As kids, we spent about 8 hours every day in school for 10 months of each year. Not surprisingly, a few useless lessons made their way into the curriculum.
Well, maybe more than a few.
A recent Reddit thread explored the most common examples of lessons taught in school that either went on to be the opposite of the truth, or at least be utterly useless in the long run.
The thread tended toward the life-lessons and teacherly explanations of character far more than the actual information taught.
gunguy627 asked, "What is the most f***ing useless thing that they teach in school?"
"0-tolerance policy is the dumbest thing ever taught and implemented."
"All it teaches is to fear authority when you're the victim. It enables the perpetrator (who is normally a bully)."
"I know administrators are lazy, but they need to actually investigate the goddamn problem instead of saying, 'hey you both were involved in the issue so you're both going to get punished.'"
"It basically just raises you to hate authority, and while I don't like authorities either I don't think they're all distrustful. Although, I guess this could be interpreted as commentary on how garbage authority is."
It Worked, Didn't It
"That sticking up for yourself is wrong. I punched a kid in the face because he was being physically abusive to me."
"He grabbed my arms and spun us in circles, intending to let go once I would be sort of thrown through the air. I got an arm loose and punched him in the face before that happened."
"Instead of him being expelled I, a female half his size, was forced to apologize for defending myself. I'm still mad."
The Unicycle Budget
"Our elementary school was heavy into unicycles. Gym class year round was learning to ride, then ride together, and in formation."
"I was one of the unlucky few who never got it (I can't dance or ride a bike either, so I suspect there's some balance issues)."
"School all but threatened to hold me back a year until I learned how. Everyone forgot and never picked it up again as soon as they moved to middle school."
"Worst part is that we were a very poor school in a very rural area without much funding. I can't imagine how much the school spent on those unicycles. There was no sponsorship, and we weren't competing in anything."
A Bizarre Exercise
"Not exactly something they teach in general, but in my high school music class, we had to memorize our national anthem in a different language (we used to be a colony and it was originally written in the colonizer's language.)"
"And then sing it out loud with the same melody and all, except you're parroting a bunch of words that you don't understand. Over a decade later and I still think it was a pointless exercise"
"how to 'take care of a baby' by"
- bringing in an egg
- having the teacher sign the egg
- decorating, protecting, and carrying the egg at all times for two days
- revealing to the teacher at the end of day 2 that the egg was still in tact, without cracks.
"all that taught me was how to take care of an egg."
"In Phys Ed they had us take actual written tests a few times sitting on the gym floor. Questions like where was basketball invented, what are the rules of pickle, yadda yadda, other useless sh**." -- GummyZerg
"That's the kind of bullsh** that happens when the only way to prove you're doing something is to provide data."
"Teachers are forced to do things which generate data because the traditional outcomes don't provide enough evidence for someone at the state or distinct admin office to know you're doing your job." -- Beeb294
The Definition of Busy Work
"When I was in primary school we got taught about digital roots, it's where you take a number, add up all the digits and repeat if you have more than 1 digit, so 684 = 6+8+4 = 18 = 1 + 8 = 9."
"Nobody else has ever heard of this."
If Only Bullies Valued My Opinion
"That if someone's bullying you you tell them that you don't like it. like no sh**, that's why they do it." -- dr_pepper_cans
"My grandmother used to tell my dad, my brothers, and me 'If someone hits you, tell them you don't like to get hit!' Most useless piece of advice that has been taught to society." -- ZIONSCROLLS
"The only thing that ever helped me with bullies at that age, was fighting back. I tried everything else. But the teachers punished me more than the bullies for it, they'd always say 'it doesn't matter who started it' - which is f***ing bullsh**. I'm still mad." -- yas_yas
Keep Those Clavicles Covered
"That if we cover our shoulders and legs boys will stop looking at us" -- shlee_e
"As a guy this rule just taught me that bare shoulders are provocative and now I get all flustered seeing a cute girl in something showing her shoulders. This clearly didn't work as intended." -- Lunarskies92
"I don't know, but if they don't start teaching people how to spot fake news soon, we're all gonna be living under dictatorships." -- thegoatwrote
"All of us learned to do research papers in school, but how many of us made the jump to doing any kind of basic research in the real world?" -- somebodys_mom
"Broadly speaking, that's called the humanities, and it's been grossly under-appreciated and under-funded for decades at this point" -- jman939
"Left Brain vs Right Brain. Not only is it not true, it just divided all the kids from 'smart kids' to 'art kids.'"
"No need for that."
Not So Useless After All
"to hide under the desk if we get nuked" -- LegalizeBeltfedz
"The reason is falling debris and glass."
"It's highly unlikely you'll be killed by explosion or incinerated by the radiation outright. Chances are a nuke isn't going to fall on your school."
"The shockwave goes significantly further and can shatter glass and break apart buildings. Sheltering under your desk provides some cover from that." -- CrowGrandFather
Some Stuff is Just Easier to Measure
"It was our school's motto. The school also actively punished honesty and integrity when it mattered, and instead held award ceremonies for students who showed basic human decency like 'hey you dropped this in the hallway, here you go.'"
"You would get awards for not being a piece of sh**, but if you decide to show any real character like stepping up for your friends when they're in trouble, you get detention."
"Let it be known: Erindale Secondary School in Ontario, Canada is a sh** hole."
People Don't Suddenly Become Saints When They Turn 18
"Not a lesson but they teach you to respect adults no matter what."
"That's how teachers get away with so much nonsense. It's how parents get away with abuse. Kids are taught to 'respect adults' but what they really teach them is 'dont do anything to inconvenience an adult.'"
"So a kid is more likely to keep their mouth shut if they're getting molested or beat."
"They need to teach instead that respect is earned and not to blindly trust people just because they have seniority or authority over you, that you have a right to make a judgement on somebody if they're doing something bad."
Skills for Life
"It was put into the curriculum at US schools after heavy lobbying from industrialist Henry Ford. He didn't like the awful, new modern dances people were doing, like the Charleston."
Drugs in School
"D.A.R.E. was the single worst useless thing every taught at school. Especially when the cop teaching said class ends up getting arrested for drugs." -- Randumbthoghts
"Studies show DARE increases drug use because 1) when they realize DARE is lying about weed, they assume DARE is lying about other drugs and 2) so much emphasis on resisting peer pressure makes kids assume everyone is doing drugs, so they have to do them to fit in" -- tacos_yeah_tacos
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