Does Education Prepares Children to Adulthood Essay Example
Today’s schools are responsible for getting students ready for their lives as adults, but are they teaching students the things they really need to know in order to have a successful life after school? After researching this question, one would be led to believe that schools are not doing what is necessary to teach kids the things they really need to know to thrive on their own as adults. Many important skills needed in later life are being neglected in schools and treated as less important than the subjects of the standard curriculum like mathematics and science, when these skills are equally if not more important to most students after they graduate. Education is meant to prepare kids for adulthood, but students are coming out of high school unprepared for their everyday lives as adults.
Taking Care About Yourself
Being able to take care of oneself is a key part of adulthood and leading an independent life. Despite its importance, schools do not make it a priority to teach students the skills they need to take care of themselves properly or make healthy life choices. Health classes are not treated with the same importance as STEM courses, but need to be given more attention in order to teach people early in life the importance of exercise and eating well. Health courses should also be required for not only physical, but mental health to help prevent the epidemic of mental illness in our world today. Through teaching people how to properly handle stress and take care of their bodies, schools could make a big difference in the world’s overall health.
A good diet and knowledge of proper nutrition is very important to leading a healthy lifestyle, but schools do very little to educate kids at a young age the importance of eating well and taking good care of their bodies. Obesity is a widespread problem in the United States, and better education in habits like good nutrition and exercise would help to improve national health. As important as these things are, schools have very few mandatory classes to teach students how to do things like reading nutrition labels or making healthy dieting choices. Many health classes in the country do very little to get kids ready for making proper food choices after they move out and are forced to make those decisions on their own (Best Schools).
Everyone suffers from stress at some point in their lives, and both teenagers and adults struggle with stress on a daily basis. Being able to manage this stress is the key to living a happy and healthy life, but many people don’t know how to cope with this stress properly which leads to mental illness (Best Schools). An estimated one in five adults has some kind of mental illness and many don’t even receive treatment. A large part of the reason for this is the lack of education on mental health. People don’t learn about these mental illnesses in depth in school and therefore don’t fully understand the problem. “If students had regular instruction on mental illness as part of required learning, they could learn to better recognize it and have compassion for those experiencing it” (Lloyd). Many students do not know how to recognize mental illness in themselves or in others which is a problem that could be solved by teaching about them in schools. Educating students on managing stress and teaching them about mental illness would help them to deal with them in their daily lives (Lloyd).
Personal finance is becoming increasingly important in the world today. A person must be smart financially to be successful in adulthood and to be able to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Schools today do little to teach real world financial skills and don’t give students the tools they need to use their money wisely. The modern school system does a lot to prepare students in mathematics but does not teach them how to apply these skills in real world financial situations. “Only 17 states require students to take classes in personal finance. The number hasn’t risen on years” (Experts). Courses on different aspects of personal finance should be required in schools so students can learn to use their money responsibly and help to prevent them from serious financial problems in the future but few schools make it mandatory (Experts).
Schools need to teach students how to make a budget and learn to stick to it in order to prevent them from wasting their money on things they do not need. Learning how to make a proper budget is very important and,“knowing how to prepare a budget is the first step for personal financial success and security” (Best Schools). Budgeting is something that schools could be teaching to help ensure that students are financially secure in the future. Teaching students about how credit works would also be incredibly helpful for them to learn ahead of time so they will not have problems with credit card debt in the future. However, the lacking in personal finance classes prevents schools from educating students on the way credit works before students inevitably get their first credit cards. College students often find themselves in credit card debt due to their lacking of education on the subject. This is a problem that could be solved by requiring personal finance courses in schools throughout the country to educate students on how credit works and how to build good credit and stay out of debt (Best Schools).
