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Forums > Social Discussion > Compulsory School Subjects

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NathanielEverist
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 315
Posted:If you suddenly had run of your nation's compulsory high-school subjects, what would you make them, and what would be your reasons?

For me, it would be:

English- We live in an English speaking nation (Australia), and in order to be a fully functioning member of our society, at least a basic understanding of the fundamentals of our language would be vital.

Legal Studies (or political studies)- Our nation is a democracy (kind of, but that's a discussion for another time), and the basis of good democracy is the people being able to make informed and intelligent decisions about who we elect to govern our country. The lack of understanding people have of our legal and political systems is disgraceful, especially as we have compulsory voting. The political and legal systems outline how our society is to be governed and it's laws enacted.

Media Studies- Our society is heavily saturated with media information, we're constantly bombarded with advertising and other messages, through film, television, radio, magazine, internet etc. It is probably the largest form of communication, and so, like English, it is important to educate people how to properly decode sometimes cryptic information presented by the media, so as to allow them to function most effectively in society, and allows one to filter out the potential propaganda and think for themselves, again, important to democracy.

Philosophy- Very important. It opens up areas of the mind and ways of thinking that I honestly believe enhance all areas of life and enable creative, lateral thinking and so so much more. I almost feel like it teaches you how to think, like before studying philosophy, I wasn't really thinking, I just thought I was. But then I think, philosophy doesn't teach you how to think, because as soon as you "teach" somebody something, you're instilling in them a set of perceptions that may not necessarily be objective enough to be deemed truthful, especially when it comes to patterns of behaviour, belief and especially thought, so you can't truly teach somebody to think. Then again, I used to think I was thinking, then philosophy opened my mind to how to really think, but if I made that error previously, perhaps I am simply making the same error again, a slave to my own perceptions and delusions of correctness. Hmm... you catch my drift, to not teach philosophy is like taking eyes from a child.

Art- I mean this in the broadest possible sense, not strictly painting, sculpting, drawing or the more "traditional" things you'd be taught in a arts class. I simply mean that everybody should be taught a means of expressing themselves in a creative way, to allow people to externally perceive your soul. Whether it's dance, drama, song, music, poetry, painting, drawing, poi... whatever, everybody should have a means of communicating that which transcends conventional means.

Well, that's what I think, what about you guys, what subjects would you make compulsory, and why?


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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Nah, not girl guides. They're useless. Boy scouts of Australia allows children of both genders.

Things become tricky when you want to have a group of ALL girls and you want to attend an event that has boys. (I know a number of guide leaders that wouldn't even dream of attending an event with a lot of lads)


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Derwyn


Derwyn

Lightworker
Location: New Mexico

Total posts: 88
Posted:Oh ya? Well, something for both genders then. You get the idea. Besides, I think it would be a good idea for the kids to learn with the opposite sex.

"When we dance with the faeries, we dance with the reflections of our true selves and the true inner self of the world."

"If you keep thinking like that, you'll never get to meet a Unicorn."

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Boy scouts is actually mixed...

As if you could keep girls out of an all boys organisation without a furore... the other way round its different... maybe because boys wouldn't wanna join it, maybe because of the political correctness surrounding girls.


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_SonBoy scouts is actually mixed...

i dont think its been called " boy scouts" for decades, exactly because they made it available to anyone of the right age.

as far as i know its just Scouts, or The Scouting Association of Australia.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

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burningoftheclavey
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder, New Zealand

Total posts: 926
Posted:Of the World! But there has to be a male and female adult leader in the local group for girls to join...

on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

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jarle
GOLD Member since Mar 2007

jarle

Lv15 Ranger
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 1489
Posted:I think the thread's going off topic at the moment, but I don't mind contributing to the current conversation.

In Australia Scouts are officially known as Scouts Australia, but other countries still use the term 'Boy Scout' - America from memory is one of them. The use of the term I believe is outdated - when the movement started it was accepted 'as fact' that young boys were more suited to excel than young girls, a sentiment shared by few around the modern world. However, I reckon that the vital aim that started the movement - to develop and teach youngsters to survive and contribute to society - is still relevant.

*end rant*


Kupo!

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MikefromGlos
SILVER Member since Jul 2006

MikefromGlos

Hitman
Location: Gloucester England

Total posts: 985
Posted:Even the modern Scouts in britain allow girls in (Ventuer and Explorer Scouts).

he he i am mike the amazing gloscircus person who is mike.

Officaly an exception to the Poi Boys are Girls Thing

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls., Engla...

Total posts: 756
Posted:
But, as someone said, only if they have a female leader- I used to work with someone who was the only female leader in the local group- so if she had to go back to work mid-camp, the sole female scout had to come home..

