10 Needed Educational Changes

10. “REAL WORLD” SEXUAL EDUCATION NEEDED

Improvement is needed in the sexual education programs. First of all, many schools don’t have them. That should be corrected. Secondly, many schools that have sexual education programs focus on the anatomical and biological, while the areas which are most applicable are practical applications, function and psychological effects. 

Kids are bored out of their minds and falling asleep in sex education classes. That shouldn’t be happening! Whether they’re fascinated, disgusted, or down-right horny, they should be very curious to find out about sex, but that’s exactly what these classes aren’t teaching them!

Most of the sexual education classes aren’t teaching kids about sex. They’re teaching students about biological reproduction, reproductive systems and birth control. Is it any wonder teenagers are stifling yawns and then accidentally impregnating their partners?

Some would argue that children shouldn’t be taught real details about masturbation, foreplay and sexual intercourse, but those people who argue that, are simply conservative, maladjusted and naïve. They should not let their own discomfort with the topics of sexual awareness deprive others of knowledge that should clearly be public.

Sex is everywhere. It’s happening. Denying it is like denying that the sun rises every day. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, it’s happening. People want to know about sex. They want to be good at it. They want to experiment and be safe. And what’s wrong with that? It’s all only natural.

What is absolutely NOT natural is the fact that these things aren’t being taught in schools.
Kids are having sex at younger and younger ages. Many of them are having sex long before anyone’s bothered to teach them anything about sex and that’s like playing with a loaded gun without ever having been taught how to use one.

Some parents argue that their little boys and little girls are innocent and virginal and they want to keep them that way. First of all, those parents can supplant the words” innocent” and “virginal” for “ignorant,” “inexperienced,” “uneducated” and “clueless” and secondly, many of those “innocents” are the ones who go on a sexual frenzy when they get to college because their “innocence” often isn’t a product of their character, or morality, but rather a byproduct of harsh rules, which had previously restricted their actions. 

People don’t learn self-control by not being allowed options. That only makes them hunger to partake of their freedom. People learn self-control by being given freedom and having the guidance to help them navigate through their options.

A better, more detailed and more practical sex education is sorely needed in our schools.

9. MORE TRAVEL ABROAD PROGRAMS NEEDED

Because many high school and college students don’t have full-time jobs, many are blessed with an unusual amount of free time. During this span, they can be required to see the world, experience diversity and explore their options. It’s an opportunity that the world’s youth can’t afford to pass up.
They are so much poorer for the absence of field trips to other countries.

Many people will never have another opportunity to see a country other than their own. A high school field trip could at least show them one other country, before they settle into a life that may never afford them that opportunity again.

Visiting another country can increase a sense of unity with their fellow mankind, a sense of global responsibility and help to illuminate the grey areas that allow for black and white thinking that causes nationalism and ignores the moral link between humanity. 

How can we expect people to recognize that there are so many other people out there, both the same and different, but equally important and equally deserving, if they never have a chance to really see, meet, or experience any of them?

Make it real. Educational institutions can go a step further to show children the world.

Many children need to be forced away from the comfort and familiarity of their televisions and video games, so they can get out and explore, learn, experiment and grow. Likewise, we must send teenagers and young adults beyond their borders to explore the world. Most will go gratefully and some kicking and screaming, but almost all of them will be better people because of it.

8. STUDENT RUN BUSINESSES NEEDED

It’s widely recognized that hands-on experience is one of the best ways to learn. It stands to reason then, though it is little said, that students need hands-on experience.

What could be more sensible than putting students in groups to start their own business projects and/or work on existing projects for companies who are willing to pay small donations?

Many students would love the “real world” element of this type of learning. Others would find themselves enthused by the competitiveness. Still others would enjoy the human interaction and the challenge.

Schools could benefit from improved funding, as the educational system would approve and fund many of these miniature businesses and the profits of those businesses which become profitable would then be pumped back into the school system.

Businesses desperately need low-cost manpower. Many big businesses would be eager to partner with high schools and give well-prepared students legitimate business projects, thereby passing off the less important projects to workers who can accomplish those goals effectively, while not sapping time from the highly trained and highly paid manpower, which might be better served working on more pressing issues.

Big businesses might pay student teams small amounts of money to rewrite internal business texts, do research, determine ways to enhance the work environment, or craft a marketing plan. Students will be assigned to such programs due to their area of expertise and a high grade point average.

Students with lower grades will settle for working on lower level projects, often for less money, as is the case in real life.

Students will select a project they’re interested in, in the field or area of their choice. They will get “real world” experience, which most schools fail miserably to provide. Meanwhile, the schools provide small amounts of seed money, for business projects which they expect to turn a profit. The school receives the income from the projects and can use it to enhance the school system, hire better teachers, buy better books, purchase athletic equipment, lure better management and introduce enhanced travel abroad and business internship programs.

It’s a win/win for everyone involved. It’s a wonder that this system isn’t already being used as a prerequisite for graduation for both high school and college.

