If you redesigned high school curriculum, what kinds of classes would you create?
For example, kids graduating high school these days have no training in how their credit rating works, how to get a mortgage, how to invest. They don’t know how to advance their careers, how to hold a marriage together, how to raise children.
Thinking about the recent cover story in Time magazine, they don’t know how to assess risk in the modern world. Judging by the popularity of some conspiracy theories, they haven’t learned to think carefully about events in the news.
Our educational curriculum was designed in the 19th century and hasn’t changed much since. Back then, young adults didn’t have as many choices, they had more support from family and community, and were less likely, for example, to move a few thousand miles from where they grew up.
What kinds of classes would you suggest to bring our education system into the 21st century?
Sorry, the main question should have read “If you redesigned *the* high school curriculum…” Yes, I did take English classes in high school, but I didn’t do that well at proof-reading!
ProfessorMaddie – I agree. Back in the 19th century, no one needed to tell us to exercise more and avoid junk food. And it seems like Physical Education could be redesigned to have less emphasis on sports and more on nutrition.
namowal – I agree with the intent of your suggestion, but the implementation details may need more work.
In the past, some of this was accomplished through classes in debate an philosophy. Perhaps these classes could be reworked to accomplish your suggestion.
linlyons – I agree that, in order to add new classes, some existing class must be shortened.
We could re-tune existing classes to make them shorter while retaining the core.
For example, I love math and have a degree in it, but I recognize that most people don’t get much out of their classes.
In fact, the main thing they should get out of math is the ability to apply math to every day situations. I doubt many people have used trigonometry recently.
The math-related ability I find most lacking today is the capacity to quantify things in everyday life, and then use those numbers in some meaningful way.
In short, I think math education today fails to transmit its most useful feature, while emphasizing specialized aspects.
To sum up, perhaps we could shorten our math curriculum so that most people emphasize applied math. We could spend the time thus freed on new classes, while people, with an interest and talent for math, like me, could to take more classes.
magpiesmn – I totally agree that choice is key to motivating students. Particularly since kids of that age have a natural rebelliousness that can backfire on them in school.
However, I also think educators have a duty to broaden students’ outlooks and expose them to things they might not otherwise have considered.
robertmindriver – When the American education system was designed, it was totally focused on practicality. It was also designed for different times, so yes, I think there should be more emphasis on the real world as it exists today.
After re-reading my original question, I’m not sure why you think I advocate teaching morality, but we could consider adding it. Why? Because life today has more complicated moral choices, and some kids don’t get the moral education they once received in church.
As far as the two-track system you seem to be endorsing, there is some merit it that. But I also would like to see new classes, for example some practical economic education. As a young adult, I personally could have benefited greatly from a class in practical finance.
And with regard to more vocational training, we also need to keep in mind the dwindling need for blue-collar workers on today’s global economy.
“Mr. Wise” – it has become an unthinking mantra today that kids receive a poor education in math and science.
And yet we rarely think about what parts of a math and science education are genuinely useful for most people. In other words, studying math and science is not an intrinsic good, it must serve some broader purpose.
IMHO, the current math and science program alienates many while failing to convey the parts which could truly help people cope in a modern world.
I’m surprised at your assumption that a system designed to server a dramatically different society should not be re-evaluated.
I think you should ask yourself 1) what purpose should an education accomplish, 2) how well is our system achieving those goals, and if it is failing any goals, 3) what changes could we make to improve it.
Simply defending the status quo, when so much has changed, strikes me as an excuse not to think critically about where our society is headed.
Magpiesmn – I understand your concern over the government being responsible for broadening student’s horizons. Perhaps that is one reason why it might have been a mistake switch from local control over schools to our current model, wherein the federal government is responsible for probably too much.
Yet I can’t help that feel that while perhaps you do a good job at this, on average most of us fail dismally. In fact, I’d bet that the average parent wants to make a little clone of themselves.
And most of us don’t have the degree of specialization necessary to expose children to diverse topics such as dramatic arts, visual arts and the performing arts, or to teach them about foreign cultures or different ways of thinking. This is what broadening horizons is about, not, as you may fear, political indoctrination.
interpersonal skills (communication etc.)
how to take care of your body
yoga, etc. Fitness & nutrition i agree
The Fed is Going to Reduce the Rate Close to Zero – Is This Good News?
