The most overrated school subject

Maths. I have never once in my life had to utilise any of the stuff I was taught about logarithms, Pythagorus, algebra, ven diagrams, Pi, simulateous equations etc etc.

All that is needed for life is the ability to do mental arithmetic, and I think that's something far better learned by living in the community, going to shops etc, than in years spent in classrooms.
 
Disagree. I have had to use "Pythagorus, algebra, ven diagrams, Pi," at various stages, just "doing stuff" in business and life.

R
 
AND.... one of the reasons this government and the tabloid press can put so much shit over on the public is that Joe Public doesn't understand the maths of risk.

R
 
Home Economics. I have never used tacking stitches in my life. Never had the urge to make an apron or bake an apple in a case of cement pastry. I did want to do technical drawing and metalwork, but back in the enlightened days of the 1970s those subjects were for boys only.
 
For me, economics.

I dont think most subjects are pointless in themselves. They only become pointless if the people involved arent interested, or enthusiastic, and will take the first opportunity to ditch and never return.

The way that the various subjects are taught in school is another thing tho. Elitist and useless, most of it, and noone gets a very good grounding in anything, even the stuff they like, despite hours and hours for years in lessons.
 

Admin

Administrator
P.E. - in particular, games with sticks and hard balls. I could never see the point and used to bunk off to do Latin homework.
 

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
English - all of it!

Children learn to communicate in their first language(s) almost effortlessly, and from what I've seen, if they're allowed to continue to develop this skill in the real world and in real situations, they do.

School, in many cases, interrupts or destroys this :(

I'm all for good teachers though - the ones that don't need captive audiences :bounce:
 
Modern Studies. Why not just read a newspaper and/or watch the news.

Do not, under any circumstances, invite some stupid politician into school to talk about 'democracy'.

:laser:
 

mirky

HE
Overrated school subjects

Modern Foreign Languages - many young people struggle with the grasp of their first language difficult enough. Starting to learn a second or even third langauage just for the sake of it is madness. I studied French for five years (at school) and can barely put together a sentence, although I can recall rather a lot of random French words. I do, however, speak several other languages, none of which were learned from books. I learned by speaking them with native speakers.

Su
 
Eng Lit

Why not just read the books? :)
I definitely agree with this one. Eng lit is of minimal relevance to the world of employment yet few people appear to challenge its overrated status as part of the secondary school curriculum. There are some employers who think that Eng lit should be optional rather than compulsory for KS4 and more effort spent on teaching children better grammar and 'business world' English but they don't seem to be very vocal. IMO the way Eng lit is taught at schools such as critically analysing poetry spoils the subject completely. Why not just read the books at home in bed?

Maths. I have never once in my life had to utilise any of the stuff I was taught about logarithms, Pythagorus, algebra, ven diagrams, Pi, simulateous equations etc etc.

All that is needed for life is the ability to do mental arithmetic, and I think that's something far better learned by living in the community, going to shops etc, than in years spent in classrooms.
Disagree. I have had to use "Pythagorus, algebra, ven diagrams, Pi," at various stages, just "doing stuff" in business and life.
Maths is a controversial subject. Many critics say that all that is required for at least 80% of the adult population is knowledge of arithmetic and a bit of statistics. They don't need to know algebra or trigonometry or calculus meaning that these really are niche subjects for people who want careers in things like engineering.

The ubiquity of calculators and spreadsheets etc. means that knowledge of long division or multiplying two 3 figure integers are now virtually obsolete. Fractions are not as useful as they were in the past now that imperial weights and measures have largely been replaced with metric.

The strangest thing about maths is that despite it generally considered to be a hard subject, it is the most commonly taken GCSE for children below Y11. There doesn't seem to be many 8 to 12 year olds with English or History GCSEs compared to those with maths GCSE.

P.E. - in particular, games with sticks and hard balls. I could never see the point and used to bunk off to do Latin homework.
British school PE lessons are heavily biased towards team sports yet only a miniscule fraction of people ever become professional sportsmen. Children who are hopeless at team sports get badly victimised despite team sports not being of any relevance to life as an adult unless they want a sporting career.

English - all of it!

Children learn to communicate in their first language(s) almost effortlessly, and from what I've seen, if they're allowed to continue to develop this skill in the real world and in real situations, they do.

School, in many cases, interrupts or destroys this :(

I'm all for good teachers though - the ones that don't need captive audiences :bounce:
I certainly think English is badly taught in schools. When I was at school during the 1980s I thought handwriting was overrated as my school would not let me use a word processor even for homework.

