The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Some school subjects should not be mandatory

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 629 times Debate No: 96999
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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I think students should teach themselves whatever the wish to learn. I think some topics in school are irrelevant to the life of many young students. School is long and stressful. We only need to learn the subjects that will effect us in the future. For example, if you are a sophomore in high school, and you know for sure that you will be an accountant in ten years, there is no need to be learning about science and study of life. Who cares. This person needs to know numbers. This person needs to take the appropriate math classes and maintain excellent math grades to get into the right department of college they want to be in. A class that I took in high school was world history. Dumbest class I ever took.... I don't need to know about Ancient Greece. Today, I am CEO of a huge company. Let me tell you, son, I don't need any education on history to be running a 83.9 billion dollar business.


Assuming your claim is: "Students should teach themselves whatever they wish to learn"

I think you're arguing under the assumption that every student knows "for sure" what they want to do with their lives and what they want their career to be. This is objectively not the case. I am a recent high school graduate so I will argue from my point of view and that of my peers who agree with me.

The objective of education is to create a citizen who is self supporting and, ideally, beneficial to society. I agree with your contention that the best way to do this is to have a student EVENTUALLY specialize in a subject in order to become very adept at his/her particular trade BUT there are two things I would like to make clear.

The first is that every subject has an objective which are extremely helpful in the development of a young citizen. Math develops quantitative reasoning skills, Science grants knowledge of the world you live in, Literature (English class) gives insight into the minds of geniuses and explores the workings of societies and characters in them (psychology and sociology), History shows you the low and high points of the world and how to avoid or reach them, PE and Heath develop very important habits for your wellness ext ext... It is the contention of every leader in education that a well rounded education is essential in the development of an intelligent and capable citizen. Everyone needs a base before they build on one specific discipline.

The second is that regardless of your aspiration, no one is worse off by learning a little bit of everything. You weren't forced to Major in History, in fact you do get to choose your major, and it would be very difficult to prove that even your World History class was detrimental to your overall education/development. You must also consider that a well rounded general education (before college) is very useful for everyone but especially those students who are not yet sure what they want to specialize in. 18 is a young age to make such an important decision, and the few who know "for sure" what they want to do are few, and lucky.

Also I would like to point out that the claim that "Students should teach themselves whatever they wish to learn" is wayyy to general to even be taken seriously. You surely don't think that elementary students should take only the classes they wish to. They are much to immature and unaware of the importance of education to make such a decision. In fact, that could be said for almost all students pre-university. Once you have completed your "general education" you go into college and begin your specialization, while still not neglecting important subjects like history and English and mathematics and such.

I agree that "some subjects" should not be mandatory like agricultural studies or small scope classes like that, but I disagree completely with the statement that "Students should teach themselves whatever they wish to learn". If you specified like "College students should be able to choose their specialization once they have completed a general course of study" then would agree, but that's the system we have already.
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Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by EXOPrimal 2 years ago
It may only be my school but the only subjects that are mandatory for us is Reading, Math, History, Science, and two years of foreign language
Posted by XDM 2 years ago
SpelunkingSamurai I agree about drawing specifically but drawing is not mandatory, at least not where i come from. I mean that students should have some education in any one expression method that they choose cause i do think expression is important.

I think the system really only requires some tweaking, maybe a chance in the methodology but not the content
Posted by SpelunkingSamurai 2 years ago
XDM, I'm not coming out in defense of Pro's claims. I was just giving my opinion on the general topic regardless of the fact that this is a troll debate.

Either way, I suppose this might depend on which country you're coming from and that particulars of the education system. I'd say you made a good point about PE, but that if the benefit really does come from teaching the students healthy habits, there should be more of a focus on that, and less of a focus on it being 'mandatory exercise time'.

Art though, I don't know if you can make as much of a case for. Speech is one thing, but learning to draw? Even learning about classical artists and art history? It's not necessary at all. You've got to know your history if you want to be a well rounded person. You need to know the historical events and the chain of causality that led to the current state of the world we have today. You don't really need to know about the history of art though, not unless you're interested in it and plan on pursuing a career in it.

I personally believe that only the important subjects should be mandatory. Students could learn more over the course of a shorter period of time if school curriculums were streamlined. I also think that schools should be teaching kids that their education shouldn't end just because they're out of school, or even after they graduate from college. They should really try to cultivate independent learning in the students in whatever they happen to be interested in. And maybe if they had less mandatory subjects at school that they're not interested in, they could have more free time in which to learn independently.

I basically think school systems need a total overhaul worldwide, but I suppose that's a thought for a different conversation.
Posted by XDM 2 years ago
SpelunkingSamurai the troll thing aside ( which im expecting ), Pros opening statement "I think students should teach themselves whatever the wish to learn" is not one which anyone can agree with. As for your specific examples, PE and Health are arguable of the more important classes because they teach (or are intended to teach) students good "wellness" habits. Personal wellness is immensely important for all humans, regardless of your profession. As for "woodwork", I don't know a single school that requires it besides technical school but that falls into my example of "agricultural science and other small scope classes". I'm assuming we are talking about public schools so religious studies aren't applicable but i do think students should take at leave 1 artistic credit. Art is the science of expression and at my school art credit classes included speech, composition, and the traditional art classes. I do think art falls under the category of classes which best promote healthy and well rounded development of a student citizen.
Posted by SpelunkingSamurai 2 years ago
Con doesn't realise it, but he's about to violently trolled. I wonder how many CEOs of 83 billion dollar companies we have taking time out of their hectic lives to make shite arguments on DDO?

That said, I do actually agree that there are subjects that shouldn't be mandatory in schools. Science, history, stuff like that absolutely should be mandatory. But how important is it really for students to do art, woodwork, metalwork, PE, religious studies and subjects of that nature? For example, if you're an artistic person you're probably going to be drawing or painting or whatever regardless of if you have a mandatory art class or not. This is really the kind of thing that students should be allowed to practice as a pastime and not forced to study as a subject.
Posted by TheBenC 2 years ago
Pro sees students as more responsible and having more experience than they actually do. Students need to be exposed a wide variety of topics even if they do not like it. You will understand why when you get older and it is impossible to get you to believe it at a young age.
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