Friday, February 26, 2010

What should we teach our children?

What They Should Have Taught You in School starts with:

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Not everybody approaches education with the same goal. High school and higher education serve different purposes for each student. For some pupils, school is a direct path to a job. For others, it is a chance to learn for the sake of personal growth. Visit any classroom and you'll encounter students with a variety of goals for their education.
Regardless of what you want school to be, most people seem to agree that an education should set you up with at least a basic set of skills. Not a universal set -- no one expects someone who studied nursing to have an identical skill set as someone who studied accounting. But when you have employers posting jobs that say a high school diploma or four-year degree is a requirement, you realize they expect you to have crossed a certain threshold. Still you seem to hear frustrated employers and employees wondering aloud, "Why didn't they teach this in school?"
From not knowing how to balance a checkbook to handling a tough boss, many schools don't teach their students how to deal with basic issues they will encounter in their career. We asked employees and employers what skills they wish were taught in schools to see what they thought were the most glaring omissions. Here are their responses:

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The four main points are:

Communication skills
Personal development
Interacting with others
All things boss-related

Good article. Some food for thought.

(Hat tip: The Home Education Mailing List)


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3 comments:

Rich S said...

Uggh..... School (including university) should not be viewed by teachers or students as primarily a place to learn how to do a job.

Give students a toolbox of basic knowledge in core areas (language and communication, math, science). Teach them about themselves and their place in the world (history and philosophy).

Give them the opportunity to be creative and come up with new ideas (perhaps the most important).

Make sure they have the chance to dive into subjects that are interesting to them. Model the importance of learning as something that is fun and should always be a part of an active life.

Do NOT teach them how to do a particular job. That job probably won't exist 15 years from now anyway.

abba12 said...

Aren't they all social skills? :P I think you'll find a lot of homeschoolers do well with those four points :)

Henry Cate said...

Rich, you make a great point. Thanks.

abba12, you are right.