Should LHS adopt a more skill-based curriculum?


Are there ways for LHS students to benefit even more from their time at high school? While the current LHS curriculum does a good job of making sure students are prepared for the future, there are ways to improve. While in school, students are taught how to read, write, and do arithmetic. However, in the future, Larned can build upon the fundamental skills that students are taught and give them a competitive advantage when they enter their adult lives.

Memorization and studying are often not enough for students to fully grasp what they’re learning. Most students learn what they need to, and then they forget it immediately after they take their test. Additionally, many students are tactile learners, so our current curriculum doesn’t do a good job of catering to these students. However, if students were to apply what they were learning in a hands-on activity, then they may retain the information better. Mrs. Pontius, the LHS art teacher, stated, “I think that the skills that I teach in my classes help you to think critically, not just memorize. And I think critical thinkers are important for all jobs after high school.” While labs and hands-on activities help students understand the information they’re learning, they also help to develop problem-solving and other necessary life skills. 

Classroom activities may not be the only solution to giving students more life skills. Having scheduled days throughout the year where students are taught particular skills may help in the long run. Students could be taught how to change a tire, balance a checkbook, cook a decent meal, sew, or do the laundry by performing the activity they are trying to learn. All of these are basic life skills that will set students up for the future. The LMS has similar days where the middle school students pick which activities they want to learn. Then, they go to the station they picked and learn how to perform their desired skill. Not to mention, most teachers already know how to perform these tasks, and would likely enjoy teaching students how to do them. Along with days like these, there could be days where students are taught other types of skills through different activities. If students were to spend all day solving a puzzle in groups or playing a school-wide game, they would have to use skills like leadership, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving to solve the games in the best way possible. Having students participate in activities like this would help them develop these skills in a more hands-on environment.