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Should high schoolers be able to choose core classes based on a choice of future career?
Sophomores and upper classmen only though... they already have prep-classes that you can choose, but is that enough. Kids with 4.0's through high school bust their butts on learning useless information (like why Juliet killed herself for Romeo) that will be less of a concern for someone working working as a cop. Should schools be more individualized with some sort of survey?...
What would you change about the learning programs?
Of course they should. What's more, the last two years are useless to students not wanting to go on to university or college. There should be more apprenticeships available for students with no interest or aptitude in an academic life. Instead of being in high school for the last two years students with no interest in formal studies should have the choice of going for an apprenticeship instead.
Yes, they should. This gives them some sense of direction, will and responsibilities.... Asides the technical or professional aspect of it, ability to start making choices which are based on one's career is a good start to a responsible Life... Some may even go as far as making consults with parents and elder ones... But the bottom line is... It helps them focus on whatever they have chosen and as well gives them that sense of responsibility.
I believe they should, as it helps to focus their efforts on study they are interested in, rather than doing something badly because they don't care about it. I have seen this attitude with GCSE students in the UK, where they have to do 9 GCSE's, and most schools make them do set subject areas. If the individual doesn't have an interest, they won't engage with the subject matter, and hence this affects their grades. It also means that they are learning more about their career for a longer time, helping them to establish and strengthen their skills before entering the world of work.
It's certainly a good idea, but I just don't know that many high schoolers who have any idea what they'd like to do. If such a step was accompanied by some serious career counseling or a series of short internship projects, I think it would go a long long way towards *keeping* (or making) high school students focused on a clear end to which their education is meant to be a means. I imagine this would be a fantastic shift for many, and give them options besides expensive colleges, or college is still on their mind, they'll at least know why they're there.
But of course a school curriculum shouldn't be seen as 'shutting any doors', so you'd have to be a little careful and be sure that students know they can still take risks, make different decisions.
I think some schools are starting to offer this to students now. In our district, we will soon have a career and technology center that will offer students the option of taking classes that would prepare them for certain jobs. I cannot remember all of them now, but one was to prepare to be a veterinary technician. I remember thinking that it almost seemed like a trades school but with more modern jobs.
That's great to hear. Are the plans going to be individualized or generally based AROUND a certain career path? I think the system is just adding more (like 2 years requirement Spanish/German language) but not balancing any of it. I know people suffe
A short answer, yes. Make school more relevant to the real world.
For the gifted and talented kids programs in High Schools, they already have that option as extra classes. There are subjects that we should be exposed to, at least. Art and Music Appreciation (preferable if they learn how to play an instrument), western and eastern thoughts...
It is not possible at such a young age to choose a career..in my opinion..therefore you expose them to everything that might be of benefit to them sometime in the future.
Just my thought as a mother.
I was part of the GATE program in California for two years. It was fun, but not directed towards people who who excelled more than proficiently in other topics as well. You have to pass all classes and show advanced thinking in order to be in these
It was an awesome experience. But I quit it because I could not pay for the many field trips we had during class. That stressed me out, heheh. I met a few great friends though. Nonetheless, I was fortunate while it lasted. Thanks for your comments.
Indeed, those cost...but you experienced it and for what you have experienced there was an intrinsic value in it..
Good question, but how would a high student know what to pick for a career?
So true. My son graduated last year, and thought he wanted to be an engineer. Once he started taking engineering courses, he realized he really wasn't cut out for that work. So it's back to the drawing board, so to speak.
That is an exact issue and I think that is the reason that nothing has been done about this. Approximately 75% of young adults are not ready for college when they exit high school. Scary. But more preps and follow-ups need to be used for students to
Absolutely. I can tell you, as a former high school teacher, it was painful watching students chug along to the finish line of something they did not care about. I remember one student knew he wanted to be a drummer. His parents pretty much gave up on his academic career (completing school work), but unlike other people, I knew he was very smart. Previous teachers just thought he was a major disruption in class. I knew he did see the content as relevant, so after class or after school I would speak to him and explain I understood where he was coming from, but genres like poetry were based on what ht he wanted to do: they both were focused on creating rhythm and a certain sound.
