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  • John Shrawder

Time Use Data and the American High School

In earlier posts, I made some suggestions on re-imagining the American High School based on the findings of the World Happiness Report. I wanted to update these suggestions based on information from the Time Use Data. This shows that students will migrate to new environments after high school including education institutions, employment, and new family situations. Personal decisions will be made in a variety of new areas.


School Metrics. Schools should think about how their activities will affect the success of their students after age 18. This could include surveys of a schools graduates or even of average people at age 28 or 30. To what extent are the lives of persons age 28 to 30 improving? Examples of measures could include

  • College completion rather than college admission,

  • Income against student loan obligations,

  • Health conditions

  • Caring relationships

  • Participation in charities and the strength of local community organizations

  • Civic participation

  • Feelings about institutions

  • General Levels of happiness

High School services – Based on long-term goals, schools should consider services for students after they graduate to navigate life through age 30. They should not ignore life outside high school to be sure students between the ages of 14 and 18 are learning through their experiences outside of school including work, caring, household work, organizations, and leisure time. This is necessary in addition to providing constructive recreational activities.


English Language Arts curriculum

  • The usefulness and corruption in media outlets

  • Comprehending instructional information from reading, listening, or electronic media.

  • The ethics of leisure and entertainment from a variety of sources including books, but also television and games

  • Interpersonal communications in a variety of circumstances as suggested by surveys of adults

  • Language arts as part of a career

Fine Arts curriculum

  • Understand how all art forms are combined in Electronic Media rather than just focusing on visual arts and music

  • Understand how to comprehend instruction material from visual arts

  • Understand how to use visual materials to communicate with people

  • Fine Arts as a part of a career

Science curriculum

  • The usefulness and corruption of science.

  • Science as part of a career

Vocational/Technical curriculum

  • Technology is used in households and in workplaces. Students should know the basic technologies

  • Understand how learn a new technology quickly.

  • Many adults want schools to teach traditional vocational courses.

  • Schools should not overly focus on vocational training. The time use data shows that future happiness of students will be determined by many thing beyond technical skills.

  • Technology use as a part of a career

Health curriculum

  • Personal Care

  • How to “care” for themselves, persons of both genders, and individuals across many age groups.

Social studies curriculum

  • The usefulness and corruption within a wide variety of institutions

  • Interpersonal skills gained from understanding the inner workings of many types of organizations to function well including families, employers, schools, and charities

  • Family formation and the Interpersonal Support and Caring inside and outside the family structures

  • Purchasing and financial decision making

  • Ethical issues associated with participation in charities, religion, and civic activities


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