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Technology education: STEM isn't what I have in mind.

I have a different definition of "technology", based on its true meaning: How we get things done. Nobody should graduate from high school in the US without successfully passing four courses on how we get things done in life and society. I don't have kids, so I recommend these based on what I see in adults.


Finance

This is the great omission of early education. When a person lacks financial literacy everything else likely falls down in their working life, with large negative effects across society, our satisfaction with it and what we demand from it. Understanding the relationship between time and money, rates, how sums grow or shrink non-linearly, and that what you keep matters more than what you make, are some key aspects of this course.


Statistics

Too many people think that the unlikely is likely and that the likely is unlikely. A basic understanding of probability, percentages, rates and ratios would help dilute the effects of hysterical clickbait media as well as improving financial literacy, which this topic is closely related to. If I had to single out one surprisingly important class that I took in all my years in school, Statistics 101 would be it.


Civics

A dry term for the most essential understanding of how the rules we live by are made and enforced at the federal level and in the state in which the student resides. This course would of, course, include the Constitution and Bill of Rights. If this course did nothing more than correct the vast misunderstanding of what the First Amendment does and doesn't do, and how statutory construction makes all the difference in the effect of a law, it will have been be worth the time and effort to teach it.


Media

Media has changed over the last three decades and is now much more a platform for manipulation at a volume that we can no longer digest by instinct. We need to teach students how to scrutinize media - regardless of a publishers' agenda - not just blindly swallow or oppose what it says. This will become vastly more important as AI-generated content proliferates and multimedia fakes become difficult to discern. When I started my career, most media was an asset to society or harmless entertainment; Today most of it may be corrosive.


Maybe these are all being taught, but is that working?

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