7. MORE INTERNSHIPS NEEDED

Once students end the formal educational phase of their lives, they frequently need to begin working immediately to pay off educational loans, support their families, or simply pay to live. This affords them little opportunity for exploration, experimentation and “comparison shopping.” They often have to jump at the first job they’re offered.

Frequently, people enter fields they were trained for, but discover that they don’t like these jobs in “the real world.”

Just to give you some perspective, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, citing a study done in 1979, regarding people born from 1957 to 1964, the average person held 11 jobs from ages 18 to 44. Part of the reason for this, is likely to be a lack of opportunity to properly search for their ideal profession and ideal job situation before they get entrenched in the “the real world.”

During high school, most students have an uncommonly large amount of free time. This is a phenomenal opportunity for students to try on different hats and see which one fits best. They can determine what they really want to do. They can gain valuable experience and make wonderful business contacts for the future. This will also benefit businesses, which can use free student interns to get a boost from extra staffing they don’t have to pay for.

Student business internships make so much sense and yet they are rarely done. Why?

Schools need to set themselves to the task of setting up efficient business internship programs for high school and university students.

Doing at least one business internship should be a prerequisite for graduating from high school and college, respectively.

6. EDUCATIONAL FUNDING NEEDED

It’s wonderful that so many countries have free public education, but in many countries, the quality of that education is lacking and many more fail to offer affordable university programs after high school. The price to get an education at many universities is astronomical and borders on the absurd.

Young people should not be forced into what is a nearly insurmountable debt, just to get a good post high school education. Students should not need to take on a massive debt for the next decade, just so they can continue to learn.

Instead of funding enough military force to destroy our planet 12 times over, instead of wadding up hundred dollar bills and tossing them into the legal system for their hideously inefficient year-long  trials and instead of giving billions of dollars to law enforcement so they can terrorize a bunch of people who would like to watch television and smoke some relaxing medicinal marijuana in the privacy of their own home, we should use those funds to enhance education, improve it and offer it freely, even at the university levels, to everyone, regardless of their financial background. 

5. PRACTICAL EDUCATION NEEDED

Improved sexual education was already mentioned above. We have children who know what fallopian tubes and ovum are, but couldn’t sexually satisfy a partner to save their lives. That doesn’t make any sense.

Likewise, we have so many women who don’t pump their arms when they run and look so physically disoriented in the natural situation of running that one simply has to scratch ones head.

Are our educators really so incompetent that they can’t teach young women to run?
There are a few good teachers out there and it is understandable that they will be able to teach girls to swing their arms when they run, so that they add speed, balance and some semblance of athleticism to what was previously a hideously inefficient gate.

Similarly, the majority of men don’t know how to cook. They would be hard-pressed to microwave a TV dinner for themselves. Isn’t that relevant to education? Many students can do algebra, which they will never use in their lives, once they graduate school, but if their mother isn’t home, they could very nearly starve to death for lack of knowledge, desire and aptitude in the kitchen.

Think about a natural disaster. If a meteor hit the Earth and the electricity went out for months in all directions, if there were riots and mass chaos, if the water was contaminated and people had to flee their homes into the forests to escape the radiation, who would know what to do? Who would know how to live off the land and decontaminate and desalinate water? Have we been trained for that?

What would you do? What would your children do? Do you know which plants to eat and which ones to avoid? Do you know how to get fresh drinking water? Can you start a fire without a match or lighter? Do you know how to catch fish without a rod and reel? Can you hunt animals without a gun or build a tenable shelter?

Despite the availability of massive amounts of information on the internet, on television and in books and magazine, the general survival knowledge of the human race is probably at an all-time low and still declining.

Technology has made things easier and easier and we have come to rely on it more and more. People aren’t just forgetting how to spell, because they have spell check on their computers, they are forgetting how to survive without a tremendous amount of assistance from other people and from new technology. If you take all that away, if you find yourself lost in the forest, how much will algebra and trigonometry really help you?

What will you wish you had learned in school?

Those are the things we need to know.

4. HANDS ON EXPERIENCE NEEDED

Another fundamental problem with education is that the best way to learn things is generally hands-on, people learn by doing and yet, most of education is taught in classrooms with books and blackboards. People should learn by doing, whenever possible.

In science, instead of telling them what will happen when you mix two chemicals, take them outside and do it.

In English, instead of telling them that Sallinger was a great writer, let them read his work and decide for themselves. Let them write their own and see if they can do better.

So the student says she wants to be a veterinarian, let her intern at a vet’s clinic for a month or two and see if she’s changed her mind, or if her desire is redoubled.

It’s time that children, parents and schools all realize just how wonderful the freedom of youth is and took better advantage of it by increasing the number of job internships students serve in school and increasing the number of foreign exchange programs. Both opportunities would make wonderful prerequisites for graduating.

The real world knowledge students would get from either experience is priceless and many who will get jobs and remain stationary for most of their lives to support their families and/or maintain their quality of life, will never afford themselves the opportunity to experiment with different professions, or travel internationally again.

