There are so many answers to this question, honestly, and related, so many things we weren’t taught that we really should have been – like how to do taxes or manage money, for a couple of things.
If you think you’ve thought of everything, though, go ahead and read through this list of 15 useless topics – it just might make you mad all over again.
15. Maybe an abacus shouldn’t fall by the wayside.
When I was younger I learned the abacus enough in asian math school that I was able to do abacus calculations using “muscle memory” so essentially an invisible abacus, which allowed me to do double digit multiplication in my head pretty easily…so pretty helpful if you can do that lol
14. If you get a government job…
They mostly taught us to ask permission in order to use the bathroom.
40 years I been asking permission to piss. I can’t squeeze a drop without say-so.
13. But actually…
By college I was calling American History the “But Actually” class. I had it in elementary school, middle school, high school, and then in college. Every time I took it, the teacher basically said, “I know that you were taught [blank] in [whatever grade], but actually what happened was…”
Elementary school: Lewis and Clark were super brave and the lessons made it seem like it was just the two of them venturing into the unknown west.
Middle School: Sacagawea was there, too.
High School: Actually there were like thirty people on that expedition.
12. A nice tight trash ball.
I might just be holding onto an old grudge against my teacher. My English teacher subbed for gym one day and taught us how children in poorer countries made a ball out of trash to kick around and when he showed us his, he kicked the damn thing right in my face.. and then while playing the game, he kicked it into my stomach 😠
So yea… useless trash balls I know how to make now
11. So wrong.
I was taught that Columbus thought the world was round but everyone else though it was flat except for some greek philosophers.
Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth within 150km in 240 BCE. Our notion that Europeans thought the world was flat up until the discovery of the new world is also wildly exaggerated. The common accepted theory at this point is this Greek knowledge never faded from scholars or the educated populations of Europe. A lot of the confusion comes down cartography and how maps displayed the known world during the medieval times.
The other factor at play was how medieval art before the 1400s was portrayed in two dimensions. Maps predating the 1400s attempted to portray a three dimensional world in a two dimensional plane – hence discs.
10. That is an important life lesson.
In order to graduate middle school you were required to complete the Cupid shuffle, cotton eyed joe, and electric slide in front of your class. I guess this taught us the concept of pure embarrassment.
We all learned as a class but for the final test we had to dance all alone on the gym floor while your whole class watched you dance to cotton eyed joe being quietly played from a CD player
9. It would be helpful if they would actually teach it.
The way the US public school system teaches it, Spanish. You learn it maybe half a year then forget it over the summer.
You’d think with years of education we’d be better Spanish speakers but it’s essentially useless the way it’s taught.
It’s very difficult to learn a language studying it for an hour a day and never using it. I think the goal needs to change – exposure to how other languages work rather than learning a few key phrases and how to conjugate a verb. (Have degree in Linguistics.)
8. I can’t imagine they’re the only one.
We had to do an Irish jig at the front of our fifth grade classroom solo.
I got a half second into it and had a meltdown.
That’s when I discovered I have crippling social anxiety.
7. So much dancing, y’all.
I graduated in 1991 for context and, while living in Phoenix, they taught us square dancing in gym class. I must say though that the most useful skill that I was taught at that school that I use every single day is typing.
Square dancing has been taught in schools for many decades, all thanks to the industrialist Henry Ford. He pushed for it hard and won. He didn’t like the new dances people were doing, and wanted this American tradition preserved.
6. Just accept it.
The tongue/taste map. Not only useless, but incorrect.
My recollection of learning this wasn’t that you couldn’t taste certain things in certain spots of the tongue but that certain tastes will be stronger in certain spots.
I questioned it because i could still taste stuff on the other side of my tongue and the teacher just said to accept it.
5. We’re all experts.
The universal experience of learning how to play Hot Cross Buns on the recorder.
4. At least it’s fixed.
don’t even get me started on the food pyramid.
Food plate replaced it in 2011. Hopefully kids know better now.
3. Not all of equal value.
I feel like almost everything has some value, but I really really wished that they taught highschool classes on Operating Systems, Excel, and an introduction to programming and logic.
I learned it all in college, but Excel saved me a ton of time on homework. Programming played a much greater role than I could have imagined, and highschool left me unprepared for that.
2. Pure vanity.
The entire life of my school founder, the worst of all is that they teach us the same thing all the years.
1. Wait what.
They taught competitive cup stacking in my elementary school. Still have no idea why.
This was in central Canada, but clearly it was widespread across a lot of North America. Please stop asking me if I went to your school, I probably didn’t
Y’all, our education system needs a serious overhaul. I’m so serious right now.
Just for fun, if you’re a teacher, weigh in below on your thoughts on this subject!