Our nation’s educators push math, science, reading and social studies with an emphasis on standardized testing, but are students ready for the real world? Practical lessons grounded in agriculture could help prepare them for adulthood.
More than that, agriculture should be, and can easily be, incorporated into core subjects like math, science, reading and social studies.
First, why not? With a projected 57,000+ jobs available in agriculture and food science each year, these employment opportunities often go unfilled.
Second, your child eats three meals a day, right? When they go to the grocery store, don’t we want our youth informed as they make purchasing decisions? Don’t we want them armed with the facts, so they don’t have to feel guilt and confusion due to the misconceptions and biased opinions perpetuated by activists, food bloggers and the media?
In my travels I have met lots of people who are very smart. They know their high-tech speciality beyond reproach. they may even know or can handle some of the everyday skills like balancing a checkbook, popping something in the microwave, may even have an inkling of how to change a flat tire, or at least knowing where all the equipment is to change that tire. You have to be careful because some of the new cars don’t even have a spare tire anymore.
My last year of high school, either due to scheduling or the teacher was worried about me being in a science lab, I was not able to take chemistry. ( I don’t know why. ) So I would not have too much Study Hall, I was sent to a “Terminal Math” class tought by our superintendent. This was a review of all the basic math you learn in twelve years of school. You know, the stuff you will use everyday. When we went over how to figure compound interest we were asked to ask our smart classmates in chemistry how to figure compound intrest for a loan they had real dumb looks. Most of the people in the Terminal Math went on to become pretty good business leaders in the community and such.
When you meet people and start talking you find that in some cases that these people have never been beyond a six or ten blocks of where they have lived their entire life or have never been outside the city limits of their town. Their food comes from the store on the corner. They have no idea that the fresh vegetables was harvested, depending on the season, in a foreign country then transported to the store near them. Their breakfast cereal started in a field in Kansas, manufactured in Illinois, and on to the store near them. Have no idea what GMO means. That their pet food may have been manufactured in a country that has very little regulations like we have in the US by the FDA.
In order to provide a better general education we need a more rounded education of the basics.