Sometimes I get seriously concerned for the gaps in education in the wizarding system like I know that it’s supposed to be funny that Arthur Weasley doesn’t understand what a rubber duck is but there are some important things that Muggles teach that wizard children ought to know and I just wish that they were addressed more in the books and fanfiction because there are so many questions and thoughts I have about it.
Do they have wizarding sex education in Hogwarts? Do they talk about wizard contraceptives? Do the lower year girls know to expect their periods? Does Madam Pomfrey keep pads around or is there a magical way of dealing with it? (Come to think of it, where do all the older girls at Hogwarts get their sanitary supplies? What if they run out when there’s no Hogsmeade weekend for weeks?)
Arithmancy isn’t a required subject, right? So are there just a shitload of wizards without basic math skills? How do they handle their finances? How do they measure their houses for furniture? The Ministry probably charges some form of tax, right? How would they be able to calculate it if they couldn’t afford an accountant?
Why aren’t there English classes at Hogwarts, or any other type of arts course? Do wizards not understand subject-verb agreements or complex sentence structure or know how to analyze texts? Surely this would help in their essay writing. What’s the arts sector even like in the wizarding world? If there are magical paintings, surely there are magical painters. Do they only foster the certain kinds of magic in the education system?
Why aren’t wizards being taught about gravity or velocity or the physics of the universe? Not only would it help them to understand why something as simple as ‘Wingardium leviosa’ is so extraordinary, but it might have value in their magical studies as well. If there are certain restrictions on magic, like Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration, maybe some Muggle laws, like Newton’s Second Law Motion, also still apply within the magical realm.
And aren’t there aspects of chemistry that would be beneficial to understand in Potions? Sometimes potions might be acidic, and it’d be helpful for students to understand whether they would be burn-your-flesh-off acidic or mild-skin-irritation acidic, which they could use knowledge of the pH scale to understand. They could understand how to catalyze reactions and make potions more efficiently. They would understand how some reactions are endothermic and some are exothermic and how best to use those properties to their advantage. (And why the fuck are they letting eleven-year-olds just have at it without any safety gear? They’re wizards, but don’t think to give them a protective spell or some goggles so they don’t permanently scar themselves by adding the wrong ingredient?)
Oh man, just think about biology. There are specific wizarding illnesses, they’re still the same species and their bodies probably react to certain things in much the same way. Do wizards even understand the difference between a virus and a bacteria? What about wizards with allergies, how are they accommodated for at Hogwarts? What about people like Harry and James who have vision problems? Do they know whether they have astigmatism or how the light enters their eye? And wizards with addiction, do they understand their genetic predisposition to such things? Do wizards understand genetics at all for that matter? They’ve got such a narrow focus on blood-lines but don’t understand the consequences of incest or why genetic variation is important or the idea of natural selection and can you imagine how much more easier it would be to show children that aren’t set in their parents ways yet to accept Muggle-borns if they had knowledge of how Muggle-borns came to be?
If Muggles are constantly learning about biology and anthropology and why we are the way we are, why aren’t wizards doing the same? Why aren’t there classes for magical theory, especially for first year Muggle-borns, who have no clue as to why their parents aren’t wizards but they have magic. It would help every single struggling student to understand how to control their magic, to not feel bad if someone else was advancing more quickly than they were, and all those who were naturally talented to not take their powers for granted.
A lot of this lack of knowledge must be because the wizading world would be caught in a cycle. The pure-bloods, who control the board of governors, wouldn’t want to admit Muggle methods were worth considering, which breeds another generation of ignorance. And in some ways this segregation of teaching methods is reflected in our current school system and that frustrates me to no end because you’d think at least in wizard school they’d be able to get their shit together but I guess humans are a big old mess whether they have a wand in their hand or not.