The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Mathematics should be optional in post-secondary education.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 723 times Debate No: 42819
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




College is about finding yourself and what you want to do with your life. Some know right away and some take a few semesters to know where they should be going. But one thing is certain... College is higher education. It's the institution of learning new theories, proving or disproving their own hypothesis. How can one do that by simply reviewing what you should have learned in grade school?
Why should a nursing student take photography or a history major take trigonometry?
They shouldn't. If you already know what you want to do with your life, you should invest your time and studies in that field. I propose we allow mathematics and other subjects we learned in grade school to stay in college but only as core-classes.


I accept the debate. I am Con, so I will be arguing that Mathematics, and other core subjects, should not be optional in college (i.e. they should continue to be required).

Brief Summary:

College is place in which people can further their own pursuit of knowledge; however, that should not be limited to their major of choice. The general education courses in college, as well as major-related courses, serve to give a person a new perspective on the world around them, not just to reiterate previously learned knowledge. A person's point of view depends upon the knowledge they have accumulated over their life. For example, a person skilled in mathematics views things differently than a person skilled in physics or psychology. Therefore, getting a more rounded knowledge allows a person to look at things from more than just one point of view.

That is, in a general sense, my main stance in this argument; however, I will touch upon other points in the main argument of round 2. That being said, I would like to make it clear that neither Pro nor I are limited to the points made in this brief summary round when presenting our arguments in round 2.

I look forward to the rest of the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


NeoVoltaire forfeited this round.


Unfortunately, Pro has forfeited the round and, given that there is only one round left, I must assume that no arguments will be posted next round by Pro as well. I will, therefore, not post my arguments in this round, but encourage voters to vote for Con.
Debate Round No. 2


The education system of America has gone from engaging and molding young minds to be critical thinkers (where college would only be an option) to a manufacturer of blind conformity (where college is now overlooked as a luxury). Each day children and teenagers must recite the pledge of allegiance, whether they agree, know what they are pledging or not. College is intended to expand the mind and ideas: Philosophy, Social Sciences, Advance theoretical sciences. It is NOT a place to rehash simple mathematics.
If it could be taught in college it shouldn't be a requirement for those who aren't heavily focused for mathematics as a career or major. It simply is there for students who didn't fully "graduate" from the grade school mathematics to to stay in an undergraduate status longer.


Pro has posted their argument for round 3, but did not rebut anything said in round 1. I will limit my rebuttals only to round 1 material, due to the loss of round 2, in order to keep the debate fair.

Definitions used:
1. Liberal Arts - "college or university studies (as language, philosophy, literature, abstract science) intended to provide chiefly general knowledge and to develop general intellectual capacities (as reason and judgment) as opposed to professional or vocational skills" [1].

1. Instead of arguing simply for a requirement to take mathematics in college, I will argue for the requirements to take core subjects in general, which is typical in liberal arts colleges.

Now for my argument:

Liberal Arts Education Better Prepares Graduates for Work

According to a study done by Hardwick Day, consultant for the Annapolis Group, "seventy-six percent of liberal arts college graduates rated their college experience highly for preparing them for their first job, compared to 66 percent who attended public flagship universities" [2]. While the graduates in this study did not specify what about their college experience prepared them for their first job, the fact that graduates in liberal arts education felt more prepared is worth noting. Students may not specifically use the knowledge acquired in these general courses in their job; however, these courses can provide the ability to view things from different perspectives, which can be useful in their careers.

The Courses Are Not a Waste of Time

Being a Pre-med major in a College Algebra or Social Science class may seem like a waste of time; however, those credits ultimately go towards that student's total credit hours needed to graduate, which is usually higher than the required credits for the major. In order to illustrate, I will use an example based on my college. I am currently attending a four-year college and am majoring in accounting. My major requires that I get 64 credits [3], but in order to graduate from my college, I need a total of 128 credits [4], which is double the amount needed for my major. Those extra credits can be met by adding a minor or another major, but my general education requirements also assist in reaching that goal; therefore, no time is wasted on taking those courses.

Not all Course Requirements in a Major are Directly About It

For this part, I will refer back to the requirements of my major [3]. My accounting major not only requires that I take courses on accounting, but that I also take courses related to marketing, business administration, financing, etc. Con argues that "If you already know what you want to do with your life, you should invest your time and studies in that field." Using that logic, why should I have to take classes about marketing? I want to be an accountant, so should all my classes be specifically about accounting? If I did that, I would be very specialized in accounting, but that would be all I really know how to do in the world of business. Focusing on one specific field of study only serves to narrow the mind to a single point of view, which could potentially inhibit a person's potential to grow in the future.

Very Few Graduates Find Jobs in Their Major

According to some data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, only 27% of college students work in a job that requires their college major [5] (this only includes those with undergraduate degrees). If it is really that difficult to get a job in a student's major of choice, then is it really wise to only focus on that major? If people did that, what could happen when they are unable to find a job within that major? It is possible that they would be less desirable compared to those that have a wider variety of knowledge; therefore, I would argue that it is more beneficial to be well-rounded on top of a specialization, in order to expand the career opportunities.

Students Tend to Change Their Majors

It is not uncommon for college students to switch majors during their study. In fact, "research by Penn State and other institutions has shown that . . . up to 50 percent of college students change their majors at least once before graduation, and some change several times" [6]. This is important to note as it shows that even when people are sure of what they want to do with their life, their minds can still be changed. Taking a wide variety of courses can assist a person in finding their true passion.

Works Cited:
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by NeoVoltaire 2 years ago
Yes, your point points and acceptance. Sorry for not being clear, it is my first debate on here.
Posted by SirClare 2 years ago
I should probably double-check this before I submit the first round. Is the first round just for acceptance and a brief summary, as you have done? Or should I lay out my entire argument?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mysterious_Stranger 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF on pro's side.