Schools: Why Don’t They Teach That Anymore?
Remember when parents used to complain about schools not teaching the proper way to drag things as they ought to just in case the wheel was merely a passing fad?
How about when they complained about children not learning how to read hieroglyphics, how to use an abucus, or the proper way to milk the family’s cow?
I recall my parents complaining how little emphasis the schools placed on proper penmanship, proper spacing when using the typewriter, and that confounding new math we were taught.
That is why I find it amusing when I hear people these days complain that children are not learning how to balance a checkbook, how to write in cursive, or how to do math on a piece of paper using the systems our parents complained about! Things change, and schools must adapt to prepare children to deal with those changes.
Children today do not have the need to learn how to read the old chronometers (clocks) with hands because most timepieces these days are digital. If you think they should, you should ask yourself whether learning to read the old clocks with hands should have been supplemented with how to properly place the elements of sundials, just in case it became necessary to build one, when you were in school.
Your children and grandchildren are not being taught how to write in cursive from the school, but that does not mean they cannot learn it. Teach them if you believe it is necessary. That is how it was done when proper milking techniques were not taught in school, but were important to a particular family. The family taught the children how to do it.
With modern technology, learning to balance a checkbook is unnecessary. The few people who still have checkbooks represent such a minority in society, and will soon be extinct like the other dinosaurs.
With calculators being virtually everywhere, there really is no need for children to learn long division or multiplication of large numbers. They can simply whip out their cell phones to get a precise answer. There is, however, a need for them to be able to estimate approximately on the fly. That is the purpose for common core math.
They can still learn the old math, but you must teach them that the same way parents who wanted their children to learn counting as "one, two, many" were forced to teach their children when math progressed past two.
Yes, handwritten notes will be printed on the few occasions notes are not sent by text or instant messaging. Yes, children may be slightly off on their estimations of numbers when they do not use the calculators they carry with them on their cell phones for precise answers. Yes, children will probably improperly milk the family cow, not be able to read hieroglyphics, and drag things the incorrect way on those occasions when such things are necessary.
Those things simply are not as important for children today as they were for children in the past. It’s just the way things go.
Some other things I've written about: