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The Contender
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High School Curriculum Should Be Changed

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,467 times Debate No: 65392
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (1)




I will not argue that it is important for individuals to be knowledgeable in subjects such as math, science, history, etc. However, I do not believe that school teaches you what you REALLY need to know to survive in the world. Yes there are classes that one can CHOOSE to take to learn things such as accounting, however it is not mandatory. (Furthermore, do you really believe that a teenager is going to WILLINGLY take a financing class, or a politics class?)
There are classes that I find to be unnecessary, such as keyboarding. We are in the 21st century, learning how to type properly, is no longer an issue. Teenagers are typing constantly, whether they type on their cellular devices, Ipads, tablets, lap tops/ computers, etc. There is also a class where a student will learn how to properly use Microsoft office software. I will say that this is both necessary, and unnecessary. Many know the basics, and it is not hard to play around until you find what you would like or- yes I am going to say it- Google it! I will agree that the class is helpful and convenient, however I will reiterate that it is not needed.
There are other electives given such as art classes, band, etc. (Let us not forget gym, which four years of a passing grade is needed in order to graduate. Let me also say that I do not understand this once so ever. If it is to improve health, well I find that to be incredibly contradicting seeing how many fast food places, yes places, not restaurants, or Dunkin' Donuts you can find on just one street.) Yes I agree art and music classes are a helpful way to express ones self, however by the time one is a junior, or a senior, they should have an idea of how to express themselves when it is necessary outside of school and they will need to learn about other substantial subjects. (I will discuss this further later.) Furthering my point, there are individuals placed in these classes who do not even wish to be. It is actually mandatory at some schools to take an art class in order to graduate. My question to them, is why? If one does not wish to take an art class, then why should they have to. Some people simply do not enjoy art, and well, some people suck. To clarify and conclude my point there seeing I went a bit off topic, art classes should not be mandatory. To continue, I would like to ask my next question. How many students in an art class are honestly going to continue and go to an art college? Do not twist my words, I have no doubt that some will proceed to be an amazing artist one day, however if one has no intent on continuing that path, I believe it is not a needed class to take and others are more important. (I am not arguing a position for a band class because that I know of, you ask to be placed in this class.)
I will now explain what classes I believe should be mandatory, are helpful, and then give my reasoning and further points.
As I earlier mentioned, there are classes available such as accounting, financing, and politics. I am not saying individuals need to learn every single aspect of these subjects, however I know that I myself, am ignorant to these subjects. I will also add that these classes should be junior and senior classes.
Yes of course teenagers have adults in their life, however you can not guarantee nor say that every single parent or guardian will teach teenagers how to do something such as writing a check, cashing a check, buying a car, etc. They will be told, "You're getting older now, figure it out." I am a junior, and I just worked for the town on election day, and I was required to fill out a W-4 form. I had no idea what to do! (My step father filled it out for me.) Now wouldn't it have been convenient if there was a class that taught you how to do things such as that and many more? One day we will be on our own, and I can only speak for myself and say that I do not wish to be that ignorant person who does not understand what is going on and have every employee trying to help me. For an example, purchasing a house, paying bills, owning a checking account, purchasing a car, etc.
As I mentioned, I worked the polls on election day, so I witnessed everyone who had came to vote. I can honestly say, but do not quote me and keep in mind this was only one polling place, the majority were people about 35 and over. There were, I believe somewhere between 5-10 individuals who were younger than 35. I am saying this both as an assumption, and with some knowledge, that it is because they simply do not care. I have heard many times individuals of voting age saying that they do not plan to vote because they do not care. I cannot help but be thankful for this, simply because many do not know what is actually going on in the world around them and will just vote randomly. As many have said themselves, they "don't care." I find this to be quite upsetting. Much has happened in our history just to acquire the right to vote, and now many do not even CARE to do so? I will not argue that some teenagers will absolutely hate this class, but some teenagers also absolutely hate math, and years of math is required.
Overall, my argument is that too many teenagers are ignorant to the important things that they will find that they need to accomplish both while in school, and after graduation, and something should be done.