This is ominous, because this is being done to ward off the worst of all scenario’s, DEFLATION.
Which means drastic reduction in living expenses.
Which sounds really good, right? WRONG
Because factories and business will take it in the teeth because they will not be able to cover the cost of doing business. They will have to drastically reduce their payroll and operating expenses, which means layoffs, and even going out of business.
Even lose your job and most everyone else you know is in the same boat.
What is your lender going to do about your mortgage, your car loan, student loan, credit card?
Your stock portfolio is going to plummet too
So is your 401K and all your other retirement funds.
Remember all the people telling people to stop whining and be responsible?
This is a last ditch effort by the FED.
Who is the FED—-Federal Reserve System?
They are the people who control all aspects of our money
It is a private organization that not even our congress knows who all the players in that system are.
They got us into this mess, they are destroying your life and America.
Are you getting mad?
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Federal Reserve policymakers were expected to lower key rates close to zero Tuesday in the latest effort to battle a crippling credit crunch and stave off deflation, analysts said.
Listen, the fed goes to zero and that doesn’t work, then what will they do, go to less then zero, or print more worthless money, or what?
I’m not a economy expert, but it seems to me if the interest rate were up a bit, banks would be charging that rate for loaning their money, thus making money off it’s loans, and so be more inclined to loan it in the first place. Does that make sense? They make more money, and more money, bailouts are paid back…….hhmmmmmm
How has the Eurozone crisis affected Britain?
It’s on the news all the time about it affecting Britains economy, but what effect has it had on us? I haven’t noticed any- other than low interest rates meaning mortgages, loans, etc. are been payed off faster
At a very simple level.
It all started late 2007 when the financial institutions started going bust due to appalling financial gambling and Labour ran out of money trying to bribe us (from our own taxes) to vote for them. Same basic thing was happening in most countries. Live now and pay later is alright – until you can’t pay later!
Most of Europe is bankrupt (other than Germany which will not bail the rest out!).
Europe is our biggest trading block.
Europeans are broke so not buying things – including our goods/services.
If we aren’t selling them “things” we are hit financially so as we are also bankrupt, not only aren’t they buying things but we aren’t either so firms have to cut back!
So lots of people have not had pay rises for several years.
Lots more have lost their jobs.
Look at all the empty shops / empty industrial units.
Lots more are going to lose their jobs.
We are so deep in debt (thanks Gordon Brown) the Government is going to have to apply austerity measures to balance the books – no they haven’t really started yet.
So at a time when we should be spending (to support industry etc.) sane people are hording
their cash and paying down their debts as they are worried / scared of the future.
The political “leaders” (that’s a joke) cannot solve the problem because the only real way is to become the United States of Europe with one Government and one Central Bank to control everything. The alternative is to admit the Euro project was wrong / is a failure and let ir fall to pieces (which is political suicide for the”leaders”. They are of course only interested in their own skins and not losing face so do nothing and hope it will go away!
So on a final grim note read this report below. How do we get out of the mess…..the politicians know (but it would be political suicide to admit) and so let it just ride while they fiddle around the edges!
One of the problems with Democracy is voting for your leaders. They will never take the right decisions for the country as they then lose their own jobs as the electorate then don’t vote for them! So preserving the 600 jobs of our politicians becomes their priority and the 60 million of the rest of us will suffer instead.
One thing is certain. We are in for a very hard 10 years (not 1 or 2)……probably much longer!
20 Aug 2011
SIR – The dire state of debt in the United Kingdom was put firmly into perspective by John Hawksworth, the chief economist of PricewaterhouseCoopers’s.
He notes that in 1987 total debt was 200 per cent of GDP, and in 2009 it was 540 per cent of GDP. Most disturbingly, he states that by 2015 the nation’s total debt will have climbed to £10,000 billion, or £264,848 for every man, woman and child.
This nightmarish debt level cannot be sustained, and with a projected stagnant economy for many years, Britain is on the very edge of bankruptcy.
Therefore, what the Coalition Government is saying about our living beyond our means and capabilities is perfectly true. There will inevitably be a day of reckoning.
Dr David Hill
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Hope I haven’t upset/scared you too much! Reality is often not nice!
