Advanced search

Want lessons do you think SHOULD be taught in schools ?

(89 Posts)
lawstudentmum Wed 14-Sep-11 22:40:24

I was talking with my daughter and we were discussing if she felt that lessons are relevant for todays children...have they moved enough with the times?

For example French, German etc have always been taught - but are they still the languages that children should be learning?

RE ?

So I put the question out there - what lessons would you like to see your children learn ? smile

scaryteacher Wed 14-Sep-11 23:13:23

Definitely RE, not as preaching but teaching. We live in a world in which our kids will have to engage with those who hold different beliefs; it makes sense to give them some degree of religious literacy to enable them to do that.

Languages: French yes, Spanish yes, not so sure about German.

Get rid of Citizenship and teach them something useful like finance.

EdithWeston Wed 14-Sep-11 23:15:56

First aid, car maintenance, and proper cookery and nutrition (not food technology!)

LemonDifficult Wed 14-Sep-11 23:16:59

Latin/Greek/Classical Civilisation

Economics and Finance (Macro/Micro/Personal)

Freddiecat Wed 14-Sep-11 23:17:04

I think Citizenship is important - understanding about the politics and voting.

Finance definitely.

Languages - Arabic and Cantonese or Mandarin.

LemonDifficult Wed 14-Sep-11 23:18:35

Agree re First Aid and Car Maintenance. Also include with CM, other domestic necessity like plug changing, bill paying, hygiene, basic gardening.

tethersend Wed 14-Sep-11 23:19:22

Philosophy- children should come up with questions, not answers.

moondog Wed 14-Sep-11 23:21:06

It would be a start if they could get the basics right first.
You know, the dull stuff like reading and writing and maths.

Freddiecat Wed 14-Sep-11 23:22:23

absolutely moondog

IMO if a child gets to comp and cannot read they should be taken out of ALL lessons until they can.

celadon Wed 14-Sep-11 23:38:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tethersend Wed 14-Sep-11 23:43:15

Oooh, thanks for that celadon smile

celadon Thu 15-Sep-11 00:09:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Notsurehow Thu 15-Sep-11 00:26:07

I agree with many if the suggestions but in answer to LSM and the language "point" I am furious that DDs school still teaches French as compulsory.No sign of Mandarin as promised 4yrs ago when we first looked at the school.Well Mandarin is difficult and may sound poncey but Spanish would surely be a better investment for the future?
When I raised the issue,I was told it was "because the 11+ and common entrance exams require it".
Well they always will if nobody forces some change.
Thankfully,DD won't be going to a private secondary so stuff the 11+ and CE for me.I am not that much of a boffin to quote figures but I wonder what the percentage split worldwide is of French speakers vs Spanish speakers?

scaryteacher Thu 15-Sep-11 08:31:40

Spanish useful in Latin America, the US and obviously some of Europe.

French useful in Africa, and most of Europe. If people can't speak English, they will normally have some French.

lawstudentmum Thu 15-Sep-11 09:08:10

I agree with many of the suggestions - I just feel that the subjects have been the same for so it time to change.

What subjects are really important in the world of business say ? Are careers the same, are children coming out of school with the right tools to make it in todays world - I am not so sure that they are?

My dd seems to learn alot about HER RIGHTS but seems to lack lessons in Responsibility.

cory Thu 15-Sep-11 09:13:17

I think French and German should still be taught. Yes, in terms of global numbers there are more Mandarin speakers in the world but:

a) it is a harder language to learn so far less likely your average student will actually get to a point where they can use it

b) more British firms still do business with Europe, so you are more likely to get a job that requires French

c) at university and particularly at research level, being able to read French or German books is still a massive advantage in many subjects; unless your area is specifically Chinese, you are unlikely to need Mandarin here

Points b and c also apply to Spanish. I did French, German and Spanish at school. I have used French and German professionally in many different contexts: the only time I have ever used Spanish has been on holiday.

