Posted 1/8/2020 9:51 AM (GMT -6)
The subject came up when my two sons and I were having a general living room chat the other night, as we often do, and we had gotten on to the subject of high school courses that had never really helped us later on, even though in many cases we had been required to take them. (Algebra came up, for example).
(The topic came up as we all had noticed that the middle school down the street had just resumed classes, following the holiday break).
As the conversation continued, we sort of logically moved to the opposite line of thought, that perhaps there are some subjects that really should be taught today in the form of a high school course, part of the curriculum, but aren't.
Something like health issues, that might be good as high school course material. Cancer in particular came up. Hence, a Cancer Awareness course. We split on whether such a course in high school, especially if it was required, was a good idea.
But cancer isn't all that common among kids of that age, so why bother, one of my boys said. True, and while some cancers do occur at that age, it's also true that some other, more common cancers, such as breast cancer, do start to happen to 20-somethings, in a group not that much older than the high school kids. So it wouldn't be too early to teach high schoolers about cancer. And it's also true that some of the kids' parents may get cancer, or may even have it at the time, so educating the students about cancer even while they are still (relatively) young high-schoolers could be a positive thing to do.
Something like (course description):
CANCER AWARENESS. The biology of cancer. The kinds of cancer. Treatment options. Paying for treatment. Current research. Cancer's impact on the family.
Or, perhaps the school planners would prefer a more general course, call it a Health Awareness course, with cancer awareness as a module of it, along with, perhaps, modules for heart disease, diabetes, and even things like mental health. The more the kids can be taught, again, while young, about health issues which they, or their parents, may face some day, the better.
My point is that when I was in high school, and granted that was in my case a good while back, some fifty-plus years ago, we were never taught anything like that, and I think it would have been better for us if we had been.
Or, and perhaps this would make the planners even happier, how about expanding it even further and having a Life Skills course that might look like:
LIFE SKILLS. How to finance purchases. Wise use of credit and credit cards. What to look for in an insurance policy (health, life, car). How to apply for a mortgage. What you need to know about marriage and divorce. (And, of course) Your health.
Would it not be a service to the kids to have such knowledge, or at least an introduction to it, already at hand when they leave high school? Wouldn't fewer of then be making costly mistakes in those areas in the years after high school, if they had gotten that kind of education while still students?
There would be issues raised about scheduling, costs, and implementing something like a Cancer Awareness course (such as some other course may have to be bumped to make room for it), but the good that a course of this nature, or one on Health Awareness, or even one on Life Skills, could do, might make it worthwhile.