THE BLOG

What Have We Learned in High School That's Actually Useful?

What have we learned during high school that has helped us in this thing called life? What has gone right with our education?

Not much I learned in high school has been particularly useful in the past few years since I graduated. Our education system has not changed fundamentally over the past few decades. In an age where there are many technological advances, why hasn't the mandatory first to 12th grade education pushed our students to desire to learn? This period of time should be a dedicated to developing, to learning about life and what it can do for students and vice versa. Ideally, it should empower our nation's future. It could make us understand the economy, politics and relationships with our environment, people included. I have thought about some small changes that can create a bigger impact. The suggestions below are just simple ideas that can be added along to what is taught:

Let's start with STEM programs. They are huge in any nation. They are what build the future. We could have a semester to dig into the curiosities of students with STEM courses. This is a good time to try and figure out the right path. Other alternatives, one of which is to wait until college, can be expensive when trying to figure these things out. According to our Constitution Article 1, section 8.8, Congress has to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts," which means they should be putting money towards STEM programs, and giving students the opportunity at high schools can push students into these careers. High school would be a good place to start encouraging people to become our future's doctors, scientists and engineers. It is a better use of their time.

Why is math, in particular, disliked so much? What is the practicality of math? What if math can be taught with something that affects us, such as our own spending habits, and have an economics class where we try to create a business? Math is incorporated into STEM programs. Learning basic economics can teach us more about how our nation spends our tax money. There is potential here; after all, there are plenty of jobs involving economics.

Law and our rights should be incorporated in social studies courses. After all, why do we have social studies classes and teach history without learning from it? We should learn why we have certain rights, what this nation is all about. I am sure our founding fathers would have plenty to say about the state of the nation now. Law and rights should be taught alongside our nation's history, because it impacts us today, and history tend to repeat itself when ignored.

How about the "wonderful" health classes we have? Why is it that Americans are obese? We should probably teach about the food industry and our general well being in terms of health in order to make better food choices in the future. Just take a look at the sex education we feed to our students here. Why is that such a thing? The awkwardness of sex education can quickly go away in a room full of teenagers, and it happens to be useful knowledge. We can teach about relationships in health class, as that plays a major factor as we are developing who we are during high school in particular.

Optional courses such as philosophy and psychology can teach us a lot about others and ourselves. Many of our problems stem from not understanding them fully. That is the beginning step to figuring out problems. There are solutions to many things we ponder. Some have figured out the answers to our problems, so why wait until experience hits? This can pave the way to a better life.

I am by no means a teacher. I have experienced our education like many others, but the knowledge I have, I've learned on my own, such as programming, economics and psychology to name a few. I learned these things within the past year and a half and that has enabled me to appreciate a proper education and enjoy practical knowledge. These are just thoughts of how we can make better use of our education system, rather than making it hard for certain individuals or groups. This also does not address the many issues involved with our education, such as segregation, which still exists, or privatization of schools. Programs like Year Up exists to help the education system government has failed. So why not start to make our education better? We should ask why things are the way they are. Gee, doesn't that philosophy course sound good right about now? We should at least question the system of which we live in and who they truly benefit.