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Education overhaul

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  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,937 Member Member Posts: 5,937 Member
    Slacker16 wrote: »
    Well, parents used to have the time. Middle and upper class moms and a lot of working class moms stayed home. Their preschool kids got the important basic civilization from someone who considered it her job to get him ready to go to school. She had time to make meals from scratch, garden, and preserve the food she'd grown. It was possible for a man to support a wife and family on the salary he'd make as a high school graduate. (...)
    Off-topic, but what you're describing was actually very rare in human history.

    Until the mid-20th century, having an able-bodied adult member of the household that didn't contribute to its income was a luxury that only the upper classes, and maybe a part of the middle class, could afford... which wasn't a lot of people. In fact, until the mid-19th century, most families needed older children to contribute as well...

    I had started to type a similar response, but it started getting too long, and then I saw you had made the point much more succinctly. This image of working and middle class families supported by a single male wage earner while the mother stayed home, made dinner (or told the maid what to make for dinner), and worried about whether Beaver was skipping out on cotillion classes was at best a reality for 20 years after WWII, and even then was more of a middle and upper-middle class reality than a working class reality.

    In the 19th century and for much of the 20th century and current 21st century, working class families have needed even younger children to contribute, around the house, if not in the income economy.

    If you lived on a farm, you likely performed meaningful chores that needed to be done, such as feeding animals, cleaning stalls and pens, collecting eggs, or milking. My mother, in the 1930s, did some of those chores before and after school and on weekends. In the 19th century, my grandmother was looking after younger siblings before she was old enough to go to school, which she was only able to do for about three years before needing to drop out and contribute to the running of the farm as an "older child" by the time she was 10. And her parents owned their own farm, so likely would be considered middle class, not working class.

    If you lived in an urban environment and were working class or lower-middle class, you might have been (and still might be) expected to mind younger children, run errands, pick up groceries in your little red wagon and bring them home, help bottle the home-made beer and gin during Prohibition, and earn money for your own needs or even to contribute to household needs doing whatever age-appropriate remunerative work was available (newspaper routes in the old days, mowing lawns in neighborhoods that have lawns, babysitting, pet-sitting or dog-walking, shoveling snow, and fast-food/retail work when you reached the legal age.

    Well, this has started to get long too. :smile:

    Yeah, all this. Both my grandmothers worked (one helped with the family farm and made extra money as a teacher and then a newspaper reporter, the other helped run a family dry goods store while helping out with a homestead plot and acting as the only medical care in the area (she was a Chicago trained nurse who moved to the middle of nowhere with her husband). Going back further, basically all my family were farmers (with loads of kids), so the women were certainly working too. Even when that's not the case -- one gg-grandfather immigranted from England in 1870 or so and became a farmer -- his own mom was a haberdasher and then (with 8 kids) shared in the running of his parents' clothing store. After his family lost their money and the father died, she and a daughter had an embroidery business.
  • PAPYRUS3PAPYRUS3 Member Posts: 7,891 Member Member Posts: 7,891 Member
    ...in a nut shell...'it takes a village- the whole village'!
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,313 Member Member Posts: 24,313 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    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.

    There's something so incredibly depressing to me about the proposal that we should decide to ditch the entire traditional concept of education and instead just focus on basic skills to maintain life. I don't believe we need schools if all they're going to be offering is instructions on how to cook eggs and execute basic mechanical tasks.

    I don't think @youcantflexcardio was saying ditch the traditional concept of education, just put in a few requirements for life skills.

    If you're making traditional subjects like reading, literature, and math purely elective, that's a major shift in focus from our traditional public school focus of attempting to ensure that students have the same academic foundation.

    Speaking from a US perspective, this has always been the ideal. We haven't always achieved it, but I don't agree that we should give it up to teach egg cookery and go for group runs.

    No not what I propose. I'm saying some exposure to "life skills" in addition to the "traditional" curriculum. Our kid's HS had mandatory personal finance, health, cooking and "shop". Each was a quarter during the freshman year. Over 95% of the students from the school go to college so the life skills classes didn't have a negative impact on their education.

