Current Curriculum Ignores Practical Skills

Ava Mason, Staff Writer

Moving quickly towards adulthood, teenagers such as myself appear severely unprepared for it, showing an alarming deficiency in basic life skills.

According to a study written in Daily Mail Magazine, an average of 4 in 5 18-30 year olds do not know how to read a road map, while 53% of people over 60 are still comfortable with such conventional methods of navigation.

The same source, in an illustration of just how catastrophic this cartographical deficiency can be, provides the story of a Belgian woman who intended to take a 38 mile drive, but when her navigation system broke down she ended up driving 1,800 miles through 6 different countries.

If this could happen to the average adult, just imagine what might befall a typical high school student without the aid of a GPS system. Teen drivers are taught the rules of the road, but are they taught what to do if the easy and accessible technology in their car or on their smart phone doesn’t work?

What our parents learned in elementary school as a regular component in the curriculum is now largely ignored by teachers and taken for granted by students.

This can apply to many other aspects of today’s society. Because of the prevalence of technological dependence, today’s generation is oblivious to the things that they should be able to do without the assistance of a device. Yes, such innovation may generally be reliable and is easier to deal with than other sources, but they also cover up what can be a detrimental deficiency of common knowledge and basic competence.

Interpersonal skills like recognizing emotions are also declining due to technology. The convenience of the smart phone has made the face-to-face interaction between human beings a novelty. According to, “Kids who spend more time engaging with a screen than with other kids or adults can struggle to understand emotion, create strong relationships or become more dependent on others.”

Learning how to handle money is another skill neglected by the school curriculum. Government and economics classes fail to adequately prepare students to spend money wisely, save money effectively, develop good credit and how to handle taxes.

Completely absent from Campolindo’s course offerings is instruction in domestic skill development. Cooking and sewing are critical life skills. The inability to handle kitchen appliances, follow recipes and maintain a safe culinary environment is tragic, and quite expensive when one considers the alternative: eating out for every meal. According to, “cooking is essential to life and very beneficial to eating healthy, and therefore being healthy”.

The college and career center is very helpful when it comes to finding your future college, but it is less effective at training students to search for apply for employment. says that “finding a job is crucial to the latter and, of course, for the sake of supporting oneself and family. Students would benefit from being taught how to successfully go about finding a job, applying for a job, building a resume and cover letter, the interview process, and understanding and negotiating employment contracts.”

More emphasis should be placed on developing these basic life skills. As the district considers revamping schedules and adding courses, it should consider seriously the current deficiency from which its schools suffer in these areas.

The district should strive for a more integrated curriculum, one in which students learn more practical skills that will be useful to them in real life.