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Educational Institutions Should Dissuade Students From Pursuing Fields Of Study In Which They Are Unlikely To Succeed - With A Free Essay Review



Instructions: “Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position.”

Education is important to the society and all people, and educational institutions play a role in helping students to prepare for various professions, and helping them succeed. However, it is a controversial issue whether educational institutions should dissuade students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed. I disagree that educational institutions should dissuade students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed for following reasons.

First of all, how to define the term ”success”? Does success mean that a person can make a lot of money or has a prestigious job? Or does that mean a person likes his job, enjoys his life, and contributes to the society? Inevitably, the way educational institutions may define “success” may deviate from students’ perspectives. Then, it is inappropriate for educational institutions to dissuade students from pursuing field of study if they evaluate success in different ways. In addition, it is a student’s right to decide what he wants to do, and what kind of success the student wants to achieve.

Moreover, how can we ensure that educational institutions can make wise decisions for all students, and on what standard they are based? It is possible that educational institutions may make their decision based on students’ talents. For example they may dissuade students who are not good at math away from some scientific or engineering fields. This may sound logical, but if this is the case, then educational institutions might have made a lot of mistakes. An educational institution might not suggest Helen Keller, a blind, mute, and deaf student to study literature or an educational profession. If an educational institution dissuades students from pursuing fields of study they do not think students can succeed in, then who can believe that Einstein, who was not able to speak at his early age, would be a world known physicist?

It is true that sometimes educational institutions can help students make decisions when students themselves are undetermined and want some advice. For instance, if there’s a student who is not good at math and does have a clear interest, then it may be helpful for the student that the school can direct him to drawing if they find out that student is good as drawing. However, if students have their interests but may not be very talented, should education institutions tell these students to change their minds? Even if this might be a reasonable suggestion, does this hurt students’ feelings? For instance, a student who is not good at math, and struggles in math courses, but really want to be a math teacher, and the school tells him to give up, because he is not likely to succeed. This can really hurt the student’s feeling.

Overall, I disagree that educational institutions should dissuade students from pursuing fields of study in which they are unlikely to succeed, because educational institutions should always respect students’ opinions and education institutions may not always make right decision.

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ESSAY REVIEW

As you have doubtless come to expect from me, I would advise against writing, in the GRE test, introductory paragraphs that contribute nothing to the completion of the assigned task. It's fine to articulate a thesis, but only if the thesis explicitly anticipates, in brief, your reasons for the position you hold (i.e., "I disagree ... for the following reasons" is not a good thesis statement; “I disagree ... because educational institutions should always respect students’ opinions and education institutions may not always make right decision” is better, and as you can see I’ve just borrowed here from the essay’s final sentence).

I'm a bit skeptical about the relevance of your first argument. The concepts of "success" and its opposite "failure" are pretty well defined in an academic setting. Success means getting passing grades and graduating; failure means flunking. If you want to argue that a student has a right to decide what he wants to do even if that will likely result in failure in the obvious sense, then by all means you can argue that, but I think you cannot legitimately dismiss the question of the university's responsibility by ignoring the obvious meaning of "success" to a student, and the issues that a student's not being likely to succeed raise.

I think your second argument also skirts the issue to some extent. The original claim presupposes that it is possible to identify students who are unlikely to succeed in a given field; the question is not about the legitimacy of that presupposition, but about what to do if one has identified a student unlikely to succeed. Note that "unlikely to succeed" doesn't mean "certain to fail," so the original claim does not assume the educational institution will be right every time. You can certainly argue that a university ought not to assume the risk of making a mistake with an issue of such importance as a student's future, and that the responsibility ought to be the student's, but if you want to argue that from a consequentialist perspective, where you offer a world without Einstein as an example of the dire consequences of accepting the original claim, then you really ought to weigh up all the possible consequences, explaining why you think the negative outcomes that would result from an institution’s dissuading students would be worse than those that would result from its not getting involved.

The fact that students' feelings might be hurt is one such possible consequence, but of course there are many other issues that you could consider, and that you should consider given that the instructions tell you to "be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position." Think for instance about the consequences for a student who spends years studying with nothing in the end to show for it. Think of the consequences for the institution itself when it devotes resources to students unlikely to succeed. And so on.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: uofr6460
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