Friday, September 04, 2015

What a student should know

A high school student, that is.

My office mate said that every high school driver's ed student should take a ride along with a trucker, as he did once. It gives you a gut feeling for how much a trucker actually can't see. I don't think a video game would give quite the same all-round sense, though it might help a bit.

I said they should all have an afternoon spent learning how to put out fires. It takes a little practice, and when you need the skill you really need it.

And I've said before that a driver's ed course should include a morning in a giant parking lot covered with ice learning how not to spin out.

And it would be good to learn basic gun safety, especially the rule about knowing what lies behind your target. There are plenty of pictures on the net showing how you can easily be so fascinated with the foreground that you miss the background; some "photobombs" might even be suitable for class.

My wife says that there's nothing like gardening for teaching the relationship between hard work and eating--though that's a longer project, and things tend to ripen during vacation time.

What sorts of one-day lessons do you think they need?

I know; some kids never see a farm. Others never see poverty (and I'm not sure a field trip would be well-received by anybody involved, including the "quaint" people being inspected). Video isn't remotely the same.


bs king said...

I'm giving a talk to a high school class next week about science in the real world aka how to actually consume science/stats based news and not be fooled by the media. Unsurprisingly, I feel like that's a pretty vital topic.

Much of this came out of me ranting to my brother, a teacher, about how science classrooms do not at all prepare you for the way the media can twist things (through intention or ignorance), and him asking me to put my time where my mouth was.

james said...

What grade level? I'm with you 100% on this. And I wish How To Lie With Statistics were in the list, too.

bs king said...

Great book, I draw some examples from there. It's juniors and senior taking AP environmental science, though apparently the creative writing teacher invited herself and her students? Could be an interesting mix.

bs king said...

Just saw another one today that looked good: basic workers rights. I read a column called Behind Closed Ovens (bad stories from the food industry) and it's amazing how many horrible bosses get away with things because they hire teens who don't know what to do about gross violations. A few basic "here's what's out of bounds and here's who to contact if you're having trouble" tips might be good.

Here's the column that inspired the comment:

james said...

They go through a little pamphlet about being 18, with warnings about "you are now responsible for contracts you undertake" and so on.