I have no idea at this stage what job Billy will want to do. In fact, based on his love of technology, the job he ends up doing probably hasn't even been invented yet. So how do I know what he should learn? The Australian states can't even agree on what should be in the curriculum, let alone the rest of the world.
So after some contemplation, this is what I consider the "Must haves" in his education:
- "Consumer level" maths - budgeting, measuring / weighing, basic maths skills
- Understanding of the maths processes, not just rote learning
- Ability to read
- Ability to comprehend what is read
- Legible handwriting
- Computer skills - typing, word processing, email, web surfing, web searches - how to find & interpret information
- Life skills - looking after himself, household skills like washing, cooking, etc
- Understanding of significant events & people in Australian history
- Tolerance & appreciation of other cultures, religions & people
- Ability to speak in public
- Love of reading
- Not afraid of maths
- Understanding of significant events & people in World history
I'd love to hear your thoughts. What skills or knowledge do you consider as vital?
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm left wondering what the point of high school is (other than to keep kids out of the workforce and stop them competing with adults for jobs!). It's not really to specialise - when I went through school, you couldn't choose subjects until about Yr 11 - and that was if you were lucky enough that the subject you wanted was offered and fitted in with your timetable. That's why you go to uni - 6 years later! How much of what you learn at high school is actually used later on in life? I'm struggling to think of anything I learnt that is critical to my life now. Writing an essay on Shakespeare? Nope. Trigonometry? Nope. Pretty much everything I needed to do my job, I learnt on the job. High School seems a very broad brush approach - let's make everyone learn how to dissect a poem to cover the 1% that will actually use it! (And turn the other 99% off anything to do with poetry for the rest of their lives!)
Would we be better off going back to the days of early leaving and apprenticeships? Its not like today's youth appear to be any happier than previous generations!
Just some ramblings - what do you think?