March 14, 2007

Top 5 things people should learn in school

Writing about web page http://briankim.net/blog/2007/03/top-5-things-that-should-be-taught-in-every-school/

I think that this website has it all right. Education is compulsory, but why is that if today’s children are not taught anything worthwhile?! Surely there should be a radical reform to make sure that we give our children the right start in life.


- 4 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Chris May

    It’s awfully work-oriented, though, isn’t it? I think I’d sooner my children were taught how to enjoy art, or understand nature, than how to ‘sell ideas’.

    14 Mar 2007, 18:19

  2. I agree that we should encourage children to nurture their artisan sides, and make sure from an early age they understand how we impact on nature, but I feel that most of these ‘top 5’ are topics that are assumed children will pick up. Admittedly, recently teachers have been trying to implement ‘key skills’ into education of which communication is one, but I feel that it should be pushed much much more. Imagine if in a few generations time, we have a mass of eloquent britons who not only had no problems with social skills, had rid themselves of the obese generation, and also had no financial issues, thus not landing themselves in the loan-trap that people seem to be falling into*.
    I think perhaps by agreeing that they’re THE top 5 issues I’ve erred slightly, but I do think they are very important.

    • I can tell people are falling into this by the sheer number of loan consolidation ads I see on TV every day!

    14 Mar 2007, 21:01

  3. Chris May

    Here’s someone with a view on radical education reform that I find more appealing. Well worth watching even if you disagree; he’s a great speaker.

    14 Mar 2007, 22:49

  4. Here’s someone with a view on radical education reform that I find more appealing. Well worth watching even if you disagree; he’s a great speaker.

    Great speaker, great speech.

    I’m not sure if that “Top 5 Things That Should Be Taught In Every School” is an accurate list, as you say, it is awfully work/commerce oriented… hmm…let’s try:

    1. Listen to everyone – they all have something to say even if it’s wrong.

    2. Consider everything, if only once.

    3. Make up your own mind about things, but be prepared to change your opinion if you’re wrong

    4. It’s your life, so live it for yourself but don’t hurt anyone or be hurt by anyone else in doing so

    5. Take responsibility.

    Somebody here is going to say that that’s extremely namby pamby or left/liberal or something, but I’m not sure it is. Too many people in the past have come up with ideas about how to educate and most people agree that it’s not working, or it’s only working for some.

    The present ideology is that everyone has the potential – and so must be given the opportunity – to become a Captain of Industry. However, if everyone does, who’s going to do the actual work? The thing is, not everyone has the ability so we need to filter people out of mainstream education earlier and train them in things they are good at. A child who is good with his hands but not bright academically needs to learn hands on skills rather than slog through years of trigonometry and calculus. Otherwise you just end up with a truant who’s not good at anything but claiming benefits.

    The present emphasis is on one size fits all. Unfortunately, for a government committed to league tables and targets, this is a Good Thing. But then, children don’t have a vote and the parents who do aren’t at the sharp end of present education ideology. The determination of the present system to turn out university applicants is good for keeping millions of young adults off the unemployment figures is good for the government but it devalues degrees.

    And as for my list of five? It’s about people being able to function in society rather than needing to reach for a gun because they disagree over their favourite football player. About people having the confidence to stand on their own two feet and make something of themselves, rather than waiting for someone else to do it for them. About people having the discipline to work for their own tomorrow rather than borrow it today. If that’s too namby/pamby then we both agree with Rule 1.

    15 Mar 2007, 14:00


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