How often do students ask: “When will I use this in real life?”
Things learned in school can, and will, be applied to the future. A few teachers shared how their subjects can benefit students later on in life.
In twenty years, will it be essential to know the exact date the French Revolution occurred? Maybe, but more important are the ethical ideas which are taught in history classes.
“The thought about history class and how it affects every day life is interesting, especially from the viewpoint of a teenager,” history teacher Mrs. Hachigian said. “If teenagers observe a little more about how life is today, such as current events, issues, inequalities, cliques and different hierarchies in society, they can also see that influence in history classes. If you want to know the general information of why an event happened, you need to study the past. Students also learn to compare different ideas. They can decide, ‘Who am I in this great scheme of things? Where do I fit in my society, in my culture?’ They can identify themselves a little better and be better prepared to make decisions for themselves. They develop a moral compass.”
Math may take the cake when it comes to asking “When will I ever use this?” However, math teacher Mr. Glazer explains it’s not only the formulas and work, but the critical thinking skills and study habits developed.
“One of the things I always say is that it’s opportunity,” Glazer said. “The more you learn, the more you understand and the more you can implement it into the future. Today, you might think you don’t need math skills, but later on you do. For example, logarithms don’t mean anything to you now, but when you come across it later you will be able to understand. Every subject merges with other subjects at some point. It’s analytic thinking, and the bottom line is more opportunities for you.”
People read everyday. Yet, most don’t give credit to their English class for this ability. English teacher Mrs. Stewart describes how what we learn in English class can benefit us in the future.
“English is reading, writing and thinking, so you need it in any career, you need it in college, you need it in every subject that you study,” Stewart said. “We teach you how to read closely and look for minute details you might pass over if you are not reading carefully. We teach you to infer and search for information. A lot of writing that we do in English is based on novels and literary analysis, which might not be realistic in the real world, but it definitely will be in college. You aren’t going to be in this little bubble in the world, or in your job. You are going to have to read, synthesize information and form an opinion. You’re going to need to know how to research and choose the right research material. That’s all English.”
Science teacher Dr. DeCino explains how the thinking skills learned in science classes can be implemented into everyday life, especially when it comes to problem solving.
“There is analytic thinking and reasoning,” DeCino said. “You look at a problem in science and find out what you know and what you need to know. A big part is following directions–labs do that a lot. My students recently had a question where they had to deal with lab data. They needed to find out the answer by looking at evidence and coming to conclusions about that general information. In science we look at data, find what you can do, manipulate problems and come to conclusions.”
Problem solving, analyzing, forming opinions, reading, researching. When will you use this in real life? Every day.