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Required Classes Should be Electives

posted Oct 12, 2017, 10:04 AM by Stephanie Brozovich

As students converse between classes, there are often complaints of a class, saying it’s useless to make it required, and that they’ll never need to use it again outside of school. For example, all students at Conway Springs High School are required to have three years of math and science. Students’ complaints are often based off of core classes, such as math and science, which become more advanced as the years go by. Physics, Chemistry, Trigonometry, and Calculus are advanced math and science classes that not every student will use later on in everyday life and in their careers.

 Dr. Bruce Umbaugh, a philosophy professor at Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. is against the idea of making core classes electives. Umbaugh emphasizes the fact that students concentrate so hard on what they’ll select as a major that they often overlook the importance of learning general skills like problem solving, communicating effectively, and analyzing information, which are often gained through general education classes, including upper-level math and science. On the other hand, College professors, such as Paul Hanstedt, an English professor at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, believes these classes “go hand in hand with each other and are very important”.

However, the advanced classes that we are required to take focus on certain scenarios that deal with that field of science or math. You won’t need to know how to do a complex chemistry or calculus problems to know how to solve a problem that may come up in your art career. This is why I think that advanced classes of the core subjects should be an elective, not a requirement.

Although I understand that general skills such as Dr. Umbaugh mentioned can be learned through these classes, I think they are so fact-based that teachers don’t have the time to allow students to learn them because they are so busy memorizing facts. These subjects require so much understanding of the basic, multiple choice type knowledge that there is not the opportunity to learn through essays and projects that require broader understanding.