You mention Romeo and Juliet in your sub-question, and as an English teacher I chuckled. Of course I could expound upon the importance of learning certain aspects of literature, but the point is any course, discipline, or field has something of value for everyone. After all, most of the ingenious solutions to problems can be simple but are a synthesis of many different ideas.
While students may have core classes, quite honestly I did no and do not see many of them actually performing the service they should. I am all for just giving students information that is absolutely essential and then letting them explore the topic in their own tangent based on what interests them. It would be the teacher's responsibility to provide topics and potential starting points but up to students to do their own follow-up research and exploration.
There are many things I would change about learning programs, and the first would be tracking students (beyond those who have severe learning disabilities). I found some of the smartest and most gifted students in lower level tracks only because they did not care to do the work offered them. Next I would change the core requirements. Even with a requires four years of English, three years of math and science, etc. students still may not show "mastery" or "proficiency." So, I would get rid of those stipulations and make all core classes part of each class. So, papers and assignments would have to be informed with aspects of literature, history, mathematics, and science, plus whatever other field might be applicable like economics, communication and so on.
Your suggestions would make schools produce generalists not specialists. Very subversive. There was a book I read called "teaching as a subversive activity" which I think would give valuable suggestions for course design.
I agree w/much of wut you're saying. This is y it takes a whole building of leaders for 1 district... Everyone has diff. Ideas. Howevr u hav 2 b creative to b a good leader n my opinion. Thats y they have student leaders. Thanks- a real teacher input
Given the volatility of the job market and the change pf pace in technology you cannot tell what will be in demand in three years let alone 10.
As to your specific example, if you become a cop knowing why Juliet killed herself tells you something about human nature. And knowing something about how people behave is vital for a cop. A proper study of history will tall you about human nature. A study of mathematics could teach the habit of rigorous thinking. A stidy of physics can give an intuition into how things behave.
Choosing a course is like investing on the stock market.
A wall street fund manager once constructed an amazingly successful fund by throwing darts at a list of firms pinned to a wall.
Taking the courses offered in school is like throwing the darts but eliminating the penny stocks.
Generally speaking Government and Business dislike students learning subjects like History and Literature since it teaches the students to ask questions. Math and science tend to produce more conformist people. I am therefore suspicious of any instrumentalist direction of student choices beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. I would also include debate and the ability to follow and criticise a spoken argument.
I think of what was emphasized back when I was in high school, and the only subjects that have any real relevance today are the core courses. Who can predict what students will need in their lifetimes? Critical thinking will always be important.
Very well said. Debate is a FUN course to take if you are a person who likes to get your point across!
Very interesting! Thank you!
Like teyeger82 said, where I went to high school we had the option to apply to a career center for our junior and senior year. If you were accepted you would spend half of each day at your home high school and half at the career center.
So for example, I did pre-engineering & architectural drafting for 2 years, which was really beneficial since I ended up going to college and got an architectural engineering degree and now work in a construction office.
They also offered diesel power tech, veterinary tech, agriculture, nursing, culinary arts, among others.
Yes I think it is important to start on the subjects you are going to need as soon as possible. In South Africa we have to do it very soon in our high school career.
Yes, I do believe that our high schools need to be more flexible ... and I work at one! I certainly understand that college bound students need to follow a college prep curriculum. However, kids who are not going to attend a traditional four-year university should be able to take more vocational classes, such as practical mathmatics. I have even written a Kindle book that covers this topic, called "Dangerous Lies We Tell to Children and Ourselves." We tell kids they need to take college prep classes, even when they are planning to be an auto mechanic or a massage therapist. We should teach them business classes instead!
