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.

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One thought on “Teaching What Matters”

  1. Cool post…I think a lot of people share the same sentiment as you do about the practicality of certain classes. I know Georgetown is experimenting with online course offerings for their students which include practical and technical skills classes. According to the school’s website, “…courses that develop skills such as coding, reading financial balance sheets and using web analytics” are among the few in the works. Students can take the classes during the summer for course credit. I think one of the problems is that classes don’t have technical or practical skill prerequsites, but jobs do. Thanks for posting.

    http://www.thehoya.com/new-online-courses-promote-practicality/

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