We all remember our school days. There have been some times which have been wonderful and quite a few marked by perfect boredom. However, there remain some loose ends that often find some people sighing in bemusement that if only they had been taught all of this at school, instead of all that information. One gets that feeling perhaps very early at school itself while bound in the monotonous nature of high-pressure studies or in a more real life situation. Considering these scenarios, i have compiled a list of the subjects we wish we were taught in school:
10. Dynamic Philosophy
Despite its seemingly complicated nature and ideas, philosophy is actually the mother of mode thinking for various disciplines that are are later pursued by students. It may appear boring to some because of the sheer complexity but i believe that after the 9th grade, a simplified course in philosophy actually helps a person to get exposed to newer ideas and ways of thinking. The word “dynamic” is added here because this kind of course should be taught in a way that entails a more argumentative and questioning mode of thought about these very fundamental ideas. Its a subject that will teach us to agree to disagree and conform to logic, rather than what is simply to be taken as widely given.
9. Creative writing
Writing skills are undoubtedly dealt with in English literature classes in school. This is particularly true for predominantly English medium schools. However, in real terms, the creative inclination of a person is not entirely developed beyond knowing the fundamentals of grammar and sentence order. The skills of structuring ideas, thinking effectively for larger concepts and story-lines is something that should be taught in school. Writing is something that helps us to get a better glimpse into our thoughts and also develop our language skills. The class should be very activity oriented with games designed to increase vocabulary, reading levels and to remain inspired to create new ways to express oneself, through prose, poems etc.
8. Photography and Film-making
Another seriously interesting and fun subject that gets missed out school! Photography is actually a very technical process. Unlike creative writing, this is a more effective means for people who are unable to express themselves in words and need a far more visual medium. It would be a good idea to make the students go on field trips and simply take photos of nature, people in the city, etc while the teacher explained the concepts. Similarly, film-making is something that quite a few of us become fascinated with but it is quite instrumentally demanding along with a great deal of teamwork. This form of team-work is something that actually helps later in life, especially for more brain-storming oriented kind of work.
7. Money 101
Its so important to stay afloat and green during the time when most are on the red line instead in terms of debt. Society has become very fast paced and often, children are exposed to a very high standard of living. When they become adults, many forget the value of money itself. This actually creates a more casual attitude to earning and expenditure. The endless need to buy things to feel better even spirals out of control in some cases. Thus, such a subject should be taught at very primary stage where children are encouraged to try out their ability to save and economize. The rationale of wise spending should be taught early by some co-operation with parents and mock-stimulation activities.
This is a subject that becomes very important for older grade students as the stresses of academic life and bodily changes overwhelm them over time. Mindfulness is related to self-awareness and spirituality. Despite being an agglomeration of rather complicated ideas, most people eventually seek out this kind of awareness and peace later in their lives. The idea is not to promote any religion but simply to reach calmness and inner peace. In such a subject, students should be taught how to meditate and practice yoga for awareness. This will lead to better performance and health for the students. Deep breathing exercises should be combined with group chanting.
This is a subject that becomes increasingly important in a rather uncertain world. It is not only fun and physically demanding but also very important for the young ones, especially in a society ridden with crime. Martial arts such as taekwando, kung-fu or judo etc should be taught to physically able students since they are little. There are many belt exams for these forms of fighting and its better to start out early. Girls, particularly need to be taught self-defense to deal with any potential assailants in the future along with an emphasis on developing their physical strength as well. It should be complemented with regular cardiovascular exercise to develop the body at a young age.
4. Time Management
In a world fraught with serial procrastinators and expanding work pressure, the art of time management is kept at an undertone in the formative years despite its obvious importance. Prioritization is something that must be taught to younger children along with various techniques to handle studies, social events and other activities. Teaching older students to balance their life along with ideas on how to effectively relax is also useful and usually missed out. Many talented people can actually blossom more if they are taught how to manage their time better. Many slackers actually need to find out ways to be more productive and a healthy dose of activities actually helps.
3. Reaction Class
Stress becomes an inevitable part of living. However, managing stress is often done in very unhealthy ways by individuals sometimes. A lot of compulsive behaviors, such as over-eating arise as a means to cope with internal stress. Schools should have classes to teach students on how to develop reaction mechanisms that will help them keep their emotional and physical well-being. For older students, mock interviews should be done regularly to expose them to stressful scenario. Group games must be incorporated to allow people to release their pent up emotions and then understand how to deal with positively instead of developing distorted thinking mechanisms.
It is quite normal to be baffled by differences. Subconsciously, the human brain is designed to look for similarities which is basically a repercussion of herd behavior in primal times. In an age of globalization where different people are slowly integrating as one, with their various national, religious, sexual and racial identities, there has to be an emphasis on the curriculum to train young ones to be patient and tolerant. Cultural sensitization is very important and a practical need that is often left for later. A number of stereotypes and prejudices are formed that need to be dispelled from a young age itself. This is particularly important for sexual preferences and treatment of women.
1. Social skills
Communication is the key to great social skills. However, for effective communication, there has to be a certain level of confidence that needs to develop. Keeping this in mind, social skills classes must be conducted where students learn how to talk to members of the opposite gender, learn eye contact and speaking on a public forum. This is very important for overcoming shyness that often hinders many children. Public speaking also needs to be practiced with the children. Self-esteem issues also need to be identified and children should learn how to develop trust in relationship with others. Mock debates, encouragement exercises can be used to identify individual strengths in the students at an early age.