Opinion: Reflect life skills in curriculum


Graphic by Ally Bearman '20.

Ally Bearman '20, Staff Writer

For generations in the past and present, high school curriculum has always remained relatively the same. Science, Math, English, Social Studies and variations of these topics have been the main focus of learning. But how much of this information that we spend years and years studying and retaining is useful in the real world? What happens when students leave high school and don’t have the slightest clue about how to change a tire or pay their bills when the time comes? Society expects these tasks to be common knowledge to adults, and the school system needs to be more efficient in how they prepare kids to encounter such an abrupt change.
Though I do find the Pythagorean Theorem and the powerhouse of a cell to be intriguing, I see a need for more realistic intake of information. I believe there should be a required class for preparation to enter the adult world. Things such as student loans, taxes and credit would be the ideal subjects for this class. If students are not educated on so-called ‘street smarts,’ college or other paths will be tremendously more difficult. Although there are classes at South that touch on some of these topics, students will not always partake unless they are forced to like any other core class. It is imperative to learn the skills needed to live without parents before any typical school curriculum can be beneficial to a young adult.
Some may argue that South, along with parents, do a fine job educating about ‘street smarts,’ but I don’t find this to be the case for many. According to youngtruthsurvey.org, the vast majority of high school students want to go to college, but feel unprepared to do so. Of course, many Grosse Pointe families will do a wonderful job informing and teaching their children about life, but let’s gather a wider perspective. Not every district or city has classes or parents like South does, and this is considering that the majority of students do not take them when the opportunity prevails. Every school in this country should enforce this type of class, or at the very least offer it as an option like South does.
If the school curriculum were to change, I think everyone could benefit from the effects. Going to college, trade school or work in general would be a breeze compared to the overwhelmingness that people feel when becoming an adult. The process could be abundantly less stressful, and if that’s an option I don’t see why the chance to grow as a society wouldn’t be taken.