt is soaring, indicating that it might be time to add personal finance instruction to the curriculum. Learning how to make and stick to a budget, how to save (including how compound interest works), how to invest, how to establish credit, how to manage bill payments—these are essential skills that, if taught in school, would serve students throughout their lives.
- Car or bike maintenance
As we grow up, we need to get around more. We need to get to work, we need to get groceries, we need to take our kids to school. Many of us will drive a car or ride a bike to accomplish these tasks, so it might be a good idea to learn how to maintain our means of transportation. Practical skills like learning how to change a flat tire, change the oil in your car, or replace the brake pads on your bike would foster a sense of empowerment, self-confidence, and accomplishment.
If, by the time grade-school students head off to university, they only know how to make toast, that’s a problem. Like gardening, cooking is an opportunity to learn about food, nutrition, and diet. Cooking is also a skill that students can use throughout their lives. Since food preparation is not always taught at home, it’s important that students learn how to cook at school.
- First Nations history and culture
In many countries, students are not taught about the history and culture of their First Nations, which can perpetuate racism. Students need to learn about the lives of Indigenous peoples both past and present to ensure that crimes of the past, such as slavery and residential schools, and crimes of the present, such as systemic racism, do not persist.
- Cultural diversity
Students should be taught about many different cultures, not just the Western, white male, English-speaking version of history. It’s important for teachers to expose their students to a diverse curriculum that reflects a broader spectrum of society to celebrate diversity and foster tolerance.
- Gender identity
To combat bullying, raise awareness, and encourage tolerance, gender identity should be taught in schools, even to young children. Whether you identify as male, female, transgender, non-binary, gender-neutral, or anything else, gender identity affects us all. Tackling issues head-on can help the next generation learn to be more kind, open, and understanding than previous ones.
- How to write a resumé and cover letter
After college, students will be on the hunt for a job. That’s why it’s essential to teach them how to write a professional resumé and cover letter, how to apply for a job, and how to give a great interview. If a teacher wants to go even deeper, they can get into concepts such as personal branding and maintaining a professional social media presence.
- Media literacy
In the era of fake news, teaching critical thinking and media literacy in schools is more important than ever. Students—and the public at large—consume mass amounts of information online and they need to be able to sift through it all with a critical eye.
- First aid
First-aid training is a lifesaving skill that children can use throughout their lives. If taught in school, these skills would prepare students to help their classmates and family members in the event of an emergency.
- Survival skills
Basic survival skills—such as building a simple shelter, making a fire, tying a knot, fishing, and berry picking—are all useful skills that may come in handy one day. In addition, such skills are great for teaching cooperation, empowerment, and leadership.
- Sustainable living
According to the United Nations, “Climate change is the defining issue of our time.” As such, it makes sense that schools should teach students about sustainable living, covering topics such as fast fashion, active transit, and renewable energy.
- Human rights
Incorporating human rights education into the school curriculum can be a good way to “prevent bullying, discrimination, and promote inclusion and respect for diversity.” Students can learn that, no matter our ethnicity, gender, colour, religion, language, sexual orientation, or any other status, we are “all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination.”
- Home maintenance
Once students leave their parents’ home, it’s time to take care of their own home. Teaching basic home maintenance at school—from changing a light bulb to checking a fire extinguisher—will arm students with practical, empowering skills that they can use for a lifetime.
- Digital etiquette
So much of students’ lives are spent online, making it essential to teach digital etiquette in the classroom. From protecting their privacy to avoiding digital drama, students need to learn how to treat others with respect online, avoid cyberbullying, and safeguard themselves from online predators.
- S** education
Some schools have ditched s** education, claiming it’s the domain of parents and guardians. But that shouldn’t preclude schools from being an important source of information as well. From contraception and consent to s**ting, body image, and STDs, students need to learn about the birds and the bees.
TOP TEN OF THE DAY
TOP TEN ITEMS I WOULD ADD TO
THE 20 things that should really be taught in school
Being 72 years old I have many, many years of life experience which means I would add to that list:
- Comedy and how to laugh. I’ve come across many keep who miss out on life because they don’t laugh.
- How to get a book published. I wrote my 1st book at 8 years old and have spent a lifetime of 64 years since of writing and trying to get books published without success. All because they did not teach me at school.
- How to keep your partner happy and have a good relationship. If they taught that at school it would save a lot of pain through life.
- How to have and live a happy life against all odds. How to overcome it when shit comes along to try and destroy your happiness.
- How to plan a happy family.
- The meaning of life. At school they don’t teach you that the meaning of life is all about your partner and children, family and friends, not money and possessions. It took me 56 years and a near death experience of a stroke to learn that. All preventable if I had been taught it at school.
- How to deal with 18 months of Covid Lockdowns.
- How to choose, plan and enjoy holidays.
- How to put the best life plan together. I didn’t realise I needed a life plan until it’s almost over.
- Linked to #9. How to put a Bucket List together and execute it.
To be honest this has inspired me so much and I have hundreds more to add to it, I think I will write a book about the subject.
My wife’s maiden name and the name of all my tremendous in law family is HODGKINSON. Tremendous to see the name all over the Front Pages yesterday!!!!
Here is the medal table in full (updated as of 4pm BST Wednesday 4 August)
REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
– Nicolas Chamfort
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering. -Ben Okri.
Happiness is…is not taught at school!
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
I always give 100%. Which is why I lost my job as an exam marker!
Love is…someone who makes you forget your smartphone.
A time to learn basic boring subjects at school…A time to learn more important and interesting life skills at school.
1901 Britain’s first cinema, the Mohawk, opened in Islington, north London. Films were accompanied by the 16-piece Fonobian Orchestra. At the height of their popularity in the 1940s, cinemas in Britain had average weekly attendances of 30 million.
1953 “From Here to Eternity” based on book by James Jones, directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1954).
1962: Marilyn Monroe found dead. Film actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her bed with an empty bottle of sleeping tablets by her side.
1975 Stevie Wonder signs $13M contract with Motown.
1975 Forestry Commission officials announced that Dutch elm disease, which had attacked more than three million trees in Britain, was spreading.
1976 The clock overlooking the Houses of Parliament stopped for the first time in 117 years.
PS Item of interest not linked to anything: Directed by Walter R. Booth, Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost (1901) is the earliest known film adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novella A Christmas Carol. Booth’s The Hand of the Artist (1906) has been described as the first British animated film.
BOOK OF THE DAY
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RETRO HIT RECORD RAMBLINGS
Reflections of a Top Film Star
Marilyn Monroe Death Anniversary 10 Lesser-known Facts
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©2021 Phil M Robinson