Wearing dice on my head since 2008 Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart. Randomly amazed.

Suggested additions to HS curriculum

· by roy · Read in about 2 min · (399 Words)
Categories: Opinions Philippines | Tags:

I have no plans of running for elective office (though it is a running joke among some of my circles), but if I were, one of the problems I would focus on would be education. As such, I have a list of suggested additions to the High School curriculum here in the Philippines. (The first version of this list was in an FB post I wrote during the 2016 campaign period, in response to people clamoring for better Martial Law education. I have since made additions and added some notes. )

  • planninbasic logic and reasoning
  • different types of fallacies
  • how to do basic research
  • critical analysis of history – not just the rote memorization of dates and names common in most schools, but the students should be encouraged to analyze why things happened the way they did
  • how to judge whether something is likely to be true – not sure if this is possible, humans are quite bad at making judgements
  • how to judge whether a source is reliable
  • how to to identify satire and/or sarcasm
  • basic concepts of statistics
  • how to articulate your arguments well (I think the Eng/Fil subject in HS curriculum covers only literature and not any sort of communication skill)
  • how to debate and argue without taking things personally
  • planning, decision making and time management
  • basic concepts of economics (including how taxes work, inflation, GDP, mortgages, loans, etc – we had an economics subject in 4th year HS, but I don’t know if that’s standard and it was mostly theory and not on day-to-day applications)
  • basic concepts of investments and financial advice
  • ethics
  • proper usage of memes
  • when it is appropriate to post spoilers

Obviously, the challenge here is that many of these topics are easily “testable”, i.e. it means the teacher will have to work harder with individual students to make sure they are understanding the concepts. If we turn these topics into simply rote memorization classes, then they would be useless anyway.

I’m sure the lack of critical thinking/analysis and other life skills in education curricula isn’t a problem unique to our country, but as a developing nation I think it’s an important aspect that we can’t afford to skimp on if we want to accelerate our development. The information age requires more than factory workers and rote memorization skills, it requires a well-educated citizenry with creativity and thinking out of the box.

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