There's also the fact that some parents don't like their daughters joining a mixed group- especially members of some religions like Islam. For those kids, even if some of us wouldn'tconsider it ideal, guides does have a part to play in at least giving *some* useful skills. Personally, I wish mixed scouts had been around when I was the right age to join- I wound up in a girls' school and guides... Gives a pretty skewed view of the world in my opinion.

I can't remember learning much at guides or brownies either- how to lay a table and make fake wounds (I think we were supposed to be doing first aid, but they let us make fake cuts first, which we were supposed to bandage and they were way cool, so that was all we did..) is about all..


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


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Lev


Firedance Philosopher
Location: Vancouver BC Canada

Total posts: 79
Posted:I strongly agree with survivalist and huntergatherer training.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:in a practical world and considering that time given to teach children in institutions is limited, i this i would like to oppose all those people who say survivalist/outdoorsmanship should be taught in school.

the vast majority of people will be better off learning how to function in the real world, society, than alone with no equipment. i do think survival methods are worth learning, but its not a government institutions responsibility to prepare you for an event that by and large will never happen to the vast majority of people. if you want to learn/teach your kids send them to scouts or do it yourself.

there are more skills that will actually be used that are worthy of learning.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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burningoftheclavey
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder, New Zealand

Total posts: 926
Posted:I think schools should have classes telling you how to fill in tax forms, or what you need to consider when buying/renting a house, how not to get duped over by dodgy car salesmen and other life skills that they never tell you about in school..

on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 3044
Posted:it strikes me interesting that people think so many 'life skills' should be taught at school.

Cannot parents take responsability for teaching kids life skills? i think we ask too much of our teachers sometimes.

Some of these suggestion also strike me as idealistic - forgetting what the attention span of a teenager is like for mundanely practical learning. I know for sure i would have slept through classes on tax returns.

Its very difficult to make a kids learn about something he/she doesnt give a sh*t about. Arts, philosophy, PE, etc they may have given you amazing lessons you have learnt over time - but i dont think they should be rammed down the throat of every student.
Legal studies? history? *yawn* not that i dont find them interesting when pursuing them in my own time - but at school they were taught in a rather dull manner - anyway i much preferred sciences and arts. ive learnt amazing things about the world from chemistry - but that doesnt mean i expect everyone else to be as fascinated as me.

Compulsary scouts? im sorry - but are you trying to make your teenager run away?

school kids do actually need spare hours in the day so they can focus on what they are genuinely interested in, and opposed to being forced to do the things us oldies regretted not doing earlier in the past.


EDITED_BY: Dentrassi (1236095721)


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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burningoftheclavey
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder, New Zealand

Total posts: 926
Posted:Im just thinking as part of a Personal and Social Education class (not sure if thats just a UK or worldwide thing..) you learn to fill out college forms and go for job interviews, you get work experience, why not add in a couple of weeks on what you should look for when you buy your first car/house/whatever?

(I think there should also be an extra curricular activity of how to dodge the taxman and live cheaply too...but chances of that filtrating into schools are slim..)


on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

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V_Regal
GOLD Member since Feb 2009

Lost in the Lights
Location: BC, Canada

Total posts: 101
Posted:We already have something similar in Canada.
Planning 10.
And go figure that I'm the last group of 12th graders to still have to do their portfolios for our grad interviews.


Risen from the Ashes
The Phoenix shall rise in his royal flaire.
FIND YOUR DESTINY.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:Originally Posted By: V_RegalAnd go figure that I'm the last group of 12th graders to still have to do their portfolios for our grad interviews.

that makes no sense to people that dont know Canadian education wink. what are you talking about?


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Originally Posted By: MikefromGlosWell this is a subject having worked in the Uk education system i feel i can get involved in.
I also think that exams are not the way forward as all they do is show somone how you work well sat down at a desk in silence it should be how you performed thoughout the year in the school.



I have to disagree on that one, I think Exam are fantastic. I would prefer All exams and no coursework but that wouldn't be good for education. Exams show a persons ability to perform well individually under pressure using only the knowledge in their own head. It promotes information storage to memory and to top it off I found them really easy. Coursework was my downfall. to little structure it's like the hippy of the school system. The thing I hated about Coursework was people who went off, ripped huge peices of text straight out of a book or other source and got good grades, it's like passing school using a treasure hunt, it provides no proof an individual knows anything, only that they can find the answers useful for some professions but useless for others.
Sat at a desk in (well not silence but quiet when the phones not ringing) low volume is how I work. I need to concentrate quite hard when i work so I don't get confused by chronology.

I think the system has it right, a base of knowledge which is tested via exams, and coursework to set people to finding answers for themselves and working through problems knowling important sources of information etc. Must almost be harder now with the internet as a resource so much on it is inacurate or flawed in some way.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:Originally Posted By: MynciI think the system has it right, a base of knowledge which is tested via exams, and coursework to set people to finding answers for themselves and working through problems knowling important sources of information etc. Must almost be harder now with the internet as a resource so much on it is inacurate or flawed in some way.

i agree the system (which sounds similar to australia) has it right, appropriate subjects have a balance of course work, practical assessments, and exams.

as for the internet.... all the correct information is there, if you are willing to pay for it wink


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls., Engla...

