Stop coddling students with “participation” awards just for showing up—instead, have them traverse a scorching desert and deadly volcano!

by worstideas

The issue:

One common criticism of education, both at the grade school level and at the college level, is that students don’t come away with practical skills.

Although it was once sufficient to know basic math, reading, and writing, more is generally expected in the modern era.

Proposal:

As a supplement to traditional teaching, a month-long “capstone” obstacle-course project is added to the curriculum.

This would involve students working in teams and/or individually to accomplish a complicated practical goal, one example of which is described below.

terrain

Fig 1: In the proposal here, students would need to:

  1. Construct a boat to float across the river (1)
  2. Figure out how to climb up the cliff (2) without falling
  3. Create shelter and build a fire in the forest (3)
  4. Successfully apply navigate skills to traverse the harsh desert (4)
  5. Work together to climb the desolate and possibly snow-covered mountain slope (5)
  6. Finally, avoid being melted by the volcano (6) and locate their diplomas somewhere near the peak

diploma

Fig 2: After ascending the volcano, students are deemed to have sufficient life skills to graduate.

PROS: Teaches valuable survival and/or practical skills.

CONS: Sub-par lava traversal methods may reduce graduation rates.

 

 

 

 

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