# What is the most important subject taught in school?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Kadark, Dec 22, 2007.

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## Which is most important?

17.2%

13.8%

6.9%

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3.4%

6.9%

1.7%

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1.7%

3.4%

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1.7%

20.7%

22.4%
1. ### USS Exeterunamerican americanRegistered Senior Member

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I pressed you too in the Blackwater thread, and you went silent. We both have something against each other, so let's just start over, please. :truce:

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I honestly don't remember that - I may have missed your last post because it isn't my nature at all to leave something unchallenged.

But I'm really not a bad guy, so I'll agree to let both slide and accept the truce.

5. ### LetticiaRegistered Senior Member

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The most important subject ACTUALLY TAUGHT in school, or the most important subject that SHOULD BE TAUGHT in school?

I think the most important thing to teach children is how to think critically. But it is rarely taught. In fact, a lot of schools actively suppress critical thinking.

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Yes, that's an excellent point! But it still doesn't matter much if the kids haven't learned to read (ranking by comparison).

8. ### invert_nexusZe do caixaoValued Senior Member

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The most important thing to teach a child is how to learn.

9. ### Till EulenspiegelRegistered Member

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Reading is the most important subject taught in school. If you can read you can learn on your own even after leaving school. Knowing how to read means you can find information that has been written by other people. All the knowledge of the world is available to you.

10. ### USS Exeterunamerican americanRegistered Senior Member

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We have reached a conclusion, reading, writing, and math are the most important subjects taught in school. Anything that comes after is purely opinion.

In my thought, it really matters on how subjects are taught to a student. If by teaching to kid that in a way, the kid will be able to develop the skills for critical thinking, such as understanding concepts and principals.

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Exactly. If someone has the ability to read, their education never has to end. (Unfortunately, there ARE those who are too lazy to read but that's beyond the scope of this discussion.)

12. ### invert_nexusZe do caixaoValued Senior Member

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Learning comes first. And is often neglected.

13. ### John99BannedBanned

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Should reading even be a subject? Seems to me it would be better taight at home, before the child enters schoool.

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Sure it should be. And yes, a lot of parents take the time to start the process before school starts - but that's only the very basic beginning.

15. ### John99BannedBanned

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Yes. At the same time i believe formal education should start much later in life, about 16 years old. Disseminate child like connotation.

16. ### S.A.M.uniquely dreadfulValued Senior Member

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You have got to be kidding.

I think kids should be encouraged to learn from babyhood. Make learning fun and exciting. Encourage reading, writing, drawing, coloring, curiosity and games that help in challenging concepts. Thats what I had.

17. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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A child's brain continues to develop physiologically for many years after birth. A cognitive skill must be present in order for any learning that exploits that particular skill to proceed. Both pattern recognition and the correlation of symbols with the thoughts or objects they represent are required before reading can be studied effectively, and in addition hand-to-eye coordination must be mastered before writing can be tackled. In my youth it was felt that age six was the earliest at which those studies were worth bothering. I vividly remember learning to print my name at age five, but it was merely a laborious exercise in drawing and I had no idea of the phonetic correlations involved--and I was a "gifted" student who excelled at reading a year later and now make a living as a writer.

I understand that we're all different and some children are capable of learning to read sooner than others, and those who are should be identified and encouraged. But I doubt that the majority are getting enough out of the time and effort to give up that precious year of play. Kids grow up way too fast anyway, why push it? I always thought kindergarten--and now pre-K for four-year-olds--was a convenient dumping ground for children who have access to no other adults during the daytime.

In any case, literacy is not a simple skill, as evidenced by the average 21st-century American university graduate's ability to read at what my generation called the sixth-grade level, and the proliferation of remedial English classes for college freshmen. Children must continue to be taught to read and write throughout the K-12 years.

18. ### Till EulenspiegelRegistered Member

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Yes, reading should be a subject. It should be taught right through junior high school. During the elementary school grades it should be taught for at least an hour per day.

Reading isn't simply being able to read words. That is decoding, a part of reading. Reading is decoding, understanding, recognizing context clues, along with other distince subsets of skills.

While parents can teach a child to read at home few of them can teach the nuances and subskills of reading that are so important.

The importance of reading is the reason most elementary schools have seperate reading consultants who are teachers who have gone for extra courses leading to a degree in teaching reading.

19. ### oreodontI am GodRegistered Senior Member

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'Schools' have taken on a mythical role in western cultures. Formal education has monopolized much of what we consider to be learning. Much of the 'stuff' taught is self-fulfilling and circular. After basic efficiency in reading and arithmetic, most 'schooling' is overplayed in importance. Learning is definitely important but there's poor return on the thousands of hours spent in a formal classroom. Education is an industry. Kids are bundled up at the age of five (or whatever) and thought to be sent off 'to learn', when in fact, they are more likely sent off because that is just the societal norm and expectation.

With a decline in birthrates in western countries, there may be a decline in the emphasis on formal education in our culture. In fifty years the choices of 'learning' will be more eclectic...much more home schooling, informal neighborhood groups and so on. There will still be a massive child formal education system but 'less massive'. 'Learning' and 'School' won't be as tied together as they are in today's mindset.

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That's a pretty distorted view of the way things currently are and an even worse distortion of what's to come. You are simply not in full touch with reality.

21. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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What all of the girls learned from me about sex in High School!!

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Typing.

23. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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I'm surprised to hear anyone say that! Perhaps you're not an American old enough to be a great-grandfather. All you have to do is look around. Adults with high school diplomas have no idea where any state is except their own and a couple of neighbors. They think Canada is a state. They can't find any European country on a map and they don't even know where to look for India or Japan. They can't make change for a dollar without a POS terminal. They can't figure out that $3000 per month is an exorbitant mortgage payment on a$300,000 house with a calculator, much less by rough-order-of-magnitude numeracy. They have no idea who our allies and enemies were in WWI, WWII, Korea or Vietnam, don't know why millions of Jews moved to Israel and why millions of Muslims hate them for it.

But worst of all--and the explanation for many of the problems cited above--a large portion of the high school graduates who are accepted for admission to college CAN'T READ! Colleges had to establish remedial English classes for them. And the old garbage-in-garbage-out rule still applies. When those people finally roll off the other end of the assembly line that passes for education, with university diplomas, their average reading level is what in my generation was called SIXTH GRADE. They can't read for pleasure, they get their news from TV ("The News For People Who Can't Read"), and office procedure manuals have to be so dumbed-down that they read like Dr. Seuss books.

So don't go telling us old-timers how great the American education system is. Employers are screaming that most job applicants are unqualified for ANYTHING!
That's for sure. My mother made me take it in high school back when all we had were manual typewriters. That may have been the only smart advice she gave me. I got a big kick out of all the girls who refused to learn to type because they didn't want to grow up to be clerks and secretaries like their moms... and then the world changed and now everybody spends their entire workday (and much of their free time) huddled over a keyboard.

My wife went back to finish her degree after we got married and I typed all of her undergraduate and graduate papers. (A great way to learn stuff in somebody else's field!) She finally had to give up and do her own when she started working on her master's thesis, but fortunately by then PCs with word processing had been invented.