Total posts: 756
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mynci
I have to disagree on that one, I think Exam are fantastic.


Some exams do a decent job of testing people's knowledge, I'll admit, but a *lot* are just a short-term memory test, they don't test actual understanding.

One of my uncles, at the time a teacher, once coached the winning team through a county 'Reading Challenge' tournament, which was basically a quiz on a book all the schools had been given.

Not one of the kids had read the book, but my uncle is very good at picking out likely quiz questions, picked out what he thought would be asked, and just got the kids to memorise the answers.. rolleyes

Y'can pass alot of exams this way too, while people with a better actual grasp of the subject who don't cope well with exam pressure fail.



There's loads of stuff I just revised, stuck on paper, and forgot. I don't see how that actually helped me, or anyone else. Okay, so maybe it did help my short-term memory a bit, but not my understanding of the subject.

And I was pretty good at exams too, before anyone assumes that's why I don't like 'em... tongue2


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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Lev


Firedance Philosopher
Location: Vancouver BC Canada

Total posts: 79
Posted:Originally Posted By: V_RegalWe already have something similar in Canada.
Planning 10.
And go figure that I'm the last group of 12th graders to still have to do their portfolios for our grad interviews.
Planning 10 was nearly a filler block, the majority of it is homework from previous blocks =P

I mean, we have life skills classes like home ec, ect. but they are no where near where they need to be for any sort of living, it basically just teaches you how to not maim yourself while performing simple tasks, not how to actually do them to any sort of proficiency unless you dedicate a good 2-3 years of follow-through with upping the grade level as you go, and even then that disables you from being able to take some of the classes you really need career-wise if you're going into trades.


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V_Regal
GOLD Member since Feb 2009

Lost in the Lights
Location: BC, Canada

Total posts: 101
Posted:In Canada, or at least British Columbia, the graduating students need to have a graduation interview with a person. Their portfolio consists of things such as awards, certificates, and whatever sculpts your life, such as a poem, or a work of art.

I myself have a certificates of 33rd place in an international poet's contest, Foodsafe, as well as being part of the junior division of 1st place school dance competition, as the first three. I also have sketches of some clothing designs as well.


Risen from the Ashes
The Phoenix shall rise in his royal flaire.
FIND YOUR DESTINY.

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fanged_angel
BRONZE Member since Jul 2007

fanged_angel

poiromaniac
Location: liverpool, uk

Total posts: 162
Posted:id make everyone learn sign language just imagine how much easier it would be to talk/order drinks in a club or similarly noisy situation that and sometimes the world could do with being a bit quieter

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jojodijojo


stranger


Total posts: 13
Posted:First of all, I'd junk the whole syllabus.

I'd teach practical science starting early- actually looking at critters, light, sound, matter, astronomy, in ways that made them interesting. I personally think people ought to be taught to be at home in their surroundings and to appreciate the natural world.

Second, there ought to be some sort of good class in ethical philosophy and behaviour: not the insipid, uncertain garbage you get dished out in school, nor rigid intolerance. Also responsibility towards the environment in a more practical way than just an obsession with recycling. I mean, of all this generation, tons will become business magnates lobbing chemicals into their environment- and the school, while lauding recycling, will equally praise them for being a 'success!'

Currently school is just a way of breaking you into accepting a pointless 9-5 job. Therefore ethics ought to also encompass a total criticism of anything you're told to do: I don't mean anarchy, but just a willingness to question everything before accepting it.

I'd junk RE altogether- I personally found it worse than useless. Anything other than Christianity in our school was approached with a patronising, nervous 'interest' which actually told us nothing at all about the religion or the culture it came from. Also, it seemed to believe there were only 4 religions worth speaking of in the whole world.

Instead of English etc, I'd have a huge library and turn people loose in it to make of it what they will.

Maths ought to be taught to be useful for practical application in life, but not mandatory after this point had been reached.

I'd also rather people knew how to leave happily for little money, rather than train them that the only important thing in life is to make money and get/own things. It would be good to know how to grow your own food, heat your own house, make your own clothes....

Media studies is incredibly important- I think people ought to be able to understand the ways advertising manipulates individuals so they at least have some defence against it.

I'm aware all of this sounds ludicrously idealistic, and know it will never happen, but I think it's more practical and useful than the current setup. I can't comprehend why self-sufficiency, in particular, is never taught, to free up the world's resources, nor do they teach the results of the current enconomic structure.

And advanced first aid, of course! And more languages from an early age- seems to work very well in Scandinavian countries...

EDITED_BY: jojodijojo (1237559979)


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