What is the purpose of schools? Or better question, what should be the purpose of schools? I think it should be to provide students with the best start once they enter the real world.
By focusing on memorising knowledge we miss out on a lot of important things and with easy access to all the worlds knowledge at our fingertips is memory as vital now?
Below are a few ideas to shake things up and hopefully let students leave better off than I did.
1. Phylosophy classes
Mental health is a huge crisis now. Having classes on morals, virtues, and how to live a good life may combat this. All classes would be debates rather than the common 'here's knowledge, memorise it'. The objective of this class would be to help path your own phylosophy for living a happy /good life.
I think happiness should be valued just as much as skills/knowledge. Happiness serves as a boost to these qualities.
It also teaches you to truly question. Something I feel is missing in a lot of classes.
2. Projects > exams
Set projects. Encourage students to educate themselves in order to improve their projects.
Projects are what we use our knowledge and skills for in the real world. That's all work is. By focusing at an early age to look for solutions to problems we'll see and solve a lot more of the world's problems.
build a bridge. Use the maths you know to help make it strong. Use art skills to make it look nice. Use English skills to develop a talk on why you're bridge should be chosen.
Teachers can think of projects that include multiple subjects, strengthening understanding of all of them in the process (new pathways will be made in the process of combining skills).
3. Film making
With phones and YouTube being a film maker is super easy.
Kids can then team up, write a script, act, film or market.
4. Online Portfolios
Animators have showreels. Showcasing their best work. This is what companies care about when looking for staff. I think keeping a portfolio in all skills is worthwhile and is of more use than a cv.
Each year students should upload their best work. This can be done through videos, photos or text.
Imagine if finding work was as easy as sending a short video of your skills over the last year compared to a cv/cover letter /online survey?
This also provides students with proof that they are awesome. To often people feel their usless, having this as proof your not should combat depression at least a little.
This may be the wrong word so hear me out. Teach kids how to do what they already want to do (social media), but with a positive outcome for everyone. Tell them to share knowledge they have. (this serves as James's minus idea), post what they're working on (knowledge on the process will make future students even better).
6. Self defence
I hear 'educate men' a lot, like these evil guys don't know what their doing. I think learning how to protect yourself is much more useful.
Everyone should know how to keep themselves and others safe. Predictors pray on the weak, learning how to stay strong will protect a lot more people.
Staying fit also protects you from sickness and keeps you happy. I think martial arts are of a lot more use than other sports and should be taught just as much.
We have all had a 'X would make a great app' though. Imagine if after that, you could easily create it. Programing changes how you view problems as well, one letter can break a program. Maybe other problems are as simple to fix as well.
How many skills/bits of knowledge from high school do you use now? Probably not a lot. How much time is wasted learning trigonometry? A language you have no desire to speak? History you can't compare to your own life?
What if you could choose at a much earlier stage what you want to learn? If we make a choice and want to learn, surely we'll learn more. And if other subjects will be of no use, why the push to do well in it anyway?
Knowing why some subjects do better, may help in making better lessons for the less popular subjects.
As boring as it may be learning about it will lead to better adults. How many times have you seen people mistake immigration with racisim? Minimum wages with communism? People they disagree with with Hitler? Having a basic knowledge will eliminate 80% of common disputes. Being tuned in may lead to better policies and stronger relationships with other countries.
Knowing how to spot 'fake news' will make everyone happier. It would end a lot of group think mentality and disputes. It will also make it harder for people to do what you want them to do /what is best for the country. I still believe that letting people make their own judgements is better than being brainwashed into thinking you're making your own judgement (and that's better than having no say whatsoever