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Does high school prepare us to succeed in life?

Six in elementary, two in middle and four in high school, is it 12 years of wasted time?

 

“When are we ever gonna use this?” is the common response to every new unit introduced to students. As a student that has been in this type of system for 11 years, that is soon going to transition into the “real world.” How useful will my high school education be? Most likely just enough to get into a college and not much afterward.

We learn, test, then forget. Learn, test, forget. This system of memorizing information then testing the memory does not have long-term benefits for the students because it does not adequately prepare us for “real life.” Today’s educational system is so centered around testing, that it neglects the necessary skills for students to succeed in life. Skills such as communication, conflict resolution, and leadership. Writer Tara Parker-Pope states in her New York Times article that these skills “are far better predictors of long-term success than high grades.”

 

The classroom setting doesn’t facilitate these kinds of skills, which is a big problem because “when employers are asked about the most important factor in their decision to hire someone, almost always, communication skills are on the top of the list” wrote Carol Morgan in a Huffington Post article. In a standard classroom, the teacher is giving a lesson or a lecture, and it’s a one-sided conversation with the students sitting motionless and trying not to fall asleep. This does not simulate a “real world” environment where you need to convey your thoughts to the other person effectively and politely without feeling intimidated. When you are working a job you have to be able to communicate well with others, even if you might not get along with them. High school does a really bad job with this aspect, since most students are in tightly formed friend groups and will seldom interact with the people they might not like.

 

Of course, those 12 years aren’t a total waste. They teach important life lessons and information that will last a lifetime. School teaches time management with its strict deadlines, respect for those in charge, and basic information that is necessary to function in society. But that does not guarantee or insure success. The things that are left out, such as how to do your own taxes, budget your income, and building credit, are much more important to success in life than what your grade was in chemistry. These topics should become included into current curriculums. While learning about government spending, students should learn how they could be the ones funding the government. That’s just one idea.