Malcontentinthemiddle Thu 15-Sep-11 09:13:45

Finance and budgetting ARE taught in PSHCE.

I'd probably scale back things like Product Design and variants thereof. Other than that, I'm fairly happy with what's on the timetable.

AChickenCalledKorma Thu 15-Sep-11 09:24:41

Reading - for pleasure and for information.
Writing - coherently, grammatically and in an interesting manner.
Arithmetic - so you can shop, handle money, manage a budget, run a business without going bust.

The value of hard work, commitment and not giving up.

Personal confidence and a belief that you can tackle anything.

Honestly, if that lot's in place most of the rest will probably follow. And no, I don't think the traditional subjects are remotely out of date.

As for cooking, first aid, car maintenance etc ... I firmly believe those are things that should be taught in the family. And if we're all too busy shopping/watching TV/Facebooking to bother, then we shouldn't try and dump the resposibility on teachers!

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Sep-11 09:27:37

Yes to philosophy. RE should be renamed and include education about non-religious world views.

German and French still probably make the most sense as entry-level languages, for the reasons Cory has explained.

No to Latin/Greek in general. Totally useless except for the tiny number who want to become academics in those fields (classic civilization, some archaologists, some language specialists)

Finance. Also practical statistics/ability to analyse risk.

And I'd make them all do cross-country running (or activity with similar sustained aerobic intensity) to get them all reasonably fit.

wordfactory Thu 15-Sep-11 09:34:30

I dn't think that all lessons should necessarily have a practical application or be useful in and of themselves iyswim. Too utiltarian for my liking.

So Latin is very good at getting your brain to work in a certain way. It's a logical puzzle...very different to the romantic languages.
RE should make one think about ethical and philosphical issues if you aren't a believer.

lapislazuli Thu 15-Sep-11 09:35:59

Personally I think it doesn't matter which languages are taught as long as something is taught, it could be any from Turkish to Mandarin to Portuguese - the point is to expose children to language learning - once you have a foundation in any language, it's easier to acquire others. For example I learnt French and German at school, but am now fluent in another language (not French or German so much!) and am sure learning basic grammar rules facilitated that.
Also I agree with you moondog - get English right first and then the rest is easier!

MuggleMum Thu 15-Sep-11 09:38:28

I think it would be great if we as a nation stopped imposing a curriculum on the poor things - any choices we make are arbitary and subjective. Any imposed model will work for some kids and not for others. Kids will learn tonnes of stuff if they are encouraged to follow their own interests. They will learn to read and write when they need to. The school model we have now is so Victorian. It's such a sausage factory. Most parents don't even realise how arbitary curriculum choices are so it's great to see some discussion here. Hurrah!

Having said all that, I'm a linguist and would LOVE my kids to be doing Mandarin - tonal languages are so much easier to learn when young ..... But of course, must not impose my ideas

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Sep-11 09:41:25

If the value of Latin is as a means of teaching logical thinking, why not devise 'logical thinking' course instead? Some overlap with philosophy/critical thinking , some maths etc ..... no, that would be too logical for the educational establishment, wouldn't it? grin

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Sep-11 09:43:59

Muggle - but how would that possibly work in a normal school context? If you can HE, maybe - and then, the choices will probably be even more subjective.

MuggleMum Thu 15-Sep-11 09:56:48

Grimma, unfortunately it wouldn't work in a "normal" school context - we need a bit of a radical rethink as a nation about how effective our education system is. (Not very in my opinion, if you are trying to turn out happy and economically self-sufficient adults.) If you are interested, have a look at some books by A.S.Neill - he was the founder of Summerhill and a radical educationalist. I don't agree with everything he writes, but he pinpoints pretty well why the education system fails so many. And I am absolutely sure that we could achieve more for less if we adopted a new approach.

BTW - I am a teacher, and DDs are in the system so most of the time I just get on with it, like everyone else ..... smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now