268. Some Gaps

I realize that there’s only a certain amount that can be taught and learned in school, but I think there have been important gaps in our education due to the simple fact that the people who plan curriculum and implement it are usually educators. Not everyone who goes to school plans to be an educator, just as not everyone who goes to the movies plans to go to Hollywood and be a movie star.
But a disproportionate number of movies are about Hollywood and movie stars, and I think a disproportionate amount of school curriculum teaches people how to function in school.
People ought to choose their careers based on having become somewhat familiar with all the options, but I suspect that many choose to become teachers because they’ve been taught by teachers, and don’t know much about any other options. To a certain degree, there’s not a lot that can be done about that, but it may help to take a little look at the gaps and think about what could be done.
When I first started to drive, I started my car by inserting a key into a little slot and turning it. That started the motor. Years later, I bought a new car, and had to also press the clutch down with my left foot to start it. There were some people who had learned more about motors, but for the most part, the more they knew about motors, the less I knew them. I often got better grades than some people who knew a lot about motors, but when I had car trouble, I’d be at their mercy; the good grades didn’t make me any smarter about carburetors, alternators, etc.
Now, I don’t drive any more, but I use a computer, and just as I used to hope my car didn’t develop problems, I dearly hope my computer doesn’t. I know a few tricks to solve some computer problems, but if they don’t work, I’m at the mercy of people who know all about computers, or at least seem to.
And there’s a whole world of finances that has always been strange to me. There have been ways to learn about cars, computers, finances, and more – even courses in schools (I know about schools), but where were they when I needed them? I was busy learning how to diagram sentences while the auto mechanics were learning how to change fan belts. They’ve never come to me to have their sentences diagrammed, but I’ve occasionally had to come to them to have my fan belt changed.
Practical skills have traditionally been family matters, not school matters. But families vary. In some families, practical learning doesn’t happen much. We have schools so that we can learn things our families don’t teach us. So how about teaching about life insurance, auto repair, and other practical matters?

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