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 Online Community Lesson



Is this a taboo question:  why do high schoolers and college students take courses for which they will have no use in their adult lives?  Yes, we understand that we would like them to be well-rounded individuals, but how do certain courses contribute to well-roundedness when high schoolers know so little about, and interact so little with, their surrounding community Said in a different way, given that there are essential subjects which are excluded from the already-too-full school day, why should certain other subjects be included? 

          Which subjects are essential but excluded presently?   

1.     Every student should have a course in surviving in a capitalist society, given the profusion of advertising leading to hyperconsumerism, debt, and spending too much physical and psychic energy paying off debt.  It would be worthwhile for students to learn to say “no!” far more often than they do now, to find meaning in life in ways other than their dress and devices. 

2.     Students should learn to be as self-reliant as possible, with regard to filling forms, preventive health practices, income for themselves and their families, and finding useful information. 

3.     Students need a much better “inoculation” to the political propaganda which assaults our society all too often; such an inoculation might put an end to the insidious propaganda and the money behind it, which undermine democracy and give reason for those in other countries to reject our model of democracy.

4.     Finally, every student should have a course in “community”, learning who is who in their community, how to accomplish tasks in a way which would garner the respect of adults, whom to see for advice or solutions to particular issues, cross-cultural understanding, and pride in the appearance of their community, supplemented by community activities.   It is disheartening to see that college-bound high schoolers know little about, and interact so little with, their community.  If one were to argue that students took social studies, the question would still remain as to why the students knew so little about, and interacted so little with, their community.  Perhaps part of the answer would lie in the community lesson, “Madam, Do You Know, Where Is the Montebello Archipelago?”, which can be found in the February 8 E-News, at 

If you answer the multiple-choice questions below and e-mail to with “Lesson answers” in the subject field, you will be credited toward a “certificate of recognition in community affairs” to be awarded in 2007 by a local nonprofit organization. 

1, Which subjects, in your experience, generally have not been useful in your adult life, either at work, in the home or during recreation?  Do not include helping children with homework.

(a)  Computer skills.                                

(b) Mathematics.                                     

(c)  Literature.                                          

(d) Music, singing, art.                            

(e) Physical education and health.

(f) Speaking and writing English.

(g) Foreign languages.

(h) Sciences. 

2. The graduation requirements start in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento.  If we wish for students to make better use of their school time and to connect with the community, what should we do first? 

(a)  Lobby for a change.                                         

(b) Look into setting up a charter school.                

(c)  Have a community meeting.                              

(d) Conduct a survey about essential courses.                  

(e) Find colleges with different graduation requirements and  encourage students to attend those colleges.

February 22, 2007






























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