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Politics // The Right Price
Larry Price

Making Fun Part Of School

When public schools opened last week, it meant about 180,000 youngsters were renewing friendships and make new ones, parents were looking for some quiet time and teachers were preparing for the challenge of teaching their students relevant information. It’s called the body of knowledge.

In every occupation there is a body of knowledge, and it expands every school year. Some things students are learning in elementary school weren’t even around when I was is school. In 20 years, the body of knowledge will increase and demand new skills. The educational hierarchy has to worry about it, parents have to ensure they’ve purchased the right school supplies, and teachers are crossing their fingers that their new students are excited about learning.

At the highest levels of the education business, a group of highly dedicated officials is analyzing the issue of academic priorities. They are curriculum specialists, and it’s their job to make sure everything the students in K-12 are learning is relevant – subject matter that will help them be more ready to jump into the workplace with competitive skills, or provide the ability to navigate through a college education.

Among those 180,000 students, teachers will encounter varying degrees of readiness to learn.

It must be a shock to many students when there is a shift in academic priorities to greet them in the new school year. It seems that every summer someone in the educational hierarchy has a new “shift in academic priorities.” It’s as if someone in charge forgot that growing up is supposed to be sprinkled with fun. “All work and no play makes the Genie run away.”

After all, students are going to seek out fun, in whatever form it presents itself, whether it’s in the lesson plan or not. Increasing classroom rigor sounds good on paper, but it can be pretty boring stuff.

Raising academic standards in math, science, language arts and computer science is a great idea, but I wonder if anyone has tried to figure out how to make meeting all these new academic priorities fun?

It is true that no one is really sure what kind of jobs are going to be in demand 20 years from now, and no one has proven that going to college is a “cure-all” for our economy. The only sure thing is that the body of knowledge will increase by 90 percent every 20 to 30 years.

I have confidence that our “community leaders” will consider putting a little fun in the curriculum. If seems to me that everyone in public school should learn how to play a game they can carry into their elder years, and they all should learn to swim. After all, we are a state surrounded by water. Additionally, from the looks of it, learning some kind of self-defense or marital art would be advisable as well.

So, as all the youngsters, parents, staff and teachers return, let’s all hope they have fun meeting the new shift in academic priorities and include fun in the educational mix.

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