The first and most obvious part of it is that the past couple years have definitely proven that adults at large do not have a great grasp of critical reading skills, along with other things that have been vital to understanding the world around them like how statistics work, scientific principles, or understanding research practices like peer review. This means that the average sixth grader definitely does not possess all the learning from the core subjects they’ll need.
The more important side of this is that the core subjects exist, not to teach you where a comma goes, but to teach you advanced problem solving via application. It’s why you have to write essays and do science experiments and learn math you’ll never use. This is important for loads of reasons.
- You’ll hopefully have ambitions in life, and there’s no way for core schooling to prepare you for everything, so we help you solve problems so that you can go after whatever it is that’s important to you. The next, is because things change. Can I teach you how to change the oil on a car? Sure. If I learned how to do that in high school in the mid 90s, could I still do it effectively on my hybrid vehicle without any extra learning?
- This extends to everything. Kids often bemoan not learning how to do their taxes, but you know what? Doing your taxes is just a worksheet that you research – both of which school teaches you a bunch of. Whereas if I taught you tax law and the specifics of taxes while going to school in Nevada, you’d be screwed if you moved to California and didn’t pay your state tax (which Nevada doesn’t have.)
- Really. Things CHANGE. Google didn’t exist until I started my senior year of high school. Getting information in 1998 looks very different in 2022. Had you been rigidly taught “this is how to do a specific thing” in lieu of those critical thinking skills we taught you, you’d be absolutely screwed when things changed.
But here’s the BIG one. Learning subjects makes you critical. Learning tasks makes you a worker. There’s a big pull in education right now, perpetuated by people that want to “streamline” and privatize education, to veer more towards the stuff you’re asking for. And if you don’t take a minute to think about it, it looks really tempting. Yeah man, teach me how to sew a button! Except it won’t be that. It’ll be how to operate a POS and do other things that will make you a worker drone who doesn’t think critically.
Let’s use your own point as an example. Let’s say an adult can effectively work with Sin, Cos, and Tan. Do you really believe that said adult will not be able to Google how to change a tire or sign up for a bank account? Of course not. Some students who are exposed to those ideas might have troubles with those things, but they didn’t understand them, and so they become a convenient bogeyman when they don’t understand other things.
The fact that you’re here at all means that you understand the importance of learning things for your own. The people who argue for this type of learning the most are the types of students who won’t be paying attention to it anyway. And the types who genuinely need it are getting it through PACE and POST programs.
So yeah, be critical. Ask questions. But recognize that the courses you are getting are designed to help you do that better in a way that is as timeless as possible. Tasks and skills evolve and change. Problem solving with concepts that you have to learn will always be useful.