    I understand what you're proposing, but the person I was responding to was saying that math and literature should offered on an elective-only basis in favor of a life skill-centered approach. That's what I was objecting to.
  • sal10851sal10851 Member Posts: 171 Member Member Posts: 171 Member
    It's absolutely pointless to rely on parents to teach their children about nutrition when the parents are wildly ignorant about the subject. When someone believes that carbohydrates is the carbonation in soda there is a big problem. Now take that person and have them teach a child to eat properly!?!? No!!!!! We NEED to teach children that McDonalds is not where food comes from. Reading, writing, math, nutritional and physical education need to be the first things a child should learn. We are relying on the 40% of overweight and obese people to teach their children about nutrition. Taking food advice from an overweight person is the perfect way to become overweight and eventually obese and that is the road we are on.
  • sal10851sal10851 Member Posts: 171 Member Member Posts: 171 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    If education was the solution we wouldn't see so many people who have been in the education system for 20 years being overweight and obese. I get tired of people who always point out education. It's 2020, you can educate yourself on the internet, or go to public libraries to borrow books, it's free.

    A child is not going online to research nutrition unless it's part of their homework. A child will not go online or to a public library to research history unless it's homework. Do you think we should rely on the 40% of overweight and obese people to teach their children how to eat? I think it's crucial to have an education but it's pointless if you are dying from obesity and obesity related illnesses.
  • cgvet37cgvet37 Member Posts: 1,185 Member Member Posts: 1,185 Member
    If you don't control what your child eats at home, it doesn't matter what they are taught in school. I didn't really understand nutrition until I was in my 30's. That's when my PT had me start using MFP and tracking my calories. Heck, most doctor's don't even understand proper nutrition.
  • asthesoapturnsasthesoapturns Member Posts: 307 Member Member Posts: 307 Member
    Parents are responsible for teaching their children about nutrition and providing them with a nutritious diet. It's not the education systems job to parent kids. If mom and dad provide nothing but junk that's what the kid will know.
  • sal10851sal10851 Member Posts: 171 Member Member Posts: 171 Member
    sal10851 wrote: »
    It's absolutely pointless to rely on parents to teach their children about nutrition when the parents are wildly ignorant about the subject. When someone believes that carbohydrates is the carbonation in soda there is a big problem. Now take that person and have them teach a child to eat properly!?!? No!!!!! We NEED to teach children that McDonalds is not where food comes from. Reading, writing, math, nutritional and physical education need to be the first things a child should learn. We are relying on the 40% of overweight and obese people to teach their children about nutrition. Taking food advice from an overweight person is the perfect way to become overweight and eventually obese and that is the road we are on.

    Teachers aren't an elite group apart from the rest of society. They aren't necessarily fit and lean, they aren't necessarily avoiding all the food that doesn't meet your standards. If you're asking teachers to teach nutrition to children, that will include overweight and obese teachers, as well as teachers who eat at McDonald's sometimes.

    We need to provide the children with the information so that when they grow up they can make informed decisions about what they put in their mouth. You are basically saying that we trust teachers enough to teach our children about everything else except nutrition. That makes no sense at all and that is why 40% of adults are overweight and obese. That 40% will pass on their bad eating habits to their children. The obesity rates are going up and ignoring the issues and your way of thinking are not helping.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,313 Member Member Posts: 24,313 Member
    sal10851 wrote: »
    sal10851 wrote: »
    It's absolutely pointless to rely on parents to teach their children about nutrition when the parents are wildly ignorant about the subject. When someone believes that carbohydrates is the carbonation in soda there is a big problem. Now take that person and have them teach a child to eat properly!?!? No!!!!! We NEED to teach children that McDonalds is not where food comes from. Reading, writing, math, nutritional and physical education need to be the first things a child should learn. We are relying on the 40% of overweight and obese people to teach their children about nutrition. Taking food advice from an overweight person is the perfect way to become overweight and eventually obese and that is the road we are on.

    Teachers aren't an elite group apart from the rest of society. They aren't necessarily fit and lean, they aren't necessarily avoiding all the food that doesn't meet your standards. If you're asking teachers to teach nutrition to children, that will include overweight and obese teachers, as well as teachers who eat at McDonald's sometimes.

    We need to provide the children with the information so that when they grow up they can make informed decisions about what they put in their mouth. You are basically saying that we trust teachers enough to teach our children about everything else except nutrition. That makes no sense at all and that is why 40% of adults are overweight and obese. That 40% will pass on their bad eating habits to their children. The obesity rates are going up and ignoring the issues and your way of thinking are not helping.