Modern Foreign Languages - many young people struggle with the grasp of their first language difficult enough. Starting to learn a second or even third langauage just for the sake of it is madness. I studied French for five years (at school) and can barely put together a sentence, although I can recall rather a lot of random French words. I do, however, speak several other languages, none of which were learned from books. I learned by speaking them with native speakers.

Su
There's a lot of controversy over MFL and even more controversy over the way it is taught. Plenty of critics of MFL are saying that the British education system has an unhealthy overreliance on French and that the government needs to take action to make the study of various Asian languages that are becoming increasingly important for business and commerce available to all. Independent school can teach any foreign languages they like but some piece of legislation restricts most state schools to teaching European languages.

For me, it would have to be religious studies.
I would say that RE is seen more as a pointless or worthless subject rather than an overrated subject. Many secondary school have made RE GCSE compulsory in recent years. Probably because head teachers see it as an easy subject and therefore an easy way to bump up league tables.

All subjects, if they are not freely chosen by children in school.
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned science. It is definitely a loathed subject at secondary school level which is why so many (failed) initiatives have been put in place by the government over the past 25 years like trying to make the subject trendy and dumbing down the curriculum to make it easier.

My findings are that HE children with a serious interest in science and a desire to have a scientific career are very few and far between. Is this really true? If so, then would it be safe to say that science is an overrated subject?
 

Diane

HEdups
My children were both interested in science which, I think, separates out into the various areas: Physics, Chemistry etc. (or maybe not) as children get older.

My eldest took a GCSE evening class in Human Health and Physiology. She liked the subject, but hated the 'teaching to the test'.

The other reason we don't like 'science' as it is presented (which we were just discussing yesterday) is that the language is hard to write when your tendency is to be a creative writer. I find scientific writing almost completely boring and dull. It mitigates the concepts behind science which are often wonderful and exciting.

Diane
http://www.threedegreesoffreedom.blogspot.com
 
Science is overrated? :faint: Science is the most exciting and rewarding subject(s) out there! But I do think it is probably the one of the most difficult subjects for H-edders to get to grips with practically speaking.

We all have art & craft boxes stashed with goodies which can be put into action in the blink of an eye on a rainy day. But I bet there aren't many families with a similarly well-stocked science cupboard - go on delight me and tell me I'm wrong! Yet there are lots of science experiments and investigations that can be done at home, easily and cheaply, which are guaranteed to give kids a surprise or make them laugh or even wonder why.

It's true science books can be heavy going with the seemingly impenetrable technical language, which would encourage many folk to steer a wide berth. Yet there are some terrific popular science writers around these days who make the facts a whole lot more digestible for kids and adults.

One thing is sure, no matter how we feel about science, it is a subject which we all apply practically, on a daily basis without fail and without even thinking about it. In my opinion that alone makes it well worth exploring.
Ok so I'm biased!
Regards
Wendy
 
It looks to me as if all the school subjects are overated as someone somewhere will loath a subject while another will love it. Schools by their nature have to cover as many subjects as possible as they are supplying education on a mass industrial scale. They cannot cater individually for anyone.
 
Hello Wendy - I want to make your day - we have a science cupboard! A couple of years ago during Science Week, Glasgow university produced a cd-rom full of experiments that could be carried out at home. We had a brilliant time with it. We've got lots of bits and pieces from various science sets, including test tubes and microscopes and every now and again the volcano set gets dragged out, along with vinegar, colouring and bicarb of soda.
Riaz - both my girls love science. One wants to be a vet, the other has a less specific interest but is already talking about some kind of science based uni course (she's 8). Right from a young age she has taken things apart to see how they work.
The only time I intervened with their experiments was when I discovered a bucket of stinky, green, mouldy liquid in the shed. Don't ask.
Lorr
 
Hi Lorr,
You have definately made my day! Fantastic stuff.
Like your kids, my boys love to experiment and make potions and I regularly find containers full of their gunge in corners of the house. We may soon evolve a new life form from one of these swampy mixtures:)
Regards
Wendy
 

Helen_A

HEdups
Lorr - I want that cdrom!! Science is the thing that we struggle with doing, although both of us parents have science/maths as a background; so we end up talking a lot of theory, watching tv/'net things and concentrating on those things that we know abput (electronics and acoustics basically... plus as much as we can do through less obviously - to the outside world - science things like gardening and cooking :-D )

In terms of the 'school' subject that I think is overated.. well probably 'personal and social education' or whatever its called atm (citizenship probably). Mainly because its all about doing what you are told to and only being exposed to one viewpoint... :mad::crazy:
 
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