Twice in the past week I've run into a person that said as part of their presentation, something like "this is the stuff they don't teach you in school." In both cases, this was part of a presentation given at a school. Does anyone else see the irony here?
Okay, in some cases a person is saying this and they're not at a school. But you know what? If that person is saying anything that's really useful, before too long educators are going to notice, and we'll incorporate it into our curricula, and now it will be something taught in school. The very pronouncement that something "isn't taught in school" is self-defeating.
If it were just a matter of technical details, I'd leave it at that, but there is something more insidious going on here. When someone makes this kind of statement, the implication is that there are important things you don't learn in a traditional classroom setting. This may be true, but why? The primary reason is that you get out of your education what you put in, and that some things only come with experience, so students should stop waiting for their professors to spoon-feed them everything they need, and go out there and make learning a passion, and learn this stuff on their own.
However, all too often I think students take away an entirely different message: school is useless, your teachers are lying to you, the only real thing that matters is getting a "piece of paper," feel free to ignore all of your course content, what it takes to succeed is not hard work but rather knowing a few key "secrets" that take no effort. This attitude is incredibly damaging, especially to professors like me who are bringing their own real-world experience into the classroom setting and actually teaching the things that students aren't supposed to learn "in school."