    I'm not "basically" saying that. First, I've never argued that teachers should teach "everything else." Secondly, I'm countering your specific point that parents are "wildly ignorant" and shouldn't be teaching their children because 40% of adults are overweight/obese while ignoring that teachers are drawn from the exact same pool of US adults as parents are.

    If we want to implement more nutritional instruction in schools, I don't necessarily object to that. But let's not pretend that teachers are magically immune to the forces that you claim make parents completely unsuitable to be involved in planning their children's diet and activity. Children learning nutrition in schools will still, in many cases, be "taking food advice from an overweight person."
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,937 Member Member Posts: 5,937 Member
    sal10851 wrote: »
    sal10851 wrote: »
    It's absolutely pointless to rely on parents to teach their children about nutrition when the parents are wildly ignorant about the subject. When someone believes that carbohydrates is the carbonation in soda there is a big problem. Now take that person and have them teach a child to eat properly!?!? No!!!!! We NEED to teach children that McDonalds is not where food comes from. Reading, writing, math, nutritional and physical education need to be the first things a child should learn. We are relying on the 40% of overweight and obese people to teach their children about nutrition. Taking food advice from an overweight person is the perfect way to become overweight and eventually obese and that is the road we are on.

    Teachers aren't an elite group apart from the rest of society. They aren't necessarily fit and lean, they aren't necessarily avoiding all the food that doesn't meet your standards. If you're asking teachers to teach nutrition to children, that will include overweight and obese teachers, as well as teachers who eat at McDonald's sometimes.

    We need to provide the children with the information so that when they grow up they can make informed decisions about what they put in their mouth. You are basically saying that we trust teachers enough to teach our children about everything else except nutrition. That makes no sense at all and that is why 40% of adults are overweight and obese. That 40% will pass on their bad eating habits to their children. The obesity rates are going up and ignoring the issues and your way of thinking are not helping.

    It has been typical to include some nutrition education in school. Likely the 40% of people who are obese got nutrition education.

    The people who really know what a balanced diet are are likely the people who have it modeled at home. I didn't retain any of what I was taught about nutrition (something vague about food groups) in school, but I did get a sense of what a sensible meal looked like (and that one should of course eat vegetables and so on) from how we ate as a family. When I later did learn about nutrition, I could see that we ate a pretty decent diet.
    edited September 29
  • Noreenmarie1234Noreenmarie1234 Member Posts: 5,811 Member Member Posts: 5,811 Member
    Interesting thoughts, but we had mandatory health class every year. We even had to record our calories for a whole week and compare them with how much we were suppose to be eating. They had us learn how to count calories and how much we should be eating a day as well as how many servings of fruit and veggies we should be having and what a healthy weight is for our height. We were taught how to calculate our BMI too.

    In home ec we had to cook numerous healthy meals from scratch every week.

    Didn't stop 95% of the people I went to school with from becoming overweight.
    edited September 29
  • shaumomshaumom Member Posts: 960 Member Member Posts: 960 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.)

    I honestly don't think it would make much of a difference. Because there are, and have been, schools that DO have this (I went to a high school that had pretty much all of this, actually), and it doesn't make a difference.

    In large part, I think it's because, while ignorance about a subject IS a concern, it's not the driving force behind this problem.

    Our society as a whole, and how it functions, seems to be much more of a driving force behind this problem, because it's multi-faceted.

    - We have a minimum wage that is not a living wage, plus a medical system that is so costly one big accident plus a bad month or two (financially), is enough to bankrupt over half our population. Which means we have over half our population that has to focus more energy to trying to make enough money to survive, and also has to spend the least amount of money on non-fixed expenses.
    - This impacts SO much, because...
    - Time to exercise is a luxury that gets harder to afford when you have more time spend working, which leaves you with less time to spend on kids, getting chores done, etc...
    - Time to make food from scratch that is healthier is ALSO a luxury that many people don't have. And if one wants to buy healthy food that is pre-made, that costs money...which a lot of people do not have.
    - Food is a non-fixed expense which is often cut down if you are struggling to make ends meet. You can often buy enough CALORIES to survive on a limited income, but in the USA, calories are cheaper than food that is better for your health (more nutrients, for example). So buying a few vitamins plus cheaper (and fattier, more sugar filled food) is something that helps one survive a more limited income.
    - When you are struggling to survive, having some tiny thing that is emotionally uplifting. A small bit of food with a nice taste - like a candy bar, say - is something that is affordable but can help a person make it through that day without losing it, screaming at their kids, blowing up at their crap boss, etc... Which would also be survivable if they were able to make more money so there was a lot less stress in their lives, but again - our society has some problems.
    -

    The above? That's not behavior based on a 'lack of education.' It's behavior based on necessity and trying to survive a crappy situation. The way to help this is not education, then, but rather, to make some serious changes in our society so that we, as a whole, are more supportive for our community to be able to thrive in life, and not just struggle through it.


