Selecting Classes: Should We Have Requirements?


All students have their strengths and weaknesses. I know that I would rather have more classes in the areas I have an interest in and can succeed, rather than take classes I struggle in and don’t enjoy. So why do we have to take a wide array of classes from all areas, ranging from math, literature, writing, science, history, technology, music and arts?

Well, it all goes back to the idea of a liberal arts education. The well-rounded student. I get. I completely do. It is important that we get exposure to all different subject areas so that we can find our interests and what determine what we want to pursue in the future.

But doesn’t too much become enough at a certain point? I am in my fourth year of mathematics, and let me tell you, it is complete torture for me. Having a significant gap in my Algebra foundations, a mind not geared towards mathematics and a lack of interest, Precalculus is dreadful. Plus, when will I EVER use any of the stuff I have learned in that class? Right, NEVER!

Instead of having course requirements that students must fulfill, we should give students more autonomy over what classes they want to take in high school so that they can become more advanced in the area of their choice. If we continue with this system that we have now, I think that as a country we will fall behind our counterparts across the world, since too much emphasis will be put on courses that we do not want to be taking. If students specialize in courses of their choosing, they can become experts and become the forces that move this country back to the top in terms of education and technology.

“I have heard that in Russia, students get placed into certain schools based off their skills, and basically assigned to a career path” said one student. “While I don’t think this is ideal to force someone into a career, I think that it is going in the right direction by making schools that are career oriented rather than focusing on the liberal arts approach.”

All in all, this is just my opinion. Maybe it’s just because I have hard feelings for math at the moment and I really wish I wasn’t taking it. Realistically speaking, I firmly believe that we should begin to transition from liberal arts education to expertise-oriented, where we have individual focus areas at the secondary levels.