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Education in History – Then Versus Now

In honor of National Handwriting Day, a few more education topics that have faded from prominence.

Jan 21, 2020

Wednesday, January 23 is National Handwriting Day, a national observance that is as random as any other national observance like National Ice Cream Day or National Talk Like a Pirate Day; but it made us pause here at WGU Nevada. Like handwriting, what other educational topics were prominent in schools years ago that are no longer relevant or pertinent? Here are a few:


When thinking of handwriting, cursive is top of mind. Cursive was a steppingstone in primary or elementary school, but it isn’t the way anymore. Perhaps this is due to technology. Now, students have computers, tablets, and even phones at home and school. Assignments in the classroom or even in the form of homework can be submitted digitally instead of handwritten, making traditional writing almost obsolete. 

Home economics.

This is another one of those classroom topics that kind of disappeared and regardless of your opinion on the subject, we are sure we can all agree that new generations are oftentimes at a loss on how to handle certain home-related tasks. Again, perhaps this is the internet’s involvement. Who uses YouTube to learn how to cook recipes, fix leaky pipes, or build shelving? We certainly do!

Shop class.

Most schools, at least in Nevada, have shop classes—metalworking, woodworking, automotive, etc. in place but they are considered electives rather than part of the everyday curriculum. Like Home Economics, are newer generations using instructional videos to learn new skills? 


It is pretty simple to understand why computers aren’t mandatory in school curriculum anymore. There is a symbiotic relationship children have with technology now. In fact, many students know how to do more on computers/phones/tablets than the teachers instructing the class. That being said, computer classes aren’t gone completely, but they have evolved. Most STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning facilities offer coding or robotics as a more advanced computer class.

Which of the school topics above do you miss? Are there any you would enjoy seeing integrated back into the Nevada school system? 

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