top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Teach practical skills -- not college prep -- says post-pandemic poll

The pandemic has changed Americans' priorities for K-12 education, writes Greg Toppo on The 74. Preparing for college, ranked #10 in 2019, has slipped to 47th in importance, according to a new Populace survey. The top priority: "Students develop practical skills (e.g. manage personal finances, prepare a meal, make an appointment)."


Photo: RF._.studio/Pexels

Americans have seen a college degree as the path to higher paying career, said Todd Rose, Populace’s CEO and co-founder. “It’s not clear that that value is there from college anymore. So then when you pile on the outrageous cost … and the debt you’re incurring . . . the value proposition isn’t there anymore.”

"Respondents with college degrees were nearly as likely as high school graduates or even dropouts to give college prep a low priority score," writes Toppo. "It ranked 48th for college graduates, vs. 49th for high school graduates and dropouts.


Overall, the #2 priority was "students are able to think critically to problem solve and make decisions," with character third and "basic reading, writing, and arithmetic" ranking third. Career preparation ranked fifth.


"Students learn from exposure to different ideas and beliefs," which ranked ninth in 2019, had slipped to 27th by 2022.


Asian Americans, who tend to have the highest scoring children, put college prep ninth, notes Toppo. Their top priority is giving all students “the option to choose the courses they want to study based on interests and aspirations.”

Blacks and Hispanics are near the middle in their rating of college prep. Blacks' top priority was critical thinking; Hispanics most valued allowing students to advance in school "if they meet minimum grade requirements."

Whites are the most dubious about college prep (46th) and the most enthusiastic about practical skills.

I think it's important for young people to learn practical skills, but I always assumed that was the parents' job.

8 comentários


Convidado:
21 de jan. de 2023

I always assumed that was the parents' job also. I learned from my parents. And then I had an extremely stubborn kid whose rigid thinking held that it was not Mom's job to teach (Mom is for love and companionship). He would reluctantly listen to and learn things from designated teachers, because teachers are for teaching. He would actively resist letting me teach him unless it was something he really wanted to know. A big part of why we sent him to school rather than home schooling him was so he could see that (most of) the other students allowed teachers to teach them, and he would not fight against learning things he didn't see a reason to learn. Lik…


Curtir

obiwandreas
20 de jan. de 2023

"students are able to think critically to problem solve and make decisions" is the sort of idea that sounds great, but is so content-free as to be completely useless as a standard. Critical thinking is not a general skill. It is domain-specific, requiring a thorough knowledge of the relevant subject matter.


Trying to teach 'critical thinking' is like trying to teach someone to turn to the middle of any novel, read one paragraph, and figure out what's going on in the book.

Curtir

Convidado:
19 de jan. de 2023

Middle school is a ridiculous time to teach personal finance. I teach "Financial Math" to juniors and seniors, where it's eminently more practical. (And yes, I teach students how to fill out a 1040 and to write a check. And to budget. And to read an amortization table for a home or car loan.)


--mrmillermathteacher

Curtir
Convidado:
21 de jan. de 2023
Respondendo a

In dealing with college students and graduate students, I am amazed at how many of them that they have taken a short course on a particular topics, such as lab safety, but cannot find the paper certificate that some baby boomer handed them. When some is teaching paper, one is not really teaching modern 20 year olds.

A joke I heard if is one has a complicated file structure on a home computer, then one is a geezer who cannot contemplate who search works. SD

Curtir

Convidado:
19 de jan. de 2023

There is no way to teach students to do budgets without violating some unwritten rule of either the right or left. Anecdotally, my daughters was forced to do the personal finance thing in middle school and it was worthless.

Curtir
bottom of page