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  • Generalization or specification

    Big words...Do you think students in school (junior highs, high schools, colleges, etc...) should be forced to take a wide variety of classes, even if they know what they are planning to do in their future?

    If I know 100% I want to be a police officer, then why should I have to take art, or dance. If I want to be a rugby player, why would I have to take speech or chemistry? Ya see, some classes would have no affect what so ever on future careers. Sure, everyone would have different goals, but atleast they would be learning what would help them in the future.

    What do you think?

    Mike

  • #2
    I totally agree with you here. Of course, taking subjects like art or history can help you to become a well rounded person, putting you in classes with people toally opposite then you.

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    • #3
      I don't know about where you live, but here there is a defined 'pre-college curriculum.' This basically means that irregardless to what you want to do, if you want to go to college then you have to take things such as four years of english, biology, chemistry, algebra I, and II, foreign language, etc. etc. Sure, at public schools you don't HAVE to follow that curriculum, but if you want to go to college (which you should), then you really don't have much choice. The reason for such requirements is that colleges want a well rounded educational background when you enter. Add to that, the first two years of college will most likely be fulfilling the various general studies requirements of that institution (read: more classes that you don't like or that have no bearing on your major). I for one think it's good to take other courses because it exposes you to new things and broadens your knowledge into topics that you once knew little or nothing about. Taking courses in other disciplins may even spark an interest in that particular field and cause you to take more classes in it.

      Also, what happens if you take only law enforcement classes, graduate with a LE degree, and find out that for some strange reason you can't go into LE? It would be VERY wise to have something to fall back on in that situation, and having a well rounded education would help you there.

      If you don't want to take courses that you're not interested in, then go to a trade or vocational school. On the other hand, colleges and universities by definition offer a well-rounded education in many disciplins...that's why people attend them.

      [This message has been edited by PatrickM98 (edited 05-16-2001).]

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      • #4
        If I have one thing to add to this discussion is something my Dad told me,

        "It's really easy to do things you enjoy, but the ability to do things you don't is what will make you succesful"

        Maybe taking classes in school that are not what you want, is an excellent way to prepare.

        Graeme

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        • #5
          Hey Mike,

          Good question.

          Something to keep in mind here. You may very well be one of the lucky folks who know right now what you want to do with your life. You may very well do just exactly that for your entire working career.

          However, there is a far greater chance that as you mature and age, your life will move in a different direction than you think it will right now. You need to be exposed to as much varied knowledge and information as you can possibly absorb.

          Kids in junior high and most high school kids just don
          6P1 (retired)

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          • #6
            You shouldn't HAVE to take art or dance or skiing or basketweaving, but no one should ever aspire to being functionally illiterate, which is what I think some people are content to be.

            I'm sure I will have more to say on this subject after I have time to think about it. Incidentally, one of the local Phoenix T.V. stations broadcast a news item last night about teacher's pay. On the screen was a written summary of the issues--it said teachers should "RECIEVE" xxxx. Ironic, huh/eh? Incidentally, I chose not to take math for 2 years in elementary school. Yes, 7 and 8 year olds were being given a choice. When my mom found out, she was furious. I managed to catch up and got A's throughout high school (by memorizing), but to this day, I still don't feel comfortable with math.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh yeah, I agree that you shouldn't be an illiterate little foo'. And yeah, lot of peeps don't know what they want to do in their life. So maybe the solution i'm looking for would be for schools to offer more classes in a bigger variety. At my school, we only have 1 class about law enforcement (police), and I hear that class isn't very good at all.

              Maybe they just need to get more of those kinds of classes, to satisfy everyone, and get rid of all 15 photojournaling classes that only 2 kids care about

              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                Junior High students should receive a standard number and types of courses. High school students should get a general core base of courses, but should have the option of beginning to look into areas that interest them. College is really about getting advanced training for a career. There should be a wide variety of courses available, but the student should be required to invest a substantial number of credit hours into a specialized area of instruction.
                Let's also look at it this way: the average person changes careers 7 times in their lifetime. If you start to specialize too soon, you don't get the broad range of instruction that you should have later in life.
                I also think that junior high and high school should be where more practical life skills are taught. Too many kids are getting out of school with no real skills with which to navigate through society and lead a productive life. Since many students don't go on to advanced degrees, those skills need to be taught in the public school years.
                I'm also disturbed by the number of "alternate" high schools that teach their students the equivalent of basket weaving 101 to graduate. They are essentially publicly funded private schools for students who are too "advanced" to "fit in" to a traditional style of instruction. They are inevitably populated by the children of free thinking College professors, at least in my area. We have one of those schools here in town, and the parents are up in arms because their little darlings are being forced to take the Regents exams to graduate. I'm sorry..if you don't have a base core of knowledge, you shouldn't get the diploma.

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                • #9
                  Mike, I just want to point out that your rugby player example wasn't a good one. I would imagine there aren't too many people who play professional rugby until it's time for them to retire at age 65. They will need education for their careers after rugby.

                  I do agree that you shouldn't be forced to take dance or art, but IMHO a well rounded education is the best. Working as a cop you will still have to write reports, use math when doing accident scene reports, another language would be a great help, I'm sure when dealing with some people. I think you get the idea.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mike,

                    I think you should take "Ballet
                    6P1 (retired)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In LE, you're supposed to know everything there is to know about everything. By concentrating on LE, or, for that matter, what ever you want to do with you're life, you're overlooking a large chunk of life experience and common knowledge. In HS, I took drama...it helped speak in public plus provided me an outlet after school. In MS, we were mandated to take home ec...I love cooking now. We were also mandated, in HS, to take shop, including mechanical drawing. This gave me my basis for accident diagramming. Art is the same thing. In 1985, it was kind of hard telling me that computers would be as plentiful as they are now, so I never took classes. Now look at us!

                      Also, just because art, dance or music isn't something that's directly related to LE, don't forget we all need hobbies!

                      ------------------
                      FLLawdog
                      "Never try to teach a pig to sing...it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

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                      • #12
                        Lawdog, Lawdog, wherefore art thou Lawdog?

                        I took both music and drama in high school. Don't think it hurt me a bit!

                        ------------------
                        "Don't teach in German, then test in Japanese!"
                        6P1 (retired)
                        6P1 (retired)

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                        • #13
                          It is better to know a little bit of everything than alot of just one thing. How many different classes come into play as a police officer? Just a quick few off the top of my head - English, Foreign Languages, Chemistry, Biology, P.E., and Psychology. Those would just be HS classes. Throw in college and the list of helpful classes would be endless.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah, I see what ya'll are getting at. Guess I didn't think of how much everything is affected by a wide variety of classes. Maybe i'm just wanting more classes on law (enforcement) so i'll feel like i'm accomplishing something.

                            And yeah, the rugby career was kinda out there...

                            Mike

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Mike you ARE accomplishing something. Any type of education is an accomplishment. Any time you learn anything new, or pick up a different idea or way of looking at something, it is an accomplishment!

                              Don't sell yourself short my friend, you are learning each and every day. And THAT IS an accomplishment!

                              ------------------
                              "Don't teach in German, then test in Japanese!"
                              6P1 (retired)
                              6P1 (retired)

                              Comment

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