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A New "school"

User Thread
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Gabriel23 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
A New "school"
Yesterday, I discussed fixing the education system. I would appreciate a list of topics for classes that you guys would feel could benefit our future youth. Perhaps some examples would be Understanding human body language, both expression and interpretation, Understanding human patterns, Critical thinking, Relaxation techniques, Dealing with and understanding "stress", Advanced Communication. These are just examples, but they are examples of what I feel should be explained in greater depth much earlier in life. I want Idea's of things you all wish you could have been taught to master earlier in life. Thank you and happy thinking.

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"I never let the negativity of life, dull the beauty in my life."
 36yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Wyote is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Schools need a course that teaches kids how to make connections within their community. A course that teaches how to find resources that are helpful to them, like grant money or housing shelters. It would teach them how and when it is appropriate to seek help from others and/or intervene when they see others struggling.

I'm not familiar with other countries, but in the US there are zillions of agencies/organizations that people do not take advantage of, which could help them greatly.

Human Resources for high school with a focus on bettering their community. I'm not talking about a crappy interview skills class.

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"A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. - Thomas Carlyle"
 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that MugenNoKarayami is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Not necessarily a class, but if the new school put a more emphasis on after school clubs and activities. That would definitely help with a sense of community, so to speak. And with that emphasis, create all kinds of different clubs, because I know at my high school there weren't that many clubs.

I'll give a few thoughts on each subject.

English department: something like you said, Gabriel, communications class. dividing up different sections of all forms of communication while gradually being able to use more and more practical skills to pre-determine an outcome when different techniques were applied and be able to describe why and how.

Science: I know it may already be in most schools, but psychology should be a required class. My teacher told me that as well, and like communications class, being able to spot key psychological tendencies in the social world, business, personal, what ever, would help everyone understand others around them easier.

Social Studies: again, I'm not sure if this applies to all school, but I think an Economics class should be mandatory for at least one semester. Since our society revolves around our economy, school's should prepare all students for real life economic issues. (preferably their senior year, so it stays fresh when they leave for college)

Mathematics: I think classes that have to deal with every day mathematical problems should be the focus. problem solving, statistics, mental math... stuff like that.

And I think any/some form of art or music class should be required.

If you're going to fix the education system you're going to have to change a lot more than the classes. we're gunna go with the whole "gut and fillet" approach here.

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"I'm a human being, God Dammit!! My life has value!!!"
 33yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that pumpkinlove is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
first of all, you have to overcome the fact that a good portion of kids dont take classes seriously and do whatever it takes to get a passing grade. so somehow getting everyones attention is key. the classes that you guys mentioned were great ideas. i wish school was more direct rather than, math, history, science, blahhh. when i left highschool, i felt really unprepared for college. even in college, i feel some of my classes/teachers are.. uhm in no way beneficial to me or anyone in them.

id like to see the stress management classes most definitly. and it sounds dumb but maybe some sort of ettiquete class!
as far as art goes, i know some people absolutely hate it but some sort of class to just show appreciation for simple things.
also, i think job/career classes should be offered sooner in highschool. i had a 30 minute class as a senior about choosing our future careers. comeon... i wish i thought about what i wanted to do and what job would be best for me in like 9th grade because now im 21 and i could have been in the same spot at 18.

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""if you can\'t handle me at my worst, then you don\'t deserve me at my best.\""
 31yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that St. Jimmy is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
The issue with the education system isn't in the primary schools, but in the colleges/universities. In pretty much every institute of higher education, you find all sorts of useless majors such as tolkien studies, anthropology, history, philosophy, and art history to name a few (keep in mind, these are just the majors i found at my school, i'm sure anyone could expand the list by checking the majors of another school). While there are people who excel in these fields, their work is only relevant to other people in the field, and has no importance to society as a whole. Furthermore, when these people graduate, the only things they can do with their degrees is teach the subject.
An education is a chance to make a difference in the world, to better your life and the lives of others, to take a major that doesn't accomplish this, is to waste the time and money of the public and the institution.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being passionate about these subjects, but when someone takes these majors at a college or university, they're taking away a spot which a serious student could use to become educated in an important field, and make a difference in the world.

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"He who does not question is lost."
 33yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that isilomir is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I'll do a format similar to Mugen's...

English: I'll also say that more communication classes are a must. In addition, schools should bring back at least basic grammar for freshmen in high school. Most people now make it all the way through college without having any instruction in proper grammar and the difference definitely shows up in writing at the college level. Most colleges now also require some kind of basic writing skills course for first years. This course should be offered in early high school, maybe either right after or concurrent with a grammar course. I've been doing peer editing for papers in college this semester and it's very clear who in the class has had writing/grammar instruction prior to college.