High school has a wide range of purposes, I will try to list some :
- Preparing for post secondary education
- Preparing to enter labor market
- Preparing to survive in everyday life ?
- Social interactions
A distinction has to be made between "general education" and "professional education". I do not know the system works in the US but:
In most continental Europe, if you want to be a mechanic (for example), you can choose when you are about 16 and completed lower secondary education to attend a professional school. You will then have much less math or history and instead focus on really useful stuff for you like welding etc...
I do believe that there should be a differentiation in education. We should not impose the same educational program to everybody regardless of their future orientation. Allowing people to specialize earlier in what they want to do could be a great solution (However, This would be another debate).
Let's go back to the topic. You are basically saying that you are uncomfortable with the fact that: Some subjects you perceive as being useful are not mandatory (accounting for example) while some subjects you perceive as being useless are mandatory. One can subscribe or not with your perception of usefulness but it remains more about opinion than real argument.
"(Furthermore, do you really believe that a teenager is going to WILLINGLY take a financing class, or a politics class?)"
There is no evidence teenagers would not take such classes. In fact many teenagers are interested in politics or in opening their own business in the future.
However there is no reason why these subjects should be mandatory for everybody. But then why Math has to be mandatory for everyone and not Accounting? This leads us to the question :

Why some subjects are optional and other mandatory ?

Subjects such as Math, Science or History are basic subjects and are important prerequisites for more advanced classes which ultimately are useful in everyday life. Example: Accounting is based on Maths.

I could argue that basic anatomy (or ecology, psychology) has to be mandatory for everyone in high school because everybody has a human body... everyone must learn about the environment etc....
You cannot go that way ! There are hundreds of subject one could consider useful, you could not prove politics is more important than human anatomy or art.... Specialization in any advanced subject should always be optional while basic subjects have to be mandatory.

About gym class (this is different from other subjects)

The main reason why PE is mandatory because physical exercise is good for health (this is obvious and proved by many scientific studies). What can be controversial about PE (or gym) is its content: Some may argue that including team sports in PE is useless. PE can also be very harmful for health because of bad teaching (but you have the same chances of having a bad math teacher and learn nothing about Maths , so this is not a specifically PE related issue)
I myself, used to suck at team sports like soccer or basketball because I couldn't"t care less while performed well in individual sports. Do I agree with this idea that PE should be only about individual sports? No I don"t. Life is about compromise. Education is about compromise. A balanced mix of individual and team sport is a fair solution (Sometimes fair solutions do not please anybody... and can be viewed a bit like Solomon splitting the baby).
The mandatory nature of PE is only reinforced by the fact that there are strong forces in society pushing towards unhealthy lifestyles (such as fast food etc").

My conclusion is that there is no reason to systematically replace subjects like Art or IT for basic accounting or politics as mandatory subjects. One should be free to choose. What You said while commenting keyboarding can be also applied to politics or accounting "I will agree that the class is helpful and convenient, however I will reiterate that it is not needed."

Schools programs are created by experts and are constantly evolving to meet society's demands. Are school programs lagging behind ? Probably yes... but this does not mean they should be impulsively reformed based only on arbitrary claims.
Debate Round No. 1


heatherash forfeited this round.


Debate Round No. 2


heatherash forfeited this round.


Pro forfeited please vote Con
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Oliark 2 years ago
I definitely should have read the comments before engaging (My bad).

Also, Rereading myself I notice l may have been a bit over-aggressive (And I do apologize for that)

Anyway, if you clarify your arguments, we could restart this from scratch round 2
Posted by Pfalcon1318 2 years ago
@heatherash, if I can make a few suggestions?

You could have a decent debate here, if you wanted to make a few cosmetic changes.

1. The resolution is unclear. What high school curriculum are you talking about? State, National? In what state or country? America, The United Kingdom, Canada, Paris, China?

2. Revise the formatting of your argument so that it is easier to read. Double space your paragraphs, add a topic heading.

3. Provide an explicit definition of "curriculum". I can see your reasons for the change, but they are jumbled up.

If you want, take a look at a few of my or Mikal's debates and you will see what I mean. It is generally in your best interest to keep your posts neat and clean for the voters.
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
I agree with you on a basic level that high school education (especially as you described it - typing class and mandatory gym for all 4 years?) should be modified to be more beneficial in the real world, but we need to be aware that high school is not the final venue for education for most people.

