7 things we should start teaching in schools ASAP

January 13, 2014

I’m a huge proponent of practical, real world learning in addition to our core school subjects. Some aspects of living (e.g., financial concepts and their relevance to our daily lives) should be taught in schools and at an earlier stage. (I also think teachers’ salaries should be 6 figures, but that’s another issue for another time.)

This article cannot be more on point. It argues these 7 topics should be included in the school curriculum.

  1. Taxes
  2. Budgeting and finance
  3. Computer coding
  4. Emergency medical training
  5. No-BS sex ed
  6. Cover letters and resumes
  7. Sustainable living
  8. (Bonus: Splitting checks at restaurants)—though I am personally obsessed with Tab and never intend to do math again.

Even kids today are recognizing the value of learning life lessons that actually matter and that apply in the real world. In a 2011 Teens and Money Survey, 86% of 16 to 18-year-olds responded that they’d rather learn about proper spending in class than screw things up later on. Just as most schools have in place a foreign language requirement, the language of computer programming is arguably more useful than Latin or Greek. (Disclaimer: I took 7 years of Latin. Aside from an ever-present feeling of intellectual superiority, it’s served me no purpose.) And, unless you’re a self-hating cynic like me, you purportedly care about the survival of the human species. Teaching sustainable living early on in schools can result in generational shifts in lifestyle choices that will impact the longevity of humanity.

Real talk.



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tannar2020
Stanford ‘20


Accepted to Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA

Born in small town, interested in math, science, and literature. Attending Stanford University starting fall of 2016, planning on studying engineering or computer science, with a minor in a foreign language.
niustephanie
Stanford ‘19


Accepted to Stanford, MIT, GA Tech

STEM outreach enthusiast. Poet. Programmer. Advocate for women in STEM.
SChai
Georgetown ‘18


Accepted to Georgetown, NYU, Barnard, Northeastern

Hi, I'm Shannon! I'm from San Jose, California, spent a gap year living and working in Leipzig, Germany, and now I go to college in Washington D.C. I've shared everything I can remember about the college application process with y'all! :)
Isandres2
Williams ‘19


Accepted to Utah, Colorado, Colby, Williams, SMCVT

Hi! I go by Izi and I am a current student at Williams College Class of 2019. I hope to be a biology or sociology major with a neuroscience concentration. I am on the NCAA Division 1 alpine ski team here.

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