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Filed under Education, Opinion

Does school adequately prepare students for life after high school?

School, which is enforced by law, may not be as beneficial as we like to think.

Cartoon by Jihyun Kim

Cartoon by Jihyun Kim

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Starting from the seventh century, school has been something that was glamorized. In fact, even more importance has been placed on school since the United States established a law in 1918 making attendance mandatory. However, school has since lost its usefulness and connection to real life.

Schools do not connect learning material to how they can be used in the outside world.

According to a TED-Ed Blog, “Does school prepare you for the real world?”Aliezah Hulett believes that “Traditional topics such as calculus and Shakespeare should not be neglected, but teachers should be able to ask their class, ‘Now, how can we use this lesson outside of the classroom?’”

Everything that students learn should have lesson connected to it, so students are both more likely to remember the material and benefit from it. For example, a lesson that could be learned from reading Into the Wild is to always go into something prepared and make sure at least one trusted person knows what you are doing and where.

Everyday life skills such as accounting are not taught in required classes.

As mentioned in an article by the Odyssey, “Teaching things like study tips, how to write an effective argumentative essay for a job or college application, or even just how to do taxes are things that need to be taught in today’s schools.”

Although schools do expose students to valuable skills such as perseverance, responsibility, and social skills, they do not account for the skills used in day-to-day life. For example, school does offer classes that teach students how much to tip in a restaurant, how to prepare for a job interview, write a resume, or even how to pay common bills.

Schools do not put enough effort into making sure students have a plan after high school.

The many interviews and surveys conducted by William Damon indicate that “only about one in five young people in the 12- to 22-year age range express a clear vision of where they want to go, what they want to accomplish in life, and why. Almost 60 percent may have engaged in some potentially purposeful activities, or they may have developed some vague aspirations, but they do not have any real commitment to such activities or any realistic plans for pursuing their aspirations.”

High schools generally aim to prepare students for college, but they do not make sure that their students actually go to college or have a plan on how they are going to succeed in life. For instance, it would be helpful to make it a graduation requirement to have a plan for the future, even if its a plan that might change.

Even though schools do teach helpful skills like perseverance, responsibility and social skills, they fail to connect the material to why it matters and struggle to make sure that students can be independent after high school.

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Does school adequately prepare students for life after high school?