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Brian Kim: Teach kids time management

Top 5 Things That Should Be Taught In Every School

I enjoyed reading this list and was especially into number five:

#5: Time Management

Speaking of other skills that can be utilized in any job and career is time management. The majority of students never really learn to value their time and mange it while in school. Procrastination is all too rampant (studying right before class, doing homework and essays the day it’s due, partying the night before the exam). This lack of time management often carries over into adulthood, which becomes a major liability.

Learn to make a to do list. Learn to prioritize. Learn to break things down into 30 minute blocks of time. Learn about actionable items. David Allen’s GTD system is your best friend here along with Dan Kennedy’s No B.S Time Management. Again if you’re unfamiliar with these people, Google is your best friend, but I’m sure the majority of readers will know what I’m talking about.

What would you add to the list of skills you think should be taught in school?

[ via: Anarchaia (3/14/07) ]

MikeG's picture

As someone who is buried...

As someone who is buried in educational topics like these on a daily basis, I think that time management should be embedded in the learning not taught separate from it. The best that our schools could offer our students is to provide them with learning opportunities that are engaging, relevant and joyful (well mostly). If students are engaged in what they are learning or creating, they are going to be trying to manage their time so that they can spend time doing it or at least getting the stuff like they don't like out of the way so that they can work on the projects that hold the most relevance.

I think that early on if students are taught to be self-directed in their learning they are going to have to learn how to manage their time effectively. A teacher can provide a framework for this by giving students the tools in which to do this early on. Many teachers employ checklists for their students when they are doing projects. They also often create a time line with milestones for the students to track their work. This is a first step in getting students to work with time management. Eventually teachers should be stepping back and having the students start coming up with their own methods of managing their workload and their time. The time/project management part of the work could be part of the feedback that students get from their teachers. This would be ideal, how many of us wished that someone could have played that part for us before we were dropped into the world of work?

I have always thought that teachers should learn how to support time and project management as part of their training programs. If they never learned good methods themselves, how are they to support their students. It is much easier to teach content because of teachers guide and expertise in the subject, than teaching a process that one is not familiar with. I have been threatening to write a teachers guide to GTD for ages, but am still trying to manage my own work to find the time to do this.

Many of the comments have been right on the mark about the skills students need after they leave school. In an age of Google, there should be no need to memorize masses of information. We have a great opportunity to have students learn how to use information, not memorize it. This to me is another skill that would greatly benefit them.

Our students today have been brought up with the Internet and many of the collaborative tools that make accessing and sharing information much easier. Sadly most of these tools are being banned by schools because of the perceived negative influence they have on the school environment. Providing students the opportunity to use these tools in an educational setting could be quite powerful and prepare them with the skills that many of you probably have to learn because of when you were born and raised. Wikis, blogs and social networking can liberate the schools from their isolationist tendencies. Students could teach the faculty how to use them. We might finally be able to start flattening the 19th century industrial age our schools are still modeled after and turning them into 21st century learning communities.




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