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Education overhaul

youcantflexcardioyoucantflexcardio Posts: 550Member, Premium Member Posts: 550Member, Premium Member
Do you think that we would have less of an obesity problem in our society if our education system was overhauled to include mandatory cooking classes, nutritional science, exercise science, physical exercise (not the PE classes that exist nowbut military style PT, runs, calisthenics, lifting etc.)

This is all part of the same argument I've made many times before on teaching other real world skills such as changing oil or fixing a toilet, garbage disposal, finance management etc.

I'm 30 years, so I might be off the mark but looking back the most useful thing I ever learned in school (besides basic math, English etc.) - was my social skills. I remember spending 7-8 hours a day doing things that I have honestly never used in my life yet all the things I listed above- the fitness stuff, the rest as well...those are things I had to learn on my own and I use them all the time.

I want this discussion to focus on the fitness/health portion but I felt the rest was worth mentioning.

Replies

  • youcantflexcardioyoucantflexcardio Posts: 550Member, Premium Member Posts: 550Member, Premium Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I think that's more on the parents and leading by example. Learning those things in school doesn't mean much when it's not going on at home.

    Yeah but the problem is there are obese parents, parents who couldn't manage a piggy bank, parents who can't change a tire, parents who think McDonald's is healthy etc.

    Like my parents taught me really well with finances, but neither of them know *kitten* about nutrition and exercise and growing up I was skinny fat and then chubby because of it.

    Edit, not because of it, but I definitely didn't have a dad that made controlled portions and said let's go for a bike ride.
    edited October 4
  • youcantflexcardioyoucantflexcardio Posts: 550Member, Premium Member Posts: 550Member, Premium Member
    I definitely agree it should be taught at school, as well as balancing a budget, pros and cons of owning a home vs renting, how to buy and take care of a car. It would be great if these things were taught at home, but they’re not always. There should be a class called “Adulting” and these things should be included.

    I'm actually going as far as to say overhaul the whole system - screw reading pride and prejudice and learning trig (those should be electives), we're going for a group run and then we're going to make steak and eggs and learn how to change a spark plug.
  • COGypsyCOGypsy Posts: 461Member, Premium Member Posts: 461Member, Premium Member
    I doubt it would make much difference. I was responsible for planning and packing lunches and cooking weeknight meals for my family from the time I was 10 until I left for college. Balanced meals were required, only rarely any packaged Hamburger Helper type stuff was allowed. PE in the schools I went to alternated between six weeks of learning a sport/ activity and six weeks of conditioning type stuff (runs, pushups, sit-ups, etc). Never did weightlifting in school though, girls weren’t allowed in weight rooms. Despite the skills and knowledge I had acquired and used far more intensely than I would have in a classroom, I still topped out at 5’6” and 230 pounds by the time I was in my mid-30’s.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 36,965Member Member Posts: 36,965Member Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I think that's more on the parents and leading by example. Learning those things in school doesn't mean much when it's not going on at home.

    Yeah but the problem is there are obese parents, parents who couldn't manage a piggy bank, parents who can't change a tire, parents who think McDonald's is healthy etc.

    Like my parents taught me really well with finances, but neither of them know *kitten* about nutrition and exercise and growing up I was skinny fat and then chubby because of it.

    Edit, not because of it, but I definitely didn't have a dad that made controlled portions and said let's go for a bike ride.

    Most of the stuff you mention was available to me as an elective in high school. I took nutrition and I took a variety of fitness classes because I was a competitive athlete. I took shop and learned how to change oil and a spark plug, etc. I took home economics and learned how to cook and hung out with a lot of pretty girls. I also took an accounting elective.

    There's only so much time in school...you can't make a bunch of electives mandatory curriculum without crowding out math, science, history, etc
  • corinasue1143corinasue1143 Posts: 2,591Member Member Posts: 2,591Member Member
    I only remember having to read very, very few books in school, and I never had trig or geometry, or even algebra 2. But I would have if they had been offered to me. I also would have taken a life skills class. I would have left out music, study hall, geography, history. I think those things should be offered, too. I just wasn’t interested/didn’t learn anything. I would have devoured a class in cooking and eating well, as well as personal finance classes.
    Like COGypsy said. You can’t make kids learn it or like it, you can only offer it.
    Side note— we had a science teacher, small physics class, farming community. Physics was hard for us, until we started talking about how it pertains to tractors and pulling plows and we all got it instantly. Same applies to math and recipes, math and sewing, etc. give them a reason to learn it and you get their attention.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,187Member Member Posts: 6,187Member Member
    Education may help, but "more is caught than taught", so as @cwolfman13 states the root cause lies more with parental behavior and the growing detachment between schools and families.