    But I would also add that we have a lot of societal attitudes that are a problem for having a healthy population, because it makes it harder for folks to get healthy.

    We have nutritional standards that are influenced by lobbyists, for example (check out some of the impact of dairy lobbying on dairy's inclusion in our nutritional standards sometime). This has led to some really poor laws about nutrition and labeling, and it's led to some educational campaigns that were incorrect and don't help people.

    We have an overwhelming societal idea of 'being' something rather than 'working to be something.' You are smart, or you are stupid. You are pretty, or you are ugly. We pay lip service to working hard, but the underlying beliefs show when, for example, someone works really hard on a school assignment and the overwhelming feedback they get from people around them is often not 'you worked so hard on that and it was amazing!' but 'you are so smart, you are so artistic, you are so...etc...'

    This means that people working to improve their healthy don't get societal support - they get support mostly only from those who are also trying to get healthier. And they have a mindset that they some people are 'just naturally skinny' and kind of lose hope.

    We are big on admiring 'showy' hard work and sacrifice (give your life for your country) and dismissive or irritated by the small, everyday acts of hard work and/or sacrifice that are actually important for good health and fitness (before covid, much of Asia viewed wearing a face mask when you were sick as a responsible sacrifice to make for the good of your co-workers and family vs. in the USA, we have 1/3 of people act like wearing a mask during a pandemic is like asking them to chop off a limb).

    Connected to that - the USA is all about 'the one answer.' The one group that's 'the real problem,' the one haircut that makes your face look thinner, the one diet that works, the one set of exercises that fixes all your problem areas. Again - American society does not, as a whole, support the idea that slow, small, and steady work makes a difference.

    All of this is a huge problem for healthy living, even IF everyone had enough money to make it a possibility for them all. I think it's something that people can be aware of and change, but...we have some major things to work on, honestly.
    edited September 29
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,765 Member Member Posts: 22,765 Member
    Parents are responsible for teaching their children about nutrition and providing them with a nutritious diet. It's not the education systems job to parent kids. If mom and dad provide nothing but junk that's what the kid will know.

    But what if the parents don't know?

    I learned nothing specific about personal finance from my parents, just a general impression that "frugality is good." The first personal finance class I had was in the military. This was no doubt due to members getting in trouble with their finances. I remember thinking at the time that this should have been taught in high school.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,111 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,111 Member
    sal10851 wrote: »
    It's absolutely pointless to rely on parents to teach their children about nutrition when the parents are wildly ignorant about the subject. When someone believes that carbohydrates is the carbonation in soda there is a big problem. Now take that person and have them teach a child to eat properly!?!? No!!!!! We NEED to teach children that McDonalds is not where food comes from. Reading, writing, math, nutritional and physical education need to be the first things a child should learn. We are relying on the 40% of overweight and obese people to teach their children about nutrition. Taking food advice from an overweight person is the perfect way to become overweight and eventually obese and that is the road we are on.

    Modeling and perceived social norms have much more to do with people's eating habits than do classroom learning, unfortunately. If a person develops an interest later in life, they can change lanes, but it would be rare for school-based instruction to trigger that. Students are demonstrably taught quite a number of things in school that they don't understand, retain or apply: Nutrition would be just one more.

    Oh, wait: Nutrition *was* just one more people didn't apply. I had nutrition education in school, as did the people I went to school with. I was obese for decades; most of them still are.

    I even shared one of my textbooks here a while back, linked here for others' amusement: https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10625791/mainstream-eating-guidance-1960
  • L1zardQueenL1zardQueen Member Posts: 7,929 Member Member Posts: 7,929 Member
    @AnnPT77

    Nutrition and fitness was very much apart of our curriculum in the 70’s. I grew up in So California.
    edited October 1
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