Happy New Year! I started the new year with another topic I'm curious of with two smart ladies I enjoy rambling with, Safynaz and Azima! We delved into a topic about non-academic education, things that wasn't formally or properly taught in school. (Bolded words in this post are topics we wished we had uncovered (or been taught) before now)

What did you wish you'd learned in school before "adulting"?

We began our conversations by thinking about things we wished we had learned in school.  Azima mentioned EQ (emotional quotient) - understanding emotions of self and of others, Saf mentioned relationship building (and maintenance too perhaps), while I mentioned financial literacy (preparing for retirement).  These may not have been taught formally in school or perhaps learned but not emphasised during our schooling days.

We then proceed to list out a bunch of other knowledge, skillsets, and values that we thought would have been useful for "adulting". Topics like self-care, home management, basic life skills (such as cooking, sewing, plumbing) were listed, topics which are usually told to us as "common-sense" knowledge (but common sense are uncommon if it isn't modelled or imparted properly).  Many of these knowledge/skills are taught to us by modelling but the why's were hardly explained to us. That led to a lot habit-building which may not be sustained as we never understood the reasoning behind them.  Therefore, many of us don't keep these routines up anymore after our elders are gone or after we live independently (and away) from them.

Azima mentioned a topic seemingly simple but many adults are still struggling with: prioritisation.  Saf reviewed it as problem solving and decision making skills, the what-to-do-next skill, which she also wrote as 'resourcefulness'.  Design thinking was also brought up, a skill that may have already been practised daily by everyone but not coined or branded until recently.  Self awareness is also something we wished we were nurtured with, so we can appreciate ourselves more and empathise with others better. Many of us experienced a lot of feedback given for things we did wrong, but not a lot of things we did right!  Hence the lack of confidence in ourselves when it comes to adulthood but never a lack of doubts.  Why wasn't there more positive behaviour narrations and compliments given to the effort we put out, rather than just celebration of the achievements and positive outcomes we obtained? Why weren't failures seen as a good thing and a learning opportunity?

Where could it have gone wrong?

Are all these due to a very teacher-driven assessment and reviews but lack of nurturing of reflective thinking and feedback-giving to ourselves and our peers? Could it have been better if we were taught to do the latter more often?  Why is there hardly any time or session to help us question and manage our emotions in school? Would it have been different if we were questioned more rather than being told stuff more?

Is this due to the lack of reflective thinking and design thinking in school? Would it have been different if we were questioned more often in school?

Azima mentioned self awareness, self regulation, empathy, motivation, and social skills as the 5 key elements to EQ, but this was something she only learned years after she left school.  Saf also shared about selflessness and a sense of community being something unnatural for people, unless our basic needs have been fulfilled, quoting the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs.  The lack of self-acknowledgement and gratitude could also be why many people lack civic mindedness, as their perspective is "I play only a small role (or no role) in society, so I might as well just care for myself first and not need to bother about others for now until I can get a bigger role to play".  Don't even get started on our lack on environmental awareness, what not?!  There are also a lot of initiatives that encourages us to look to another country's educational and societal implementations and programmes then emulate them, yet we still don't do well as a country.  It is always a race between people and between countries. Should it be so?

5 elements of EQ: self awareness, self regulation, empathy, motivation, and social skills.  How do you fare?

"Taboo" subjects in our country is also something we wished we had been educated more on, say sex education, racism, politics.  Even history of our own country has been dully imparted to us when it could have been soooo interesting and valuable to learn.  History and culture could be such strong subjects to nurture patriotism, unity, and faith in humanity.

So many things to learn, so little time in school... So what should we actually have learned?

Such wicked problem, to be left for another day's conversation

How can we come together to reeducate or continue educating ourselves, our peers, our elders and our younger generations?  Is the goal of education (i.e. formal schooling) itself already wrong because it has been developed for an economy-driven society? If so, how can we go about this issue? There were more questions than answers with this conversation topic! It is such a wicked problem!  We concluded it as a conversation to continue next time instead. LOL.

Watch or listen to our rambles to get a feel of our thoughts, and comment if you can relate or think otherwise.

p/s: Any organisation or people named in this podcast are solely train of thoughts of the speakers and we mean no harm to anyone or anything associated with it. =P

Pardon the abrupt cut off at the end, still figuring out how to livestream properly (I mean professionally).