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Whole Proposal

Page history last edited by Barret Rus 4 years, 9 months ago

Research Proposal for Symposium






Life Skills Classes and their Implementation into American High School Curriculum







Barret Rus





Submitted to

Mrs. Tenly

Franklin High School Independent Research Course

Dated 15 February 2016


            American students are being surpassed by their international peers at an alarming rate. Recent results from the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA), a global ranking of student performance in various categories, show that American high school students are preforming below average in math and science performance and only slightly above average in reading performance. The American education faces a variety of problems including low graduation rates, unequal funding, and discouraged students. Thus, one aspect of the research will be to evaluate and determine explanations for the issues that are present in the American education system. In order to further understand the problems of the education system in the United States, the American education will be compared to the education systems of higher performing countries, such as Finland and South Korea, to determine whether or not the policies of these higher performing countries can be implemented into the American education system.

            The ultimate goal of the research will be to determine a viable solution to the problems facing the American education system. Many individuals have tried to implement a panacea for these issues, often with high levels of failure and resentment from the general public. A brief understanding of these failures will be investigated, to ensure that new solutions do not make the same mistakes as these failures. Life skills classes, classes that incorporate practical skills such as financial literacy, entrepreneurial understanding, and personal healthcare, which can be applied in the real world, are a new possible solution to some of the problems facing the American education system. Further research into the benefits of life skills education needed to be performed to determine the success of existing life skills programs and how life skills education could be implemented, if it was determined to be a viable solution. The potential implementation of these life skills classes feeds into the ultimate solution to the before mentioned problem, as tangible results are needed to fully address the problems in the American education system.

            A clear solution is needed as the world becomes more and more interconnected. A practical and comprehensive education system needs to be in place to help the United States stay competitive with other countries in the global economic market. This researcher recognizes dissent among current American students, who feel as though their education is lacking real world concepts. The research aims to create a grassroots movement to help push for local change in a variety of locations. The following research will be presented to the public, specifically educators, in order to increase awareness about the issues surrounding the American education system and about a possible solution to some of these problems. The American public is often oblivious to poor performance of the United States on a global stage, and thus this research will target this feeling of invincibility among the general public. The reason educators will be targeted by the research is because they are the group that will see the implementation of the life skills education in the classroom.



            The United States of America; the greatest country in the world. At least that is what many Americans believe to this day. However, recent studies have shown that American students are falling behind their international peers in a variety of subjects. Also, the American education is facing many problems, the same problems it has faced for many years. The world is changing. It is becoming more interconnected, more technological, and more innovative. However, the American education system is not adapting to these changes. Past attempts at cure-all solutions such as No Child Left Behind and the current Common Core education programs have been meet with mixed results and large backlash from the problem. Key officials need to recognize that a cure-all solution may not be viable, but instead a solution that addresses and reduces some of the many problems facing the American education system may be the best option. The decision to look further into the concept of life skills classes was based off of complaints by current high school students. Many students constantly question the real world application of the material they are learning, and repeatedly ask for more classes that will teach them life skills. An understanding of the world around them, will allow students to achieve more success inside and outside of the classroom. If the United States does not change its current education system, then the economic declines the nation is currently facing will be matched with intellectual declines. The combination of these two events will cause the United States to lose power on a global stage, thus reducing our ability to influence global social, political, and economic policy. While it may be too late for the current group of seniors the experience the effects of this research, future groups of students may be able to feel these effects. The local aspect of the research will help to ensure implementation in the local school system and encourage other people to create change in their local educational institutions.




Life Skills Classes - Classes that include concepts and ideas that are necessary for functioning in everyday life; ex: financial literacy, entrepreneurial understanding

Unemployment - A state in which a person cannot get a job despite being willing to work and actively seeking employment.

Unemployment Rate - The division of the number of unemployed individuals over the number of participants in the labor force.






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