How am i ever going to be able to afford to buy?!?
After hearing on the news this morning that interest rates will yet again be rising i cant help but seeing my moving out next year to be nothing but a pipe dream!
Me and my Boyfriend both earn good money for our age, we dont have any debts hanging over our heads, but how can we seriously be able to afford to move out when Mortgages and house prices keep going up and it prices us out the market!
We just want somewhere to settle down and start a family! Too much too ask? Obviously yes!
Anyone else got this sort of problem?
You have my sympathy, we were lucky, got on the ladder a few years back and had a substantial sum given to us
But, top tips:
1. Try buying in a different (cheaper) area and commuting
2. Anyone in family who is in the same boat? Get together and jointly buy somewhere and let it
3. Remember that rent is effectively ‘dead’ money-you never get to ‘own’ the capital. But DON’T view any property as a way to make money, too risky in the short term (but a safe long term bet (5 years +))
4. There are hints that the market may slow down or reverse a little soon
5. Buy somewhere really tatty in a potentially good area – look for a nice set of houses occupied by older folk, don’t wish to be grim but friend bought a basket case where the owner had died, in a street full of oldies. Gradually the ‘old’ owners moved out (ahem) and new folk moved in, sending prices rocketing. But it was a cheap area at first – look for skips, the occasional nice car in a ropey area, etc…
6. Keep saving
7. Don’t despair, as long as you are safe and warm, that’s all that matters, really. We rented until we were in our 30s…
Isn’t Fannie Mae in the process of creating ANOTHER subprime-esque crises?? (ask for additional $23B)?
On Friday, the U.S. government said the unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent in April, the highest since September 1983.
Fannie Mae’s guaranty business, “including loans with lower risk characteristics, has begun to experience increases in delinquency and default rates as a result of the sharp rise in unemployment, the continued decline in home prices, the prolonged downturn in the economy” and the rise in loan balances relative to property values, it said.
What’s more, Fannie Mae said its role as a linchpin in President Barack Obama’s program to boost refinancings and modifications of risky mortgages will likely have a “material adverse effect” on its business and net worth.
The programs, which can reduce interest rates on loans and defer payments, lend credence to speculation the U.S. is increasing its reliance on Fannie Mae and rival Freddie Mac (FRE.P) to stabilize housing, even if it’s at the cost of shareholders.
Fannie Mae said it will probably have to return to Treasury for more capital in the future.
“All the signs indicate that Fannie Mae coming out of conservatorship and becoming a public company again are close to zero,” said Gary Gordon, a managing director at Portales Partners in New York.
The $23.2 billion loss compares with deficits of $2.2 billion in the year ago period, and $25.2 billion in the previous quarter.
Everyone knows how loose mortgage underwriting led to the go-go days of multitrillion-dollar subprime lending. What isn’t well known is that a parallel subprime market has emerged over the past year — all made possible by the Federal Housing Administration. This also won’t end happily for taxpayers or the housing market.
Last year banks issued $180 billion of new mortgages insured by the FHA, which means they carry a 100% taxpayer guarantee. Many of these have the same characteristics as subprime loans: low downpayment requirements, high-risk borrowers, and in many cases shady mortgage originators. FHA now insures nearly one of every three new mortgages, up from 2% in 2006.
Today, Fannie Mae operates under a congressional charter that directs the company to increase the availability and affordability of homeownership for low-, moderate-, and middle-income Americans. Fannie Mae is authorized to buy Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgages, thereby replenishing the supply of lendable money.
Freddie Mac is also a publicly held corporation, chartered by Congress in 1970. Freddie Mac came into being as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) with the mission to create a continuous flow of funds to mortgage lenders. By supplying lenders with the money to make mortgages and packaging the mortgages into marketable securities, Freddie Mac also helps to sustain a stable mortgage credit system which in turn, reduces the mortgage rates paid by homebuyers. Over the years, Freddie Mac has been responsible for opening the door to homeownership for one out of six home buyers in America who would not have qualified otherwise.
Hey, let’s throw another $23 billion down the rat hole! The fraud-ridden money pit known as Fannie Mae needs more of your money.
Who among the Fannie-kissers in Congress will say no?
Say goodbye to another $23 billion.
Almost seems like small potatoes nowadays.
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