What do you do when the kids start to whine that they'll never use this information in "real life"? I teach biology and every now and then I get the whole "when will I need to know how photosynthesis works in real life?" I try to explain that it may not be the actual information, but just being able to think and operate at that level, but they just don't believe me. I notice that I often get this question when the subject is most difficult or when they lack motivation to learn. Usually the kid ends up doing his work anyway, however, this question really irks me.