Yes, they are legally adults at 18, but they are not mature human beings. The brain doesn't even reach full maturity until the early 20's. It is no longer the norm (in my country anyway) for people to begin working full-time jobs at the age of 18 or 19. People here go to college or university at that age and receive an adult education.

You're probably considered fairly intelligent for someone your age. Almost all people by their late 20's realize they were just kids when they were 20. It's a shame, but you probably won't learn much in high school. If you're interested in being educated, go to university and take a serious degree program.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
Simply, the normal growing pains of the life of a teenager. We all been there, and your rant, is a lovely reminisce of humanity"s majestic echo of generational time. Life is a school room, for the more you learn, the more alive you become; but when the school bell rings at the end of the day, becomes one day closer to your death. As those days pass, the love of knowledge, wisdom, becomes a dance maturing to the end of love:
Posted by Mikal 2 years ago
You wana refine and debate the res?
Posted by heatherash 2 years ago
I must disagree and tell you that there is no one telling me fast food is unhealthy. I am very highly aware myself. It is not whining, it is the truth. When I was younger, I practically lived off of it because my father could afford nothing else. I suffered the consequences and was close to being over weight. Lucky for me, I stopped eating it and continued with sports. Again, I do not hate gym, I enjoy it until I realize how sweaty I am and then the fact I still have 3 more hours of school.
Posted by heatherash 2 years ago
First, I must disagree and say individuals at the age of 18/19, are legally adults. (Even if they do not act like it.) Also, the normal age to get a job, and a car, and all that comes along with owning a car, is 16. Individuals who are 16, are still in high school. So again, having knowledge on these subjects as a junior or senior will overall benefit many. As I mentioned at 18 you are legally an adult, so, you can legally vote. Now you are either in your senior year, or fresh out of high school. If a teenager actually knows what is going on in the world, they will form an opinion. Come time to vote, they will WANT to have their say in the matter. However they're not going to just put on the news, or pick up a newspaper, they need a little push.
Now you personally may not expect that much from high schoolers, but there are many that expect so much more. To give an example of high school and expectations... It is like making enough batter for 12 cookies, but expecting 24.
My apologies for any grammar mistakes, I am typing on my phone now.
Posted by Alpacthulhu 2 years ago
And that should have been specifically. You'll see it. I try not to do things on my phone but I felt a need to make a rebuttal against you thinking that I thought that you were fat or whatever.
Posted by Alpacthulhu 2 years ago
I literally called over three quarters of that.

And no, I certainly don't judge your intelligence from your age. I remarked on your age to correlate between the intelligence you displayed and your age.

I do not think gym is all that important, actually, nor did I think you were fat or unhealthy. The entire time, my money was on you being one of those who doesn't enjoy it but isn't physically unhealthy, and actually does physical things but specifically hates gym.

I could tell you possessed some fair degree of intelligence from your attempts to use words like whatsoever, but calling it once so ever, and from the other times you tried to use bedazzling arguments, as well as the attempt to use 'one' as a pronoun but still using third person plural pronouns.

I could tell you were very serious about school, which has now been confirmed by the 'immaturity' part, and I actually had postulated that you wanted to go into the military, based on my observations of neighbours' kids I know who want to, but that bordered on the extreme of a theory, even for me.

My point originally was to show the latter part of my second post, in which I said that you appeared to be somewhat impressionable. I specificwlly was referring to the whole 'fast food' thing. 'Fast food is unhealthy' is another one of those complaints people pose when they don't know what to complain about but they want to whine. It goes along with 'taxes are too high', 'gas prices are too high', and 'darned kids'r on th'r electronics too darned much!' you evidently have somebody with an influence on you who whines about the fast food stuff, but you personally don't like gym, and so when you post you fail to realise the utter contradiction between the two points, because of the degree of influence this person has on you.

Posted by Mikal 2 years ago
if you refine what you are stating, and make a solid res ill take it
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by LDPOFODebATeR0328 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.