September is back to school month. Math makes sense, so we can calculate our personal or provincial debt, or because it makes us flex our brains. Literature is great because books either enlighten us or challenge our understanding of the world. Health class keeps us healthy, gym keeps us fit.
But what subject do you think is sorely lacking from a child or teenager’s education that could really prepare them for the real, hard, adult world? Political Science, so they feel more engaged with politics? Basic Communications, so no one puts an emoji on their resume, or talks to someone of differing opinions like an Internet Troll? We asked, and you answered.
“What I think needs to go into the curriculum (or back in to be more accurate), is Critical Thinking. There is a raft of news sources accessible to us nowadays that we didn’t have when I was a child, and it’s made us mentally lazy. No one checks sources, people cite garbage facts from memory (or “meme-ory”) or spout statistics they don’t understand – or worse – make them up on the spot. In an age of “Fake News” … you can’t trust a single source, and it’s far better to educate yourself and know what you are talking about, to question everything, and seek truth in all things.” – Tannhauser
“I think there should be a contemporary issues course. It takes current issues from the news headlines, and makes kids think about these things. I mean really think about them, and engage with their world, and why the issue is happening, and what, realistically could be done. If nothing else, it’d teach kids to think critically, and communicate with articulation, not emojis and abbreviations.” – Kelly Anne
“I would say schools should put more focus on practical, hands-on skills. Cooking and nutrition, household maintenance, basic mechanical skills. In a perfect world, kids would learn this stuff from their parents, but many don’t, and even at my age I am shocked by how many people don’t know how to cook a proper meal, change a tire, use a screwdriver, etc. I know the schools already offer this stuff, but when I was there they were optional 1 credit “veg” courses that weren’t taken seriously by the students, or the teachers, and it doesn’t look like the high school curriculum has changed in the 10 years since I graduated. I think they should be mandatory courses just like math or English. These courses would also teach the foundational skill for many careers; not everyone goes to university.”– Sculpin
“Civics – the number of people in society who are disengaged from the democratic process is the main reason for the democratic process not really working.” – Rob Pittman
“Civics. It’s a shame how many people do not know what voting system we use, how government is formed, and what each level of government is responsible for. It also should be mandatory.” – Alley Dee
“Personal Finance – millennials are poor because nobody taught us what to do with what little money we have. What the hell is a GIC?” – Rob Pittman
“Consent. It sounds so simple, but we forget what it’s like to be teenagers. Every second thought is about sex, Internet Porn is teaching unrealistic power dynamics (men having their way with women, namely, or that sex is for male gratification), and we don’t have the restraint we have as adults, or, the tolerance for thinking clearly when drinking. Too many rapes occur in high school and early university because we fail to teach consent at the right age.” – Speaking For Everywhere
“A course on etiquette! How to conduct yourself in common social and business situations, as many at that age may not have learned yet, from when to offer your seat on a bus to a stranger, to how to share a cab. Manners! It’s something that’s seriously lacking in many young people I meet nowadays. May as well try and teach it to them while they’re young, or they may be doomed and end up a friggin’ asshole their entire life.” – Eelanus
“HOW TO CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES.” – Chuckey Hull
“How the World Works 101. I’ll bet you 500 dollars you couldn’t ask the same 20 year old the following 3 questions and have them answer: 1.) What is the role of the senate in Canadian politics? 2.) Why, exactly, do we need vitamins in the food we eat? 3.) How are fossil fuels causing climate change, exactly?” – Old Curmudgeon
“More history. How can we understand what’s wrong with the world, without understanding how we got to this point? Take our current discontent with government, or our concerns with big business busting the world into pieces — we’re way too complacent, because we think ‘that’s jsut how it is,’ but it’s not how it always was. Humanity predates capitalism, Canada’s system of government, hell, governments. We can’t think critically about changing the systems at play in the world, without understanding how things came to be.” – Mart McFly