Stop and think about it sometime. What did you really learn in grammar school, middle school and high school?
Maybe you learned a lot. Maybe you can still do algebra and geometry problems. You might even actually remember what you did in chemistry class. But what about history? Do you still remember all those dates and battles? And when was the last time you wrote in cursive, except to sign your name on a document?
I have to confess I don’t remember much. OK, so I learned how to spell “eschew” and “egregious,” and I did have one or two English teachers who inspired me. And being who I am, I loved art and music in school. But most of the things I really needed to live my daily life I learned outside of school.
Did I learn how to balance my checkbook or do my income tax in school? Did I learn how to buy a home or how to take care of a baby? We had home ec classes in high school, but we girls mostly just stood around giggling and burning things. My mother taught me how to cook at home.
I’ve often thought that the educational system in the USA (and probably many other places in the world) needs to be completely revamped. It needs to be more practical, but it also needs to have more respect for kids as individuals and help bring out their unique talents and abilities. Even if classes are large, they can be divided into groups, and the kids can help each other. In fact, I’ve always liked the concept of the little country school, with kids of different ages working together.
What is school for, anyway? Is it just a place for kids to be dumped while their parents go off to work? Sometimes it seems that way, but it could be so much more.
How do you think schools could be improved? What is school really for?