The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

Some Skills Not Taught at School

on June 13, 2018

Now that schools are closed for the summer not much attention is being given to education, and I don’t blame anyone.  It’s only natural that teachers, students and parents are worn out with trying to deal with all the school problems, complaints, criticism and inadequate funding. I still want to write regularly, but there is nothing much for me to say about what has happened in the past and been endlessly talked about.  For the time being, at least, I will turn back to my own thoughts, complaints, and ideas for the future of education

As a critic of many of the current teaching practices in today’s schools, I am concerned about the lack of critical thinking, creativity, and independence in much of the teaching methods used today.  Although the Common Core Standards demand higher performance from students than in the past, they still overlook the importance of encouraging—or at least–allowing students to think independently about what is being taught in the classroom.  Although independent thinkers may use their own experiences or beliefs when alone, they are not encouraged to do so in most classrooms. Although such abilities may not be “taught’ in the traditional sense, they can be accepted as appropriate in classrooms and be the best tools for delving more deeply into new subject matter.

For your consideration I will cite and briefly explain several skills that are practiced by independent and creative learners , but not encouraged in most classrooms where specified skills and knowledge are the only things valued.

1. Curiosity: Going beyond the lessons taught to find out more about assigned   topics and the answers to questions that may not be included in a text.

2. Skepticism: Mentally questioning the truth in what you have read or been told, either because it doesn’t fit with other things you know or because you don’t trust the accuracy of the new source.

3. Using alternatives: Thinking of other ways to do things that might be quicker or more accurate than what is specified by a teacher.

4. Perseverance: To keep on trying to do a difficult task or solve a serious problem that others have given up on.

5. Revival: To bounce back after a failure or a poor performance. Tomorrow may be a better day.

6. Differentiation: Seeing the differences between things that appear similar at first, especially helpful when you are faced with something that could help or harm you.

7. Dedication: The willingness to put sustained effort into something you believe is worthy of it.

8. Organization: The ability to group things by importance such as: which piece of homework should I do first while I’m still sharp?

9.Open-mindedness: The willingness to explore the usefulness of things that    most people avoid because they are difficult or not apparently worthwhile.

10.Prediction: Guessing that something specific will happen from previous experience and deciding whether or not to get involved.

Actually, I can think of other skills that smart and independent people use. All students should be encouraged to try-out some of these things, not because you are lazy or disobedient, but because they can serve you for the rest of your life.

2 responses to “Some Skills Not Taught at School

  1. Steve Buel says:

    Joanne, very well stated. Thanks for laying these out.


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