What should be taught in schools?

United States
December 6, 2006 7:50pm CST
I started wondering what people think a public school education should teach kids. Please, let's not turn this into a discussion of how the schools should work, or how teachers should be hired, fired, or paid; if you got to choose the curriculum for your kid's schooling, what would you choose? Please be as specific as possible; don't just say "History," say how far back you want to delve, which facets of history you might want to focus on, which parts of the world, etc. If you think the education should include physics, how much? Newtonian mechanics? Relativity? Chaos theory, string theory, quantum mechanics? And please stick to K-12 education, though feel free to assume that students have been taught the prerequisites for whatever topic you want to focus on
16 people like this
69 responses
@infoman (98)
• United States
7 Dec 06
As a person in the alternative teaching industry, I have learned that not all students have the same interests and needs. We need to make sure there are overviews of things like history...local, national and world events. How they came about, who some important people are etc.. But we need to respect that some students will never have a desire or need to know all of the details of things that they might never use in life...and if they do need to use them in life then if we give them the tools to be able to learn...then that is the time to learn them...is when they need or want to. Forcing subject matter onto a student is a sure fire way of having it go in one ear and out the other. So let's answer this by saying we take a students studies as far as we can keep their interest. Once the interest is lost move on to something that might spark them to go further. Revist things occasionally to see if the interest was really at it's peak.
@GardenGerty (115131)
• United States
7 Dec 06
So, what is the alternative teaching industry? I am curious. I bet it is a useful education.
• India
7 Dec 06
i will add one more class of meditation..... & i think after that childrens will decide better than us.... what they need and up-to which extent....
@gifana (4836)
• Portugal
7 Dec 06
I have a young friend here in Portugal who is 13 and in the 7th grade. The other day I asked him what he was studying this year and he gave me a list of 15 disciplines (subjects) which included: Portuguese, English, French, matematics, physical chemistry, philosophy, geography, portuguese history, science, and five more which I can't remember. Can you imagine trying to learn three languages at the same time? I was overwhelmed. When I was in high school I only had 5 subjects. I have no idea what the curricula is in the States these days but I have a hunch that it isn't as crowded has his.
• India
8 Dec 06
this is certainly an over burden. but the present educational system is like that. we can do nothing.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Dec 06
I think the current overall curriculum structure is good. Some improvement would be an expansion of World History to truly include the world and not just the history of ancient Greece and Rome with a giant leap to the history of Great Britain. Also, I think vocational studies should be brought back into the public education system. Not everyone wants or has the means to pursue advanced education in the form of a college degree after graduation from high school. There are still many professions for which a college degree is not necessary, but whose opportunities for training are virtually non-existent or whose options require one to attend a private, profit driven institution. I think music classes (appreciation and actual instruction in learning to play an instrument) should be required and not treated as electives. Studies in languages other than English should be required and not treated as an elective. I feel our youth are at a terrible disadvantage when compared to students from other nations. The inability to communicate in a language other than English will dampen their prospects in terms of being marketable in the now truly global job market.
2 people like this
@raghwagh (1528)
• India
7 Dec 06
Puppy - A small child of a dog
Kids should be taught to live a good and beautiful life for himself and others.This is the most important thing I think every kid should be taught.Instead of teaching past history kids should be taught to be prepared for the future.Also kids should be helped to develop themselves.School is considered to be second home so schooles have a great responsibelity in creating good citizens for their country and good human being for this planet.
1 person likes this
@msqtech (15226)
• United States
7 Dec 06
and they need to prove they have knowledge
• United States
7 Dec 06
Besides the basics, I think that both Creationism and Evolution should be taught and then let the students decide which one to believe.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Dec 06
Yes, I agree with you.
• United States
7 Dec 06
Financial instruction, investments, ROI, ..these type of classes. When I was in HS, all they offered was accouting. Many kids today cannot even balance a checkbook. I think the practical life skills are missing.
• United States
7 Dec 06
I think knowing the basics of history is a must, of course subjects like mathematics and english have to be taught. Quite frankly i think the subjects and curriculum in schools is fine its just the attitude and how some schools operate thats the problem.
1 person likes this
@mbs730 (2151)
• Canada
7 Dec 06
Well at one time they made phys ed elective but now it should be mandatory.. look at all of the stories of childhood obesity! That should be incentive enough to keep phys ed mandatory.
@bama_bug (81)
• United States
30 Dec 06
I think our children should be taught Spanish from kindergarten,it is becoming our countrys second national language,and I think more advancement for some students in the early years,my son is in the first grade and he knows all the basics,reading,writing,and math...I think things are watered down too much in the early years and then they are overwhelmed in the later years...they should be teaching kids about real worl stuff such as ,balancing a checkbook,figuring percentage rates and how to budget money,also how to write a resume,proper interviewing techniques,and proper business dress,along with general manners,they should be learning about career opportunities and how to achieve such goals,kids arent stupid but our education system makes them lazy compared to the other countries and their strict educational standards,and our kids should be competing with those countries in academics.
• India
8 Dec 06
tdays jus practical work should be do than more theratical work, bcz with more practical students can be much creative....
• India
8 Dec 06
well we should learn in schools good manner,social service how to live a good life moral values and more of practical education to survive.
• China
8 Dec 06
teaching in schools means all kinds of education should be taught.but in the same way you should not forcea child to study more then the children iq
• China
8 Dec 06
wow......the range is too big and you don't make yourself clear. What do you mean when you talk about the school? Is that a elementary school? Middle school? High school? or university?? Because for the different level of the school, the highlighted courses are different. For example, if you mean the elementary school, I think history must be one of the most important courses, especailly the history about your own country. It can let the kids know your own country better. But for the university, it depends on the different majors.
@previewer (158)
• China
8 Dec 06
I am not married yet and i haven't kids now.I talk about my experience and contention. It's mutational follow time What curriculum should be teached to student ,the curriculum sevral years before might not fit for the student now. Can you imagine that the kids in China begin to learn English 3 years old?
@rakinitin (686)
• Canada
8 Dec 06
English. Definately first and foremost. To me it is the back bone to all the other subjects. In order to succeed at any of them (except perhaps Math) you need the basics. I don't mean just the ability to write a story but proper grammar, spelling, etc..
• United States
8 Dec 06
They should teach us how to fight in school.
• United States
8 Dec 06
Definitely money management should be taught. So many people are in debt these days and it's because you go to university and get all these credit card offers..high interest and before you know it you are up to your ears in debt before you even hit the junior level economics and banking classes. I would have done things alot differently if I had known...
• United States
8 Dec 06
i have to admit, even what i see high schools teaching these days seems a little rushed.... people are taking college courses in 10th grade now! pretty soon you will see peopel skipping high school altogether.... i know that what i would teach a kid in High School is: Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus Biology, Chemistry, and Marine Science American (USA), European, World, and either Latin American, African, or Asian History At least 3 years of a foreign language At least 3 years of their native language course of their choice a year, with one year allowed to have more.
@terita (280)
• Pakistan
8 Dec 06
schools are really really neccessary as schools are the bases of the child.if the base is good then child will continue good studies