I am sure we can all agree that the educational system is flawed. Some might argue that it’s trash, others? All by design. Whatever side of the spectrum you are on a fair consensus is that we need some educational reform.
As we continue into this new year and reflect on what we have endured in 2020, the novel Coronavirus has really been an eyeopener for flaws in our current systems. We have witnessed how the younger generation has adapted to changes out of their control with schooling at home and in the classroom. COVID-19 has exposed a lot of gaps in what is being taught to our youth and elders alike. We have seen this outside the classroom as well with where people do their jobs; employees working from home and their working hours. The ‘Great Reset’ that we hear our elected world leaders’ glamor about has a lot of us rethinking how productivity is measured.
Traditionally, students came to school five days a week from around 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, they were taught everything from history, geography, math and science. But now, hybrid work – and how it should be evaluated – has taken the spotlight. Most of the aforementioned subjects like history you can find online and understand within a few weeks. All the basic scientific knowledge you could ever imagine to learn is explained with fancy videos on YouTube. Yet, here we are pushing kids through the same curriculum their grandparents went through. Here’s a look at eight subjects that should be taught in school.
Basic personal financial skills are one of the most important things you can do to live a healthy, happy and secure life. A fundamental understanding of budgeting, saving, debt and investing will impact every part of your life.
Parents may be a little apprehensive about this as it can be conflated with fighting. But, it’s simple -self defense is just a set of skills that allows one to defend themselves by engaging in physical combat. On a deeper level, though, this type of training incorporates far more than its physical elements. Self-defence training enhances people’s mental awareness, helps them identify and prevent acts of crime and opens you up to a healthier confident life.
In terms of sex and relationships, lessons about online safety topics (serious risks of sharing private photos, impacts of viewing explicit or harmful content). Communicating your feelings without blame or judgment; personal boundaries and not being a pushover; honest discussion and about mental health (dealing with loss/death, breakups, emotional intelligence). Being able to learn how to discuss your emotions accurately and sensitively and how to access professional help.
I would like to add as a disclaimer: Schools should decide what it is appropriate to teach on this subject and when, based on the age, development and religious backgrounds of their students, and should involve their parents in these decisions.
Strength training for kids? Yup. Done properly, it offers many benefits to young athletes. It’s a great idea for kids who simply want to look and feel better. I believe in fact; this form of exercise could put children on a lifetime path to better health and fitness. I recommend strength training for kids (light resistance and controlled movement) with emphasis on proper technique and safety. Some examples are push-ups, sit-ups; aerobics, skipping and callisthenics.
Weightlifting is geared toward teenagers in high school. Basic knowledge and practical experience to design and perform weight-training programs according to student’s personal goals is the way to execute it. Types of lifts, proper lifting techniques, and program design would do wonders for every man and woman.
I’ve noticed within the past three years how important sales is. Sales skills are critical life skills that can and should be systematically taught in high school, in undergraduate programs and in higher education. You need to sell yourself (an artist, teacher or employee), also like weightlifting, sales skills instill confidence. Whether you’re meeting new people at social events or introducing yourself to your friend’s parents these are lifelong skills that always need to be honed.
Writing is one of those things that I have overlooked for most of my life. I only started getting into writing when I started this blog. Granted, I knew my potential as a decent writer because I felt I was always creative in my thinking. Being able to write is important for future success. It’s a foundational skill required for communication, future learning and fully participating in economic, political and social life as well as in many aspects of daily life. Writing is a difficult skill to master and a difficult skill to teach but the rewards are boundless.
“Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”—The Foundation for Critical Thinking
It’s a necessary evil. I say this because of all the introverts and extroverts of the world. Necessary because you inevitably have to get up and speak at your wedding, your parent’s funeral, at the office, any family or congratulatory moment for your loved ones. I will say that this is should begin at home first. You cannot depend on the school system to enforce something that can be (should be) honed at home. For my introverts, start small. My extroverts, go big. Ambiverts, you’re already halfway there. A clear, confident speaking voice is an essential life skill that fosters self-esteem and personal confidence.
I cannot think of any cons of adding mediation to the school’s curriculum. Increased optimism, positive emotions, self-identity and self-acceptance. As well as experiencing reduced anxiety, stress and depression. Tell me one bad thing about mediation? I’ll wait.
Creative thinking is like critical thinking with imagination and innovation. Yes, schools still have art and music class (grossly underfunded) but creativity can alter the way students approach a problem and would give a new meaning of thinking out of the box.
Have anymore? Drop your honourable mentions in the comments below!