    I grew up in a small town where the best teachers made sure to make real world connections to what was taught and most worked in their fields outside of academia. Our home economics teacher was a CPA. Shop teachers were mechanics & tradesmen. Parents were commonly brought in to speak to areas of expertise. My mom came in a few times to teach first aid and nursing. My father came in to demonstrate welding.

    Our PE teachers handled health and we sort of covered CICO, but nowhere near the refinement we know today. We are back in a small town atmosphere which has a lot more parental involvement. Not sure where they stand on health yet as we just moved in, but it appears to focus more on a eat less, move more philosophy - just do it gradually.
  • corinasue1143corinasue1143 Posts: 2,591Member Member Posts: 2,591Member Member
    CSARdiver, sounds like you had a great school experience. Wish we could all say that. Like I said, we had one science class.
    W
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,145Member Member Posts: 3,145Member Member
    Whose education system are we talking about? The education system in the US is just barely standardized on the national level (common core) and that's a new thing. There are also plenty of people who regularly use these forums who aren't living in the US.

    In general I think the US' education system needs to be changed in some major ways, but not in the ways you've mentioned. Outside of financial literacy and what not.

    I can see the exercise related things you're talking about being a major issue for many students, though I do think that swimming coupled with water safety should be offered whenever possible (even if that means bussing students to a pool), though there are multiple logistical issues I can think of. The school that my two of my friends' daughter does this (though they have their own indoor pool), but there are a number of options in terms of swimming groups by gender and students who are say, allergic to chlorine (like said daughter), can get out of the requirement.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,386Member Member Posts: 9,386Member Member
    I think a big issue, a double edged sword, is we've made life so convenient. We just don't have to expend calories on so many things our parents and everyone before us did. We evolved to survive scarcity, we live in a world of plenty, and a pedestrian is someone who just parked there car (as close as possible).
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 551Member Member Posts: 551Member Member
    Do you think that we would have less of an obesity problem in our society if our education system was overhauled to include mandatory cooking classes, nutritional science, exercise science, physical exercise (not the PE classes that exist nowbut military style PT, runs, calisthenics, lifting etc.)

    This is all part of the same argument I've made many times before on teaching other real world skills such as changing oil or fixing a toilet, garbage disposal, finance management etc.

    I'm 30 years, so I might be off the mark but looking back the most useful thing I ever learned in school (besides basic math, English etc.) - was my social skills. I remember spending 7-8 hours a day doing things that I have honestly never used in my life yet all the things I listed above- the fitness stuff, the rest as well...those are things I had to learn on my own and I use them all the time.

    I want this discussion to focus on the fitness/health portion but I felt the rest was worth mentioning.

    It sounds good in theory, but think it fails in our politically correct/polarized world. If you teach nutrition that included consuming animal products, do you have vegetarian/vegan groups coming out protesting? On finance, do you teach a Dave Ramsey, no debt other than a mortgage or something else?
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,187Member Member Posts: 6,187Member Member
    CSARdiver, sounds like you had a great school experience. Wish we could all say that. Like I said, we had one science class.
    W

    One of those things you can only see in hindsight. I hated school until I went to college and talked to other people and what a miserable time they had by comparison.

    One of my gen ed courses as an undergrad was Communications 101, but instead of just teaching the material our professor and assistants used each module to make sure people knew the basics - changing oil, paying bills, managing a budget, basic home repair, etc. Every group had to teach the class how to do something - make a presentation and a demonstration.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,145Member Member Posts: 3,145Member Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Do you think that we would have less of an obesity problem in our society if our education system was overhauled to include mandatory cooking classes, nutritional science, exercise science, physical exercise (not the PE classes that exist nowbut military style PT, runs, calisthenics, lifting etc.)

    This is all part of the same argument I've made many times before on teaching other real world skills such as changing oil or fixing a toilet, garbage disposal, finance management etc.

    I'm 30 years, so I might be off the mark but looking back the most useful thing I ever learned in school (besides basic math, English etc.) - was my social skills. I remember spending 7-8 hours a day doing things that I have honestly never used in my life yet all the things I listed above- the fitness stuff, the rest as well...those are things I had to learn on my own and I use them all the time.

    I want this discussion to focus on the fitness/health portion but I felt the rest was worth mentioning.

    It sounds good in theory, but think it fails in our politically correct/polarized world. If you teach nutrition that included consuming animal products, do you have vegetarian/vegan groups coming out protesting? On finance, do you teach a Dave Ramsey, no debt other than a mortgage or something else?

    I think the more pressing issue would be accommodating major food allergies and intolerances. There are also other food related issues that would come up as well (ex. food choices made on the basis of religion as well as the vegetarian and vegan stuff that you mentioned), but my major concern would be about accommodating students who for health reasons can't eat and/or prepare XYZ ingredients.

    That said, presumably there are schools that are already dealing with this given that cooking is taught at various schools around the world.
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