Americans typically learn a lot of things in school–spelling, math, why plants are green–that are actually useful in our day-to-day lives, the Huffington Post reports. But they also learn a lot of other things–cursive, long division, how to play “Hot Crossed Buns” on the recorder–that are probably not. No, we didn’t waste our time with those lessons. Learning something new isn’t ever a net loss. Playing the recorder provides building blocks for understanding music, and writing cursive has been shown to increase reading comprehension, for example. But it is worth reconsidering what we teach in the classroom and figuring out which lessons could better prepare students for life after graduation…

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staff and wire services reports