The world changes rapidly, and plenty of things we’ve learned in school evolve and become outdated. Along the history of education, there are points in time when people decide that school doesn’t prepare us for life anymore, and update teaching materials to coincide with the appropriate time. If we look closely at what our kids are learning in school these days, we will understand that the time to change schools is now. Bear in mind, though, I’m not saying we should change or eliminate the basics – nature, math, language – those things are relatively stable, although, the way we perceive them may change. However, today’s world has made a big leap socially, politically, and technologically from what we studied, and for kids to achieve basic life skills in school, we must change what we are teaching them, because, in the end, we are the ones who change the world and we might at least keep future generations up to date.

 

Here is my own list of things that should be taught in school but aren’t.

  1. Entrepreneurship. A lot of students aren’t engaged enough in the education process because they are longing for something greater and better. Explaining entrepreneurship might help make those interests come true. Sure, not every student will turn into business visionary, but this kind of studies is bound to help develop enthusiasm, critical thinking, and innovativeness in a lot of students.

  2. Journalism. Modern people tend to express their thoughts, news, and criticism in different shapes on the Internet. Whether it’s a personal text blog, a video channel, or just a photo feed, children would get a great deal of help if schools had formal journalism in their program. Apart from enhancing their structured writing and storytelling, journalism can include areas like interviewing, judgment, ethics, communication, etc.

  3. Economics. Why should we wait up until university to take on an important life skill like this? Understanding economics brings you one giant step closer to understanding how the modern world works, however, all students are left with is basic accounting, which is only good for making everyone not like economics. However, if you teach macro and microeconomics, tie it up with business and today’s realities explaining angel investing, venture capital, stock market, etc., we will have a generation of students who understand how money works.

  4. Investments and Personal Finances. Developing the previous idea, if we have an idea of how money works, we should also learn what to do with it. One of the most important life skills is understanding what you have in your pocket and how to invest it with maximum profit. Kids, usually, are not great at planning long-term future, so it should be the school who teaches them how to manage their money, and how just by putting a few bucks per month into an RRSP they might retire with millions in their account.

  5. Ethics. Child’s views on life form in school, and, in my opinion, it would be very useful to add ethics to the process. Make kids go out of their comfort zone, debate, exchange ideas on complex issues. This will help develop mature and, what’s important, thinking personalities. And clearly, it’s a good addition to entrepreneurship, journalism, economics, etc.

  6. Social Media and Technology. While most of the students are already proficient in using social media, and, sometimes, can teach us a thing or two, there is a great deal of information missing. In light of recent events around Facebook, it’s become very clear that when adopting a new useful, brilliant, and life-changing service on the Internet, we often forget that we lose a big part of our security. If we look closely at what kids are sharing, posting, and uploading, we might see that future generations will probably lose the concept of privacy altogether. Sadly, there are not enough teachers who can address these issues. However, in my opinion, security, privacy, technological advancement, globalization, the evolution of entertainment – these are the topics that must be thoroughly discussed in schools.

  7. Developing a Personal Brand. High school time is the best time for kids to understand their place in the world. It is the time of self-discovery and one of the main questions – “who do you want to become?” Explaining the concept of self-branding, along with marketing, sales, communication, and networking, will be a great push for students to grasp the idea of developing themselves and getting their message across.

  8. Psychology. I’ve never understood why high schools pay so much attention to physical education without addressing the issue of healthy minds. Elements of developmental, perceptual, cultural psychology taught in schools would be a great step towards that. Some might argue that kids aren’t ready for this kind of studies so early in their lives. Nevertheless, as I stated earlier, a high school is a place where children develop themselves as personalities, thus it’s the best time to think about their minds.

  9. Politics and Conflict Resolution. Number of seats in the Senate, names of every President and years they were in power: this kind of information our kids will know after learning about politics in schools. How is it helpful in real life? I don’t know, and I doubt that anyone can give a reasonable explanation. Whether you like it or not, politics is the main force in our world, and knowing only the structure of the political system is not enough. However, if you explain a modern political state in the world, combine it with conflict resolution and meditation, you will have a generation that will think about fixing modern social problems, instead of avoiding them.

  10. Religion and Faith. It is a dangerous field, for sure. However, that is what makes it so important. I am not saying we should teach students one particular religion – teach all of them. Let kids understand that all religions are almost identical, and this will lead them to understanding that there is no place for religion hate in this world.

 

Besides, it kind of goes without saying that our schools lack pure technology studies - programming classes, teaching modern languages, instead of COBOL or BASIC, and using modern equipment.

Overall, the lack of innovations is what plagues our schools today. And it wouldn’t be so bad if our future didn’t depend on it.