Today’s curriculum is designed to give children a foundation of wide variety. In high school we are expected to learn and sit exams of everything from calculus, algebra, and physics to religious studies, physical education and art. In school I had design technology classes where I learnt how to make a box out of wood and a textile class where I learnt how to sew a dress (by hand may I add, I still to this day don’t know how to use a sewing machine). When I left I was happy as I had the grades for university. However, I still didn’t feel prepared for the real world.
But I feel that as I left school and started living in the big bad world as a grown up, I was expected to know how to do things I was never taught. Nobody asked me if I knew PI off by heart, but I was supposed to know how to make bank deposits, pay my phone bills, make doctors appointments over the phone and send out curriculum vitae’ for jobs. I went travelling and the typical “Hola, en Argentina quiero hacer tango” that I had learnt proved of very little help when I needed to figure out how to get paperwork done in a Latin American country.
So what needs to be done? This is a call for a high school revolution! I propose that schools bring themselves up to date with the world we are living in now. History is crucial and not knowing basic maths will mean you will find it very hard to get a job in any company. But obligatory physical education and art should (maybe not be replaced, but have the other option) have alternatives such as: how to start-up you own business. Knowing how to make useful contacts in today’s day and age will get you much further that knowing how to make a box with a few slabs of wood. Knowing how to recite all the Presidents is impressive for five minutes, but that kid who learnt basic Chinese is a whole lot more prepared for the real world.
Kids should learn the real benefits of travelling. How to book cheap flights and coordinate them with hotels. Which parts of Argentina are good for shows and cinema nights and which Argentina cities are good for relaxing and watching the scenery. I feel that today’s children are taught that as long as you get the best grades and go to the best university you will automatically be successful and therefore happy! I’m about to let you in a groundbreaking secret… this formula doesn’t always turn out to be true. As you get older you start to learn that life is about the journey and not so much the destination. Let’s imagine two world-class lawyers having a conversation together. One of them did everything by the book and is happy his last case also went well. The other is laughing and telling this great story of how his placement in Buenos Aires was so different to working in New York and how he had to learn legal Spanish in no time and help out with all sorts of cases, meeting people and hearing their moving stories. This second lawyer at the beginning was a month behind when he started his first career. But in the long run it’s ended up being an investment.
Additionally, coding and knowing how to Photoshop should be on the curriculum. Coding is the language of the future and many are starting to get into learning it. Knowing how to code will open your professional options for the future as will knowing how to use programs such as Photoshop. Even if you only manage to get the grasps of the basics, having an idea of these skills will set you ahead of the rest in any job interview and need to be introduced to children at a much younger age.
Lastly, but also of great importance, energy and sustainability and understand politics and public policy should be one two of the most important subjects in schools today. How many times have you turned on the news to hear that Congress has shut down or that Putin and Obama are having tensions in their relationship, but not really understood very much? This needs to be introduced to children along with the urgency of changing our daily habits to stop climate change.
Of course, with these desires and ideas there needs to be complete support for the teachers to learn and educate following the new curriculum.
Let us know in the comments if their are any other topics or subjects you would include to help today’s tomorrow get ahead in this ever modernising world. Or if you’re interested in finding out more about the intensive professional programs in Argentina that Road2Argentina has to offer, check out the website or send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org