Yes, they should be but I don't think the government should handle it. What I think should happen is end the Department of Education and then let private schools start without having to follow the guidelines of the Department of Education and create competition in education. You would see so many different schools pop up and it will give kids a choice to decide what they want to learn. Currently, there isn't any competition in schools and like you said kids are learning meaningless things. It is sad that the country has come to this, it was never the intention of the founders to have government run education, or any program. Thomas Jefferson once said, “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as a sorry state as the souls who live under tyranny.” Well this applies to education as well.
Very well said and an interesting statement to hopefully see come to the light in schools. Possibly competition may do more.
School test scores are the only thing they have as far as competitions and that too is run by government. I like where you
I beliieve, as probably the schools do, that one needs a certain amount of basic education in the three "r's" etc. , not to mention computers.
In my high school, (and I am a long time out) students were streamed according to their over all goals ((univesity versus community college...apprenticeships versus internships), and after 10th grade, had more choice of courses. There are certain things that you cannot get by with in this world anymore if you want to be employable (basic literacy, basic numeracy and basic computer skills for example. In the community college I teach at, I often encounter students who are struggling with being employable because they are lacking in these essential core skills.
Our society needs people with transferable skills and a wide range of interests.
Some of the stuff I hated - like technical drawing and French - actually was useful to me as a lawyer.
I changed my mind about a career several times in high school. Even at University I changed my mind again, and I had to study O Level Physics (the exam 16 year olds sit) because that was a requirement to be a naval officer.
Teenagers study core subjects because they are - core!
Oh yes, and in my textbook "Guide to Packaging and Labelling Law" I quote Juliet "That which we call a rose..."
As I have been reading all of your comments, I realize more and more how much of a complication making things just right for everyone in the education systems can be. However, the more that we put into this topic, do you think it would build a stronger and wider educational background system in the USA? Will it attract more attention than other necessities that Americans need, or unbalance the governments aim of order?
It might also set the standards even higher for already struggling children and young adults. Possibly technology in the schools will make it all more interesting, as well as doubling up the teachers per classroom. That would create more jobs for struggling teachers, individualized approaches for kids who need more guidance and more attention to those who cannot make it through school without parents.
Will taxes raise if this happens? I obviously have more homework to do before I ever ask these questions to the government itself, but all of you are helping this out allot.
Thank you all! I love your comments and can't wait to hear more to come!
What about the ones who don't really know what they want to do? I don't think reading is useless, kids these days perhaps need to read more I think but there are simply too many distractions. How many kids/teenagers do youthink can't or don't care to spell correctly (when writing) because of the abbreviations of texting language?
I don't think they should. Nice question.
Many teens know when text language is inappropriate. It does however seem to be used a lot in places like facebook.
Kids who don't see the benefits of reading and writing properly in their high school years could catch up via night school when the possibilities from having a better education become more apparent to them.
Yes I agree reading is EXTREMELY important!All I'm saying is there are more important texts to read than some books are assigned.They all have reason,teach students to detect forms of writing,that's what teachers and text books were hired/bought for.
I agree Brandon on the fact maybe more could be learned by different reading material than is in current curriculum's. But that's getting into the education systems methods. Another question altogether.
Absolutely not. How many of us are doing exactly the job we dreamed of doing when we were in high school? NOT ME!!! For that matter, are you even doing a job you'd HEARD of when you were in high school? High school is a time to explore new things and find new talents. If students are allowed to choose only classes that are based on the career they believe they will pursue, they may miss out on the opportunity to find their true passion because they won't have the classes they need. Even after a person graduates from college, they don't necessarily go into the career in which they got a degree. If a high school student feels he/she has a definite career choice, parents should encourage them to volunteer (outside of school - on their own time) in that area to "grow" contact people, gain experience and confidence, and to clarify that their expectations of that career mesh with reality. But in their actual high school classes, they should stick to the core curriculum that provides them with the firm foundaiton upon which ANY career could be based.
Very true, but there are already many extra activities in schools where they explore more than one job, they don't however have many that concentrate on certain career paths except for core classes themselves...
But I see what you are saying. Thank
I am on my third or fourth career.
When I was in high school we were forbidden to use calculators and no-one could afford a computer or the air conditioning a computer room needed for just one computer.
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