Why the Pythagorean Theorem is Useless: Modern Education is Outdated and Irrelevant

a2 + b2 = c2: The sacred equation and theorem we can always recite, but rarely find a suitable use for in the real world.

Unless, you’re a cartographer surveying distance between uneven terrain, a navigator determining the length of your ship from a destination on the shore, or a construction worker; it’s not so easy to find a job that begs for it.

Much of the knowledge we learn can be very esoteric. Of course, learning about the Pythagorean Theorem, Shakespeare, and the Civil War in class is knowledge no doubt; they provide the basis for specific professions but don’t employ creative thinking or practicality for the average student.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”

The knowledge in school curriculums fall short in company with modern interests and much is the product of a factory worker outcome.

Author and educationalist Ken Robinson, who has worked with over 2,000 members of education (e.g. teachers, artists, administrators) and started 300 initiatives that has influenced the formulation of the National Curriculum for England, has said education was modeled after interests of the industrial age.

Think about skills that would be extremely valuable in the real world: managing a credit card, choosing the right health insurance, figuring out mortgages and loans, and much more.

Students are expected to figure out how to pay for rising tuition costs and are commonly hit with loan payments that they will be stuck paying for decades.

It’s unfortunate that widespread education can lead students up for failure in any case; thus, it’s in need of an upgrade.

Make subjects dynamic.

Don’t make every student learn the same thing, the same way, and in the same duration as their fellow classmates.

We have to respect human nature – we are all different, with different passions, and it should be our goal in life to fulfill those passions.

It’s not a surprise to hear decorated people have had a less successful relationship with education: Winston Churchill had a C average, Steven Spielberg failed 6th grade, and Albert Einstein was expelled for his rebellious nature.

I’m not saying it’s justified to fail school but what is always justified is hard work. Grades don’t define someone but their passion does.