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Old 10-28-2013, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,184 posts, read 2,626,666 times
Reputation: 2218

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Ok, so if we assume that high school is meant to give students the tools to know how to educate themselves in life after high school, whether that be on the job experience, trade school, or college, what are some classes that should be mandatory to do this and which should not compared to the current curriculum?

Some classes that should be mandatory in my opinion:
A three year successive course on rhetoric, logic, and clarity and conciseness in writing and arguing. Everyone needs to know how to explain their reasoning clearly and see flaws in reasoning.
Public speaking, one semester. Everyone needs to know how to comunicate to a broad audience.
Algebra I and II, two years. Teaches the basics of how higher operates.
1 year of humanities/literature and 1 year of world history, preferably taken together: It's good to know where our social conventions and symbols and influences came from.
Geography 2 years. 1 could be human and economic geography and the other could be world geography. We need to know what the world is like past our hometown.
US History/Civics combo, 1 year: explain how we got here and how our system works.
Linguistics and Grammar: replaces foreign language.
Statistics 1 year: It's how we gather trends from data and is key to most scientific claims. Even if a person doesn't do sampling, its nice to know how someone else used them.
Nutrition and Drugs 1 year: We need to know how what we put into our bodies affect our bodies. Plus honest descriptions of what drugs actually do to your body instead of scare tactics will maybe lead to more responsible users if we choose to be so and less so abusers.

Some that should not be mandatory in my opinion.
4 years of lit and comp is too much. The comp could be covered in my above three year course on arguing. The lit part I don't think is that important.
Geometry: sure it can be practical, but the basics (non-trig Euclidean) aren't that complex and could maybe be covered in middle school instead of high school
Trig: sure you use it in calc and other math, but if you don't use that higher math, it's relatively useless.
Biology: life science is covered in middle school. How a cell works and how evolution works isn't necessarily crucial to life.
Foreign language. Come on, most everybody knows English. Specifics of the language really fade over time if you don't use them.
State History: Maybe in middle school this is ok.

What do you think? Add some more suggestions!
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:10 PM
 
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I think learning a foreign language is important and should be a requirement in high school.

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:28 PM
 
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Spreadsheets, like Excel. Almost everyone needs them at work. They are very powerful tools. Great for personal organization too.
Health & Physical Fitness
Personal Finance.

Dump mandatory arts and mandatory history and mandatory literature.

Last edited by Cheektowaga_Chester; 10-28-2013 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:32 PM
 
363 posts, read 597,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
I think learning a foreign language is important and should be a requirement in high school.

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It should be elective OR it needs to start in elementary school. Beginning a foreign language in the eighth or ninth grade is relatively useless, and our culture is such that these classes are just time-fillers.

Now a global cultures class? I could get behind that, as long as it studies culture at a deeper level than, "Spaniards have a daily siesta. Germans wear lederhosen."
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,184 posts, read 2,626,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheektowaga_Chester View Post
Spreadsheets, like Excel. Almost everyone needs them at work. They are very powerful tools. Great for personal organization too.
Health & Physical Fitness

Dump mandatory arts and mandatory history and mandatory literature.
I was contemplating Excel and Data storage and graphs. It's definitely on the table though. Mandatory arts I could abolish as well. Making pots in ceramics was fun, but didn't greatly improve me. Middle school can offer arts to see if they perk kids interests.

PE I'm undecided on.

Global cultures, which could fall under the humanities class, would be much more useful than a language class.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:37 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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Just out of curiosity are any of you teachers? Or have any experience in teaching or developing education policy? Or are you all "self-taught" when it comes to education issues?
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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I wrote above Personal Finance, perhaps even more into that class: financing college, the power of compounding, different types of savings plans, retirement saving basics, car buying basics, the basics of how taxes work (income, capital gains, deferred IRA and 401(k)), how carrying a credit card balance really affects your life, home buying basics.

Last edited by Cheektowaga_Chester; 10-28-2013 at 05:54 PM..
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:48 PM
 
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Physical Education, with a focus on fitness. Yes, it even improves academics. Healthy lessons for life.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,171,922 times
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Personal finance seems like a glaring omission. I'm very skeptical of most public education. I think the system tries to do the least to graduate kids.

-Personal finance should include - credit cards, loans. Banking, credit unions. A good solid understanding of money. I.e. the difference between paying just interest vs paying principal. There's no reason in my mind why this shouldn't be taught to every 16 or 17 year old.

Money problems can get pretty complicated for the lay person. I.e. do you get a 15 year mortgage? A 30 year? What are the differences. When you aren't fluent in math, what a hole in life.

-World history/word events. Another glaring omission. Asia represents X amount of world trade now. How much of asia is taught in a typical highschool? Probably very little.

-Teaching how things fit together. Highschool tries to look at everything in isolation. Seeing how things integrate together is real learning. People should be graded or tested on integration.

I'd like to see an emphasis on how things are manipulatable. I.e. math. Don't just cordon off algebra from geometry from trig or calculus. The way I was taught math was very static and superficial. I.e. do this problem on page 138. Then do 20 problems on page 158. Then the answers are in the back (or do all the odd or even problems). How stupid. You don't see the bigger picture. How does that problem on 138 integrate into everything else???

I would completely re-focus math.

-Also, practical skills. How to fix a bike. How to fix a car, changing the oil, etc. 18 year olds should know how to do a lot of practical things when they leave.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:58 PM
 
16,568 posts, read 14,024,069 times
Reputation: 20523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Ok, so if we assume that high school is meant to give students the tools to know how to educate themselves in life after high school, whether that be on the job experience, trade school, or college, what are some classes that should be mandatory to do this and which should not compared to the current curriculum?

Some classes that should be mandatory in my opinion:
A three year successive course on rhetoric, logic, and clarity and conciseness in writing and arguing. Everyone needs to know how to explain their reasoning clearly and see flaws in reasoning.
Public speaking, one semester. Everyone needs to know how to comunicate to a broad audience.
Algebra I and II, two years. Teaches the basics of how higher operates.
1 year of humanities/literature and 1 year of world history, preferably taken together: It's good to know where our social conventions and symbols and influences came from.
Geography 2 years. 1 could be human and economic geography and the other could be world geography. We need to know what the world is like past our hometown.
US History/Civics combo, 1 year: explain how we got here and how our system works.
Linguistics and Grammar: replaces foreign language.
Statistics 1 year: It's how we gather trends from data and is key to most scientific claims. Even if a person doesn't do sampling, its nice to know how someone else used them.
Nutrition and Drugs 1 year: We need to know how what we put into our bodies affect our bodies. Plus honest descriptions of what drugs actually do to your body instead of scare tactics will maybe lead to more responsible users if we choose to be so and less so abusers.

Some that should not be mandatory in my opinion.
4 years of lit and comp is too much. The comp could be covered in my above three year course on arguing. The lit part I don't think is that important.
Geometry: sure it can be practical, but the basics (non-trig Euclidean) aren't that complex and could maybe be covered in middle school instead of high school
Trig: sure you use it in calc and other math, but if you don't use that higher math, it's relatively useless.
Biology: life science is covered in middle school. How a cell works and how evolution works isn't necessarily crucial to life.
Foreign language. Come on, most everybody knows English. Specifics of the language really fade over time if you don't use them.
State History: Maybe in middle school this is ok.

What do you think? Add some more suggestions!

Basic child psychology so before people make these silly lists they realize that most high school students are not yet developmentally capable of the type of abstract reasoning that would warrant a mandatory sequence of logic classes.

Of course biology is necessary, the ability to understand your body is crucial to being a conscientious stakeholder in your health.
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