Insurance can be super complicated, so knowing how the system works ahead of time would help students to make the right choices for their own individual needs and get the plan that works best for them. Required personal finance classes would help to ensure that students are taught how insurance works and how which policies to choose. Classes on personal finance would provide students with knowledge on insurance that would save them a lot of trouble in the future and keep them from having to figure it out at the last minute. Schools do not make these classes a priority which negatively affects students by not providing them with information they will need to use in adulthood Like insurance, taxes can be a pretty complicated subject, but everyone needs to know how to do them correctly. Taxes are a requirement and “everybody has to file taxes every single year. It seems only appropriate that every young student should learn the basic ins and outs of accurate and legal filing” (Best Schools). Personal finance classes need to be taught in schools so people understand how to do taxes and do not make any serious mistakes that could get them in trouble with the government. This is something that could make a big difference in the lives of students after they graduate (Best Schools).
Everyday skills that people need in their daily lives are becoming less of a priority in schools while remaining important things to know in adulthood. Students are coming out of high school unable to properly take care of themselves. Many struggle with living away from home without anyone to take care of them, feed them, or tell them what to do. Schools need to teach students how to be independent and self sufficient so they can take care of themselves and not have to rely so much on other people. Without these skills, kids will struggle through college and life after graduation away from their parents.
Being able to do standard household chores like cooking and cleaning is something that everyone should be able to do. These are things that were once taught in schools all over the country, but are now being replaced with STEM courses and are becoming less common. After moving away from home graduates realize how difficult it can be to feed themselves and often resort to fast food or precooked meals, which are more expensive and not as healthy as a home cooked meal. Learning how to cook for themselves while still in high school would help college students to save some money while also staying healthy. Requiring a cooking class in schools would provide a skill that students would be able to use for the rest of their lives (Best Schools).
Managing time well is a skill that everyone should have for everyday life, but few students know how to do this. “Time management doesn’t just involve squeezing the most productivity out of every minute, it helps allocate time for enjoyment. Students have access to technology that allows them to stay self-disciplined, organize priorities and locate resources for relaxation”(Lloyd). Students should learn how to manage time wisely to avoid stress and find time to relax and enjoy themselves. By teaching scheduling and time management, schools would be able to help prevent students from getting stressed out and overwhelmed which would benefit them both in school and in adulthood. Providing basic lessons on proper time management could make a big difference in the overall mental health of both teenagers and adults.
Negotiation skills are important for conflict resolution, personal relationships, problem solving, and expensive purchases, but schools offer few programs that help teach these skills. “More than mere arguing, negotiation is a skill in which cogent logic, artful persuasion, and effective compromise are essential,” meaning that negotiation is a skill that must be learned and is more complicated than arguing (Best Schools). Many have debate clubs where students have the option to learn how to use some of these tactics, but not all students join so they will not benefit from the lessons in negotiation. If schools made classes to teach negotiation skills, students would benefit greatly from the lessons for the rest of their lives. It would give them the tools they need to be successful in both their professional and personal lives
There are many useful skills that are overlooked in schools and are often not part of the curriculum. Skills needed in case of an emergency like first aid are given little or no attention in schools today. Most schools also do not offer classes on standard maintenance and repair work. Knowing how to fix a car or make home repairs would benefit students in the future by saving them a lot of money and keeping them safe.
First aid is not even taught in a lot of schools even though it is an incredibly useful skill that would be important to have in case someone needs immediate medical assistance. Mandatory first aid classes in schools around the country would help ensure the safety of people everywhere in case there is an emergency and somebody gets badly hurt. Students being taught skills such as CPR and the Heimlich maneuver could save lives and make the world a safer place. People would also be able to use their knowledge of first aid to ensure their own safety by giving them the ability to recognize symptoms of things like dehydration or a concussion and knowing when they need to see a doctor or go to the hospital. All schools should make it a requirement for students to learn basic first aid before they graduate to give them the skills that could be the difference between life and death (Best Schools).
Many schools do not teach students how to make car or house repairs that could cost them a lot of money to hire someone else to do for them. Repairs are inevitably going to be needed so knowing how to take care of them is a good skill to have. Having classes on simple maintenance would be very beneficial for students in the future even if it were to only teach them the basics of maintenance work like changing a flat tire, changing the oil in a car, or repairing a leaky faucet. Teaching students skills like these would be a good way for them to save a lot of money in the future on simple repair jobs.
