Student Career Horizons
I hold my hands up and admit I was one of those students suffering from a dose of the ‘unknown unknowns’ (Donald Rumsfeld quote) with more than a hint of arrogance added in for good measure. For me, it was French. I saw no value in learning French. I couldn’t see why French would be useful to my career or personal life. I only succeeded in wasting my own time and that of the teacher. Now at the slightly more mature age of 36, I see the error of my ways. I’ve gained an understanding and appreciation of how a language other than English would have definitely helped working in a global business.
The point is that I couldn’t even comprehend a time that I might end up working in a global company at age 14, so why would I ever need French?
Finding relevant examples to get students to realise the importance of what they are learning is key. I know it may be harder to do this with some subjects than others, and the links may not always be obvious. This also shouldn’t be the sole burden of the teacher either. I think it is absolutely right to bring in other people, from outside, to give the subject being taught some additional context. Every time you keep a student engaged in learning for longer, you potentially broaden that student’s horizon, and that has to be worth the effort!
About the author: Iain Home is a UK father, student of education trends, and an international marketing strategist for Promethean. Iain is also a regular columnist at Connect Learning Today.