“When will we ever use this in real life?”: the age-old question that school teachers and education administrators have faced for decades.
Truth is, the common high school student probably won’t have to use calculus in their day-to-day adult life. However, the argument is the long-term, problem-solving skills derived from these types of challenging courses.
While that is true, one must wonder how far a student has to go before reaching the end-all, be-all of mastering the skill of problem solving. Most importantly, at what point do adolescents lose traditional societal skills in place for an extra math credit to boost their GPA or class rank?
We see this become an issue when high school seniors get admitted to the country’s most prestigious, private universities, but they don’t know how to correctly file taxes or efficiently wash clothes.
However, this is not entirely at the fault of the school, considering that more than likely, elective classes such as home economics and accounting are offered. It does come at the responsibility of the school that highly competitive stakes require students to dedicate the entirety of their time to advanced placement courses, effectively burying classes of less “stature."
This is where the need for required educational classes comes into play. With many Louisiana public schools having already seen the implementation of required courses such as art and physical education, this list should continue to increase as years press on.
Most importantly, home economics should stand at the very forefront of being added to high school graduation requirements.
In recent years, we’ve witnessed older generations accusing millennials of lacking basic “adulting” skills. While you may agree or disagree with this, home economics would surely provide a remedy to the struggles of discovering and navigating modern adult life.
While home economics may be associated solely with cooking in many eyes, it's much more than that. Home economics lessons plan to also cover budgeting, applying for loans and balancing a checkbook. In addition to personal financing, courses can also explore family planning and child development.
Although these skills are not necessarily useful in the moment for teenagers, it guarantees for their future to be more structured and informed. Therefore, requiring home economics would better prepare adolescents for the “real world."
This move undoubtedly brings into question the role of America’s public schools in raising the nation's students.
According to the NCCP, 28% of Louisiana’s children are in poverty, which is 9% more than the national average. With the requirement of classes like home economics, students who may have not ever been exposed to a stable home life can experience the necessary tools they need to fortify their own in the future.
Another argument brought into play may be the notion that kids can simply look up anything they need to know in a blink of an eye on Google or YouTube.
However, this makes children more reliant on technology that is not guaranteed to always be there. Also, it takes away from the basic respect and humanity of learning essential life skills from an actual adult.
Without classes like home economics, domestication will be lost indefinitely. The class takes away both the scariness of managing a household and even managing your own, adult self.
Think of it like a secret playbook. With it being required, students will know what moves to make before they even need them.
Gabrielle Martinez is an 18-year-old mass communication freshman from Gonzales, Louisiana.