Schools are supposed to teach students the skills they need to be successful in college and in the workplace, but they aren’t doing what’s necessary to properly ready students for the real world. Students should be taught leadership and communication skills so they know how to take charge in a work setting and be able to communicate well with others in a professional role. They need to be held accountable for their own actions so they can learn to be responsible early on so it does not hurt them in their adult lives.
Leadership skills are incredibly important to have for future use in the workplace. By giving students more opportunities to take charge in a school environment, schools could give students these leadership skills that they need for their futures.“Integrating them could be as simple as creating shared ownership of our classroom to working with students to develop their own businesses. Where you start depends is entirely up to you”(Wagner). Giving students more opportunity to take charge will better prepare them for their adult lives (Wagner).
Everybody needs to learn proper communication skills for the workplace and for daily life. “Historically, social and life skills are taught within the home and the development of skills and knowledge needed for a successful career have been taught in school,” but the world is changing and social and life skills are becoming more important to having a successful career (Parents). “Students do not have the communication skills to navigate through adversity that is part of the normal transition to college,” students need to learn communication skills while still in school so they can take advantage of these skills in college and in the workplace (Adams).
Learning to be accountable for their own actions at a young age ensures that students will be able to take more responsibility for their own actions in the future. “College-readiness efforts have often focused on getting more students into honors courses, helping with applications, and providing career counseling,” but not enough care is put towards making sure that students are ready to take on the responsibility that comes with them (Adams). Schools need to make sure that students are ready for the responsibility that comes with college and adulthood (Adams).
Schools are not teaching students the skills they need to know in order to be successful adults. They continue to teach people things that will be irrelevant to most students after graduation and do not teach enough skills that kids will continue to use after they finish school. Requiring students to take classes on personal finance and health would make the transition between school and life after graduating smoother and easier for people to deal with and would give students important lessons that they will continue to use for the rest of their lives. The school system is not putting enough focus on these life skills which is ultimately hurting students and leaving them unprepared for their futures.
Adams, Caralee J. "'Soft Skills' Pushed as Part of College Readiness." Education Week, 14 Nov. 2012, p. 1. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A309919183/OVIC?u=scccld_main&sid=OVIC&xid=b51ddcd6. Accessed 13 Feb. 2019.
Best Schools. “15 Subjects That Should Be Mandatory (But Aren't).” TheBestSchools.org, Thebestschools.org, 18 Aug. 2016, thebestschools.org/magazine/15-subjects-mandatory-arent/.
Chaddock, Gail Russel. “Math + Test = Trouble for US Economy; First-of-Its Kind Study Shows US Lags Many Other Nations in Real-Life Math Skills.” Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Christian Science Monitor, 7 Dec. 2004, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A125884227/OVIC?u=scccld_main&sid=OVIC&xid=72a2e003.
“Experts Say Schools across the U.S. Don't Teach Enough ‘Adult’ Skills.” Newsela, USA Today, 7 Jan. 2019, newsela.com/read/high-school-adulting-class/id/48302/.
Lloyd, Trevor. “Why High Schools Should Be Teaching Life Skills.” Education Lifeskills, 28 Feb. 2018, www.educationlifeskills.com/why-high-schools-should-be-teaching-life-skills/.
“Opinion: As World Changes, Education Must Also Change.” Newsela, Project Syndicate , 11 Jan. 2016, newsela.com/read/projectsyndicate-education/id/13750/.
“Parents Want More Life Skills to Be Taught in School.” Phys.org - News and Articles on Science and Technology, Monash University, 11 Oct. 2017, phys.org/news/2017-10-parents-life-skills-taught-school.html.
Schuetze, Christopher F. "Learning Personal Finance as a Life Skill." New York Times, 28 July 2014, p. NA(L). Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A376224269/OVIC?u=scccld_main&sid=OVIC&xid=f2bedf18. Accessed 13 Feb. 2019.
Wagner, Kyle. “Why Students Need Practical Skills and How to Teach Them.” Getting Smart, Transform Educational Consulting , 24 Aug. 2018, www.gettingsmart.com/2018/08/why-students-need-practical-skills-and-how-to-teach-them/.