In my opinion every subject has its own sense, it’s just the way of teaching should be different. The last post was about this. In this post I will share my vision about each subject how it should be taught at school. I see so many of my friend, finishing school and still don’t know what they want to do. And children asking me why they have to study this and that. Not to talk about our everyday life. Some don’t know how to write cheque, CV, how to buy house, manage money or their time. It would be better to make school more practical in a way that when we are out in the real world we can use them.
The education system in Hungary works well from grade 1 to 4. Children learn to read, write, count and teachers make them conscious about our environment. There are a lot of outdoor activities for them in which they get to know our world. However, from grade 5 upwards to 12, the system fails. School materials become more theoretical than practical. Children finishes school and don’t know what to do, how to use those knowledge. Hungary is just one example, there are many other countries facing the same problem. In this post I will share my vision how each subject should look like.
Instead of all the trigonometric function, rules, geometric calculation, I would focus more on percentage calculation and doing sum in head. I would make them count interest when they get a loan from a bank or invest money and how much they can get from it. Also counting the overhead expenses in a household and how to reduce and manage the sum of it would be interesting and useful. Counting in head is one of the most important skill as it is more effective and faster than getting a calculator everytime.
Beside what we need to know about a sentence structures, syntax, phonetics etc., I would incorporate this in practical way. I would teach the kids how to write essay and text more such as writing motivation letter, CV, reports, email. And how to write orthographically correct. I would also organize communication class and teach them how to do speech or prepare for interview.
I took History as an example in my last post, so I will just write briefly here what I would change in it. Everytime learning about an event I would show them the consequence of it and how it affects our present life. Therefore I would bring more and more real life example to class instead of just teaching facts and years. I would also brainstorm with them how they can use the history to change or improve the present situation.
I would connect History and Literature while teaching about the author’s life. I think it would make it more interesting to learn History from a story of a poet or novel relating to it. We can get to know what really happened that year. I would also make this to be opinion and view sharing class.
Everything we use relates to Chemistry. Chlorine in swimming pool, chemical things to store the food. Instead of all the covalent bond, ion bond, I would teach students the ingredients of things they encounter in their every day life and how to handle or avoid them. Or how to use them smartly. For example chlorine is good for disinfecting but it can be toxic, so we need to know how to use it. The same with carbon-dioxide and all the other chemical element in periodic system.
The same as Chemistry. Everything around us is Physics as well. When we need to repair something, such like lamp, machines in the house, it relates to Physics. The same with driving a car, it has so many physics in it. I would make students do a lot of experiment in these subjects everytime we learn something new.
I really like how my teacher taught us this subject. It was detailed, useful and practical. I would teach which organs do what and how to take care of them. What our body really need and what we do every day and how our environment affects our body. I would also organize a special class about sex education so boys and girls know the consequence and how to handle it properly and consciously.
Biology consist of botany and zoology as well. As for botany I would mainly focus on herbs that help us to strengthen our immune system and cure our illnesses. As for animals I would focus on how to handle them and in case of meeting a poisonous one how to treat and deal with the injuries. And how to avoid those animals.
I would teach about each country and what they do that make them stand out as well as figuring out the secret of how a country became successful in their field and why. I would brainstorm with children how to adjust all those qualities to our country and see whether it is applicable or not.
Languages are crucial in this world. I would teach language to the children everyday. As I’m a language tutor I have a lot of student who come to me to practice speaking. So during the lesson beside grammar I would focus more on communication and writing text. And organize discussion session where they have to argue and make their point in a chosen topic.
At the age of 4th Industrial Revolution, machines are crucial. We all need to train ourselves in this field. In our IT lesson we only learnt how to use Words, Power Point, Excel and that’s it. But besides this I would teach more about cyber security and how a computer function. How to install antivirus program and what to pay attention to. When we buy a computer what numbers we should check. Even the computer I would show the inside of it and teach the role of each elements. And how to fix the problems that they might encounter while using it.
Music and Art
I would teach the basic things so they can have a glimpse of idea about it. And whoever want to specialize in it they can learn more.
In each subjects I would teach just the basic that relates to our real life. I would arrange more practice than theory. And whoever wants to study more in some of them they can go deeper in it 2 years before graduating from their school.
Beside these basic subjects I would also creates another ones that help in building and strengthening their confidence as well as teach them how to behave with other people and take responsibility for their life.
I would make the children visualize themselves what they would do in half year, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. Then I would make a plan how to achieve it with them. What would they be willing to do to achieve it?
I would also make them write bucket list, so whenever they feel lost or down they can look at it and stand up again.
Beside our physical health we should also take care of our mental health. I would arrange meditation class for every student and a place where they can openly share their stories, worries, sadness with others and then together we find solution and support each other.
As our world is becoming faster and more modern due to the development of technologies we tend to pay more attention to material things than to the human being. Therefore I would organize a class where children learn how to behave and respect other people regardless of their gender, age, jobs, situation.
As activities I would show them how to take care of our environment. I would arrange every months a hiking day, where they can be in the nature. We would do good deeds for nature such like picking up the rubbish, cleaning the road.
I would also organize a volunteer work in orphanage and help people in need. Also donating unused stuff and sending it to non-profit organizations specializing in it.
During 12 years of compulsory study I would arrange them opportunities to try out different jobs. Teaching, managing a class or school, being waiter, shop assistant, doing sale and every other one. I would also let them encounter the real world and organize a workshop where they buy a house or establish a company, so they can see how the process look like and what to count with. I would let them spend a day or two in a corporate company to see how it actually works.
Looking at this vision it would take a lot of effort, money, networking to make it happen and it’s not an easy task to do. However, it is really important to equalize the theory and practice. If my school years were even just a bit like this I think I would enjoy going to school more. Also there wouldn’t be a student who still don’t know what they want to become when they are out of school. And they wouldn’t say it is useless to study or hate it.
It would also be easier for parents as they don’t have to convince the kids that they go to school to gain knowledge for themselves, more interesting and easier for the teacher as they don’t have to struggle to discipline the kids and bigger interest for the government as well since people who come out to the world will be able to help the country to rise higher. But of course someone needs to be willing to put in effort and change the education even if it’s just in a family.