3. PARENT INVOLVEMENT NEEDED

Arguably the biggest problem in education today is that parents aren’t involved enough. Parents need to pass their strengths onto their children and over-prepare children to face the weaknesses, which parents have been unable to overcome.

There are too many absentee parents and too many parents who trust the schools to educate and sometimes even raise their children, while they think it’s enough to put a roof up, clothe and feed their progeny.

The education of a child is the ultimate responsibility of the parents, not the schools. Make no mistake about this point.

Also, if your child fails to be properly educated, you can point your finger at them if you want to, but this is clearly your failure as well. Your child is your responsibility.

Children are learning more outside of classrooms than they are in them. One might say, “A 4.0 student should be learning more about life and less about school.” This is a generalization, of course, but the truth is that if a student has nearly perfect grades, but they’re not socializing, playing sports, enjoying hobbies and living their lives, then perhaps their grade in life would be much lower than the one they receive for academics.

Academics are only one facet of life and while it is very important, it is also the lesser portion.

Make no mistake, education is insurmountably helpful, however, academia is just one arena of learning, just one area of knowledge.

Students can learn a great deal outside of schools from doing things on their own, from family and friends and books and movies. 

2. CRITICAL THINKING & FREE CHOICE NEEDED

Critical thinking could also be described as rational or logical thought.

It is truly amazing that many adults never seem to have learned the process of identifying a question or problem, brainstorming for solutions and properly evaluating the pros and cons of each option.

How is it even possible that many adults still have not mastered this immeasurably useful system?
It can only be speculated that poor parenting, absentee parents and a lack of focus in the school system have contributed to this endemic.

There is plenty of emphasis on students knowing the existing patterns and systems, but there should be more emphasis on free choice.

Students must learn to forge their own paths, try new things, work on a team without losing their individual identity and innovate.

People should learn to question everything and draw their own conclusions. 

Let them be inspired by Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken. They must first walk the beaten path and then, look for the less-traveled paths that can take them where they want to go.

Children must be encouraged to operate within the confines of society, but simultaneously they must be instructed on how to be their own person and how to cultivate their uniqueness.

Courage cannot be given, but it can be nudged in the right direction by teaching students to stand up for their individuality and honor, today and always.
 
1.    MORALITY NEEDED

The truth about education is that the primary goal of education should not be to educate.

This may come as a shock to some people.

It’s perfectly understandable that this seems quite out of place and absurd.

However, the primary goal of education should not be to make smart people, or to make people smart.

The goal of education should be to make good, moral and virtuous people.

To this end, the American notion that moral values cannot and should not be taught in schools is a ridiculous fallacy.

Many parents are forgetting, or simply failing to teach their children to be morally conscious and righteous. Many parents are absentee parents and worse still, many aren’t qualified enough in the arenas of morality to effectively teach anyone.

So, the sad truth is, we are increasing the intelligence and thereby power of the greedy, self-centered and lawless, at the expense of society’s goodness and morality.

Perhaps the vandal who tags his name on someone’s store front will be able to say, “I thoroughly enjoyed disseminating my knowledge in a place of high visibility,” thanks to our current educational system, but the fact remains, he shouldn’t be vandalizing other people’s property.

And the environmental plunderer who destroys rain forest after rainforest, for profit, with no regard to the environment, will be able to crunch all his numbers magnificently, thanks to our excellent math programs, as the world slowly dies.

Those who assert that morals and principals should not be taught in schools are missing several important points.

1.    Moral values are the most important things we can teach. A smart immoral person is likely to do more harm, where a less educated, but moral person, is likely to do good.
2.    Though there is disagreement on whether religion should be taught in schools, most people do agree on a small set of moral values, which can be the basis for these teachings.
3.    If everyone doesn’t agree on all the morals, which should be taught, that’s okay, because teaching young people about something doesn’t mean that they will adopt that viewpoint or practice. Children can be exposed to knowledge and they can make their own decisions.

Here is a list of suggested primary morals which should be taught in school…
1.    Protect Life
2.    Avoid inflicting pain
3.    Respect the property of others
4.    Improve

Here is a list of suggested secondary morals, which can be taught in school…
1.    Tell the truth
2.    Leave things better than when you found them
3.    Take responsibility
4.    Be fair
5.    Help others

Keep in mind that these are more like guidelines than rules. For example, there may be times when even the primary morals supersede themselves in the direst situations. This would happen in the order of their importance.

Note that Free Choice and Critical Thinking should also be taught along-side the introduction of values.

Free Choice is the right, ability and capacity to decide for oneself.

Critical Thinking is the rational and logical process of analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of options, in order to make the best decisions.

Comments sent

1 comment(s).
Anibal Alvarado Brizuela - 12/13/2013 2:38:07 PM
Here in CR we have a big trench between private and public education. We need to work on reduce that trench and create a public sistem that helps teenagers to develop their skills.

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