As a new parent, I’ve been thinking about what type of education I want my daughter to have. She’s only 3 years old, but I think about her education a lot, because I know how hard it is to find employment without a good education. It will be harder still, for her generation, to find employment as many service, manufacturing, and even analyst jobs (think financial sector, banking, insurance, etc..) will be replaced with automation.
People still think that all of the well paid manufacturing jobs in the United States have been outsourced to China, India, Mexico, or some other foreign country. However, the cold hard truth is that jobs have slowly been replaced by technology and automation since the dawn of the industrial revolution. Think about it, why pay someone who can only work 8 hours a day to do a job, pay for their benefits, worry about their productivity, when they can be replaced by a machine that needs little to no supervision and that can run 24 hours a day without breaks. Whether you like it or not, automation is a reality that our children’s generation will have to face head on.
Emphasis on technology and adapting to technological changes should be core curriculum in schools. Teaching kids not only the basics of learning, but on HOW to learn should be the core of any education system. Teaching practical life skills should also be taught.
What I mean by practical life skills are consider basic knowledge for any adult. For example – balancing a checkbook (do people still use checkbooks?) – at least balancing a budget. Learning how to change a tire and basic vehicle maintenance, shopping for insurance, learning about financial independence and savings. How to write and build a resume and negotiate. The importance of self learning is also included in this.
None of these things were really taught in the suburban education I received, and my parents really did not have time to teach me things, I just had to sort of learn them as life went… and I made several mistakes – huge avoidable mistakes – that, had I known better, could have saved me time and money. If you had parents to teach you these things, or the foresight to learn them yourself, before going out on your own, consider yourself lucky.
Anyways, I plan to teach my daughter these practical life skills and hopefully along the way she’ll figure out what kind of career she would like to dive into.
What do you all think? Should practical life skills be taught in schools?