Why we choose or don't choose certain subjects? 3 replies

Please wait...

Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

261,593 XP

10th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,746 Posts

1,754 Threads

#1 2 years ago

Everyone who has gone through their respective country's primary and secondary education system obviously has some training in language, grammar, the arts, math, science, and history and maybe some extra skill-building courses.  However, everyone has different strengths and interests and it determines how much effort we put toward learning any of the above or their sub-fields.  Obviously with enough resources and motivation you can still pass the tests, but that begs the question of the ultimate point of the efforts if the sole intent was to pass the class.  And yes I realize actually learning something that was hard and wanting to pass are not mutually exclusive ideas :p

I'm no way suggesting you shouldn't try to understand subjects that aren't your strengths, but I wonder why we give so little choice to secondary school students compared to the choice of courses offered to college students.  The secondary school curriculum is really not much more than pre-college studies.  That's not to say proper language and math skills aren't needed, but how many public schools teach things like IT, home maintenance, accounting, or etiquette as part of the mandatory curriculum?  Compare that to the collegiate system where (granted) the first year is mainly just retaking all those same courses- high school part 2 - but is then followed by 2-3 years of individual study in a specific field with room for electives.  In non-STEM majors only up to algebra 2 and basic survey of science courses are required, while the rest is your major coursework. 

You could make the argument that K-12 is all about developing life skills that you will use everyday as opposed to purely collegiate endeavours, but what exactly are these life skills?  How many people directly out of secondary school really retain the majority of information taught, to say nothing of the motivation to continue your education?   Most recent graduates really don't have the prospects that make them attractive to any prospective employer unless they know someone.  So that means you go to college or take on an apprenticeship where you will learn only what you need to anyway as it's directly related to your field.  This is especially true of the trades; you will learn the necessary math, science, and business to be able to do the job and you will use that knowledge constantly on the job so it's unlikely that you'll forget it or need to retrain yourself often.  

In America where college is considered so important that it's perhaps more so than high school when it comes to getting a decent job with any kind of security, then why not make high school more like college, at least in the sense that you have a more specific goal in mind and people willing to help you achieve it?  You know, because it's actually interesting to you and likely means you'll stand a better change at performing well?


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Lindale Forum Mod

Mister Angry Rules Guy

241,129 XP

1st February 2010

0 Uploads

23,429 Posts

2 Threads

#2 2 years ago

Classes should be priorities based on if or not you can/will use that in real life. For example:

Yes: Home Economics: This should be required because once you live on your own, you will need to know how to cook, how to clean, and how to do minor mending and repair works. (And yes, I did learn sewing in Primary School. Why they would give needles to a bunch of 8-year-olds, I have no idea, but it happened.) Languages: This should be required because the Eurozone allows any Eurozone member to live and work in any Eurozone nation, and this is much easier if you know the language before you go. Or, in the case of America, it should also be required because if you choose to use ONE language, you need to master that ONE language. You need to be a walking dictionary and Thesaurus. Instead, most Americans can barely use English at all.

No: Algebra: This is NOT used in real life unless you are a physicist or somesuch, so it has no reason to exist outside of those degree paths. Physical Education: Fuck off. Art: Not everyone is naturally talented at painting. The only conceivable way to make a living at art is by making blueprints, or an elite tattoo artist. Music: This was my best subject, but only because I ALREADY had been playing guitars and drums for years since then. If a student had never touched a guitar in their life, that class would be an instant fail for them. Also, there is no way to make a living in music.

Basically, if a class does not directly pertain to your chosen degree path, or are not usable in the real world, it should not be required.


filesnation_by_lindale_ff-da1kplo.png



Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#3 2 years ago

Most secondary school student don't know, and haven't done, shit. Most university students haven't either for that matter. This is one of the reasons that Nem is in favour of saying that you have to have worked a job for a few years before you can go to university.

You can't make a meaningful choice when ya' don't even know what the options are. Like behind door #1 is something, behind door #2 is something else. Oh, I see you chose the future with the flesh eating virus! Well, good luck with the rest of your life!

I think there's certainly the potential for more choice in schools, but only insofar as schools allow people to do something other than write essays, which at the moment they don't really. Once someone's got some experience achieving things, and attempting a bunch of different tasks, then they're in a position to say what they like. Prior to that it's just blind luck.




Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

261,593 XP

10th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,746 Posts

1,754 Threads

#4 2 years ago

"Lindale" Algebra: This is NOT used in real life unless you are a physicist or somesuch, so it has no reason to exist outside of those degree paths.[/quote]

It's used if you're in business job with statistics and growth models.  Electricians use Ohm's law and several other formulas to determine certain values.  Granted, pretty much all of that can be obtained with a calculator.  I think really the biggest way it can be useful is in money management, but yeah that too can be easily calculated online or just have your banker look it up :p

"Lindale"Art:

Not everyone is naturally talented at painting. The only conceivable way to make a living at art is by making blueprints, or an elite tattoo artist.[/quote]

There are still actually quite a few jobs in graphic design and 3d modeling as well as animation.  The problem is is, like music, unless you developed that talent from an early age it's very difficult to all of a sudden take it up later and get really good at it.  

[quote="Lindale"]Music: This was my best subject, but only because I ALREADY had been playing guitars and drums for years since then. If a student had never touched a guitar in their life, that class would be an instant fail for them. Also, there is no way to make a living in music.

That depends.  I took piano class in when I was about 8-9 and did some self-study until I eventually got bored of it, and it wasn't really that difficult to learn the basics in that amount of time.  And there are ways to make a living it's just that most of them involve teaching music :p

[quote="Nemmerle"]You can't make a meaningful choice when ya' don't even know what the options are. Like behind door #1 is something, behind door #2 is something else. Oh, I see you chose the future with the flesh eating virus! Well, good luck with the rest of your life!

I think there's certainly the potential for more choice in schools, but only insofar as schools allow people to do something other than write essays, which at the moment they don't really. Once someone's got some experience achieving things, and attempting a bunch of different tasks, then they're in a position to say what they like. Prior to that it's just blind luck.

This is actually something Cuba actually got right with secondary school.  Instead of requiring everyone to take the same tired curriculum, when you come of age you are given the choice to continue in pre-college studies or choose a professional or technical trade to study for the next two years.  So you have the ones who want to get some work experience can strike out for a bit and see some things before settling down on an academic degree.  Same if you somehow are one of those fucking weirdos who just know from birth that they want to be journalists or doctors >_>

...well you'll get the chance to pursue that straight away.


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.