I talked about this before – about how we learn differently in high school than is applicable in the real world. For example – we’re not allowed to consult our text books or ask other people for the answer during tests — yet in the real world that’s exactly what you’d do.

It got me thinking about other things we learn in school:

Joined-up handwriting (cursive). Geography. History. Art History. English literature. Algebra. The anatomy of a fruit fly.

I can honestly say that I don’t use any of these at all on a daily basis.

Things I didn’t learn:

Typing. Computers. The internet. Investment Strategies. Politics. Pension and retirement planning. Real Estate. Balancing a checkbook. Writing a resume or CV. Fitness.

I didn’t even learn to drive in school (although they do teach that in the US).

How many more real world skills should we be teaching in school instead of some of the stuff we are teaching?

Another thought — if you take home your grades from high school and you get five B+ grades – everyone is happy. But if you take home a report that had one A+ and four C’s – you’ll be in trouble.

Why? The real world rewards specialists – not generalists. Our accountant is excellent. I don’t care how good she is at biology, driving or art. I want an accountant who is GREAT at what she does – a specialist.

Why reward “well-rounded” generalists when in reality we want specialists?

PS – I wonder what my English teacher (who very much disliked my thoughts on Ernest Hemingway’s work – my essay in other words) would think now that I’ve had ten books published and might just be the most successful writer she had in that class ?