Social Sciences: Never having taken economics I don't know how useful it is (truthfully the closest I've come to Econ is Calculus II), but I can appreciate the point Mugen is trying to make. One area of study that's sorely lacking in this field is Geography. I graduated High School with people who couldn't look at a map and identify the major countries on it. Also at the High School level should be Psychology and [insert Country of residence here] History. At the College level, the field should branch out into World History (important for museum curators, politicians, economists, scientists, and generally any other field that's been around for more than 50 years), Anthropology (again for museum workers, and also archaeologists, statisticians, economists, psychologists etc.), Philosophy (authors, scholars, philosophers etc.), and every other major field of Social Science including, but not limited to, [Region of the World] Studies, Geography, Economics, Psychology etc.

Physical Sciences: Not much I want to comment on about this group. The basic setup at the High School level is decent, though it usually isn't taught in a good manner for whatever reason. Students should pick up a basic understanding of Biology (as much as I didn't like it), Chemistry and Physics in High School. This is also a solid subject at the College level expanding to include Astronomy, Geology, and the like.

Mathematics: Mugen hit this one pretty dead on too. Mathematics courses in the beginning of High School should focus on the every day needs of the average person. I would also add that a course in Accounting should be required for all High School Students so they at least are presented with the proper tools for managing their incomes. The higher Mathematics taught in High School (Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus etc.) and the foundation courses they are built upon should still be offered for those students who are thinking of entering into quantitative fields of study in College.

Technology: This field is sadly lacking in High School, and suffers from an uninformed overflow in the beginning of College. High School Technology courses (at least in my experience) tend to consist of Web Site Design, and Networking Courses. While these are both fine and good in their own right, they are not the foundation of the subject. Every other subject starts with the beginning of its field of study and moves forward as directly as possible. You don't start learning English by copying Shakespeare, and yes I'm aware that's an extreme analogy. However, people taking technology courses should start with the basics of what they need, that being the basic programming languages. If these were offered at the High School level, it would reduce the problem illustrated by this scenario: My first year at college I took a Computer Science class for C++ programming thinking it would be something I'd enjoy. The class started with around 35 people in it. By the third week we had 5. 30 people had dropped the class in the first three weeks because they thought it would be like their High School Web Design class. My professor then told those of us that were left that our average class size if we continued as CS majors would be about 3. I don't really have a constructive suggestion for dealing with that problem, and it may just be the school I'm at (we specialize in Zoology not CS), but showing people what the subject of Technology entails earlier in the education process might help curb this effect.

Fine Arts: Much to my Choral Professor's dismay, I am not a Music Major; however I do believe that these are important. The Fine Arts help to foster creativity across the academic spectrum, and let us enjoy the wonderful talents that some people have to offer to our senses. While I'm not sure that everything in this field is "useful" in the strictest sense of the word, I believe that every specialization in this field has its purpose. The Performance Specializations are a given, but they couldn't perform for us with out the support of the Stage Crew industry (which is an actual program of study at my school). By the same token, artists specializing in their particular medium would have nowhere to display their artwork if it were not for the Art History folks who set up and run museums and galleries. All of these subjects are interdependent yet vastly different, even if on all of the diplomas it lists "Fine Arts Degree."

And one last word on education in general. The problem with education isn't the classes that are taught, or the majors that people choose. If that were the case, then College's should have never have allowed people to design their own Majors. As far as people taking "useless majors" and keeping spots in Colleges from someone who might be more "useful" to society, anyone can get accepted to a College if they look hard enough. I have not come across a College Campus anywhere in the country that is not expanding its facilities and housing. The only limiting factors on getting into a college are your own personal effort, and the cost of the school. The issue then becomes that of funding, not of limited space, and I don't feel like expounding on the problems associated with the cost of education right now.

As for the "useless majors" themselves, yes I've run across some that I felt served no purpose (astrology for one). However, there's no problem with these courses of study as long as the graduates of them become productive members of society and don't just fill up the prison system. For instance, someone graduating from the aforementioned astrology program might open their own little fortune telling store, make lots of money, buy lots of stuff, and help the economy etc. I don't know if that would ever happen, but if they're not in prison, and they're working, I count them a productive member of society.

However, most of the time, such narrow programs and majors are included under the umbrella a larger field of study. While the astrology program was standing on its own, a course like Tolkien Studies (mentioned above) is usually not. I have had the great pleasure of taking one of the few Tolkien Studies courses offered in the US from Professor Viccaro at the University of Vermont. It wasn't taught as if the people in it were majoring for the field of Tolkien Studies. In fact, it was presented and taught as a class for general English Majors. This is common across a lot of subjects at the College level. That is because the Colleges tell the faculty they need a class taught at such and such a level for such and such a field. Then they leave it up to the Professor to choose the course matter. That's why we end up with classes on Monet, Picasso, Tolkien, Shakespeare, World War II, Ancient Mesoamerica and so on. The point of most of these classes is to learn the skills to study this kind of thing, not necessarily to learn about the topic itself.

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"Balance comes to all things in time. Some make it their duty to tear it apart. It is my duty to balance it out once more."
A New "school"
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