Teaching What Matters

As I was browsing through past blogs, I came across an article with a picture of a checkbook and the title “Teaching What Matters.”  It immediately caught my attention, as I have long wondered why schools and universities choose to omit certain useful lessons in their course offerings.  I read a book over the summer called “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” in which the author offered explained how to become more financially literate.  He described how schools teach everything from art history to literature, but do not offer courses on personal finance, which is a huge part of life.  I’m a finance major, and even I haven’t learned about mortgaging a house, managing my credit, file my taxes, etc.  I am inclined to agree with Dan, who wrote the initial blog.  Rather than learning about it in classes, I have found myself purchasing books on personal finance at Barnes & Noble, hoping to prepare myself well for the real world upon graduation.

Why is it that the American education system finds it so necessary to teach students skills that seem so impractical (such as how to write in iambic pentameter), but refrains from teaching those students important life skills?  I believe that sometime in the future with the decline of our nation’s economy, the education system will be forced to teach students more practical skills so that they can become independent earlier on in life.


Apple, Justice, Globalization, Tech, Drama, Truth- Prompt 2

First, watch this very famous ad from 1984.  Fun fact: it only aired once, but is one of the most famous ads of all time.

For the purposes of this blog post, please write solely on your reaction to this hour of radio/podcast/audio content.  

Blog pointers…

Continue reading Apple, Justice, Globalization, Tech, Drama, Truth- Prompt 2

Teaching What Matters


This blog from last semester brings up an interesting question that many college students have most likely asked themselves. Over the last four years I have taken several classes that will most likely not directly benefit me in the future. Spending a semester taking French 101 as a sophomore may have been better spent furthering my knowledge of accounting or learning about economic history. Of course many people would disagree with this, since it is generally seen as beneficial to understand other cultures and languages. However, considering two years later I have forgotten just about everything except how to say my name, a skill I could have picked up from a quick Google search, is it still really beneficial?

Dan brings up the point that while a history class is important so that history does not repeat itself, it may be less important than teaching the average student to balance their own checkbook. He continues by saying that technological advancements cannot be made without some students learning high level math, but that this knowledge is the exception. We should be teaching each student to balance a checkbook if they do not wish to take calculus. Instead of wasting their time and energy learning math they may never use, they should take a class that gives them a more well-rounded education through furthering another aspect of their knowledge. Dan makes the great point of introducing skills such as first aid into the idea of a liberal arts education.  At the end of the day, most educators are not going to agree that removing a foreign language or calculus course from the curriculum is a good idea, but with rising tuition rates and frustrated students, this may not matter in the future.

Individual Sustainability.

A past blog post that caught my attention was titled “Sustainability, Redux” which starts off by prompting us “How would you define sustainability?” Then further asks us to examine the relationships between sustainability and capitalism, which are very big issues to tackle together. It then takes us to an older blog post Sustainability & Bucknell, talking about sustainability from a management perspective. When we think about these topics, I think we need look at it on a macro level and the other external factors in our society that capitalism may have caused discouraging our society and people to make unsustainable decisions.

I think in the US culture specifically, there is a sense of individualism that has been instilled within our culture. This creates a culture of people who worry more about their own individual self-interest and success. With the advancement of technology, our society is filled with various technologies, social media, and distractions that create a realm, where we view our own individual selves as the center of our lives. I may be saying that we are living in a society that is selfish, but this ideology is building a greater disconnect between the environment and ourselves. Our culture encourages individuals to be competitive with one another, fostering the need of out-doing the people around you. It is harder for the individuals in our society to look past their own needs unless it directly affecting them. We tend to care more about individual achievement and overlook the big picture of the correlation between humans and environment. Many individuals see social change as a bigger picture, but many who choose to pursue change in society don’t receive the instant gratification or see how it has impacted the bigger picture. This is the point in time when individuals choose to step down from the throne and just conform to our societal norms.

Some questions I have for people to think about are:

  • What are some things that we can do for our larger society to look past our individual needs to see the connection development, sustainability and growth?
  • Are there deeper issues that we need to tackle first for individuals before we address the bigger picture?