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When Planning Courses, Educators Should Take Into Account The Interests And Suggestions Of Their Students - With A Free Essay Review

Claim: When planning courses, educators should take into account the interests and suggestions of their students. Reason: Students are more motivated to learn when they are interested in what they are studying. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.

Each year, most schools in China do a survey on students' opinions on course settings and schools and then will take their suggestions into account when they plan courses. This tradition has helped universities in China in planning their courses for many years. As far as I am concerned, considering students' interests when planning courses is nearly an indispensible part of educating.

As we all know, and as the given reason says, students are more motivated to learn when they are interested in what they are studying. Generally speaking, interests are always the most durable initial motivator for a student, and students who learn with interests are more likely to gain greater successes. Interests are one of the things that can make people forget tiredness, encourage them to overcome obstacles, and give them the feeling that life is truly meaningful for there is something to work for, something they want to live for. So nothing could replace interests in students' learning.

Those who are against this idea may say that the most important things educators should consider when planning courses are societies' needs. Indeed, we cannot let our students just learn things they like and graduate from school without any job offers. Some courses need to be taught regardless of whether students take interests in them or not, like mathematics and language, for they are the most basic skills one needs to live one's life. But more concerns are unnecessary, for different students have interests in different things, and it is students who are now in the schools who will define the future one day, tomorrow's jobs are offered by them, and they will lead the trend. So it is important to foster their interests, and they may bring us surprises as so many students have already done before.

What is more, taking students' suggestions into account can also help educators to judge and plan their courses more objectively. After all, educating must cater to students' needs, and to some extent, we can see it as a service to students. So their ideas are not only a way through which we learn about them, but can also edify educators for innovative ideas. In conclusion, I hope it has been made clear that students' suggestions and interests are really important in educators' course planning.


Essay Review

You are being asked to discuss both a claim and the reason on which it is based. Your discussion of the claim itself ought to take account of other reasons that might be advanced for or against the idea that educators should take into account the interests and suggestions of their students.

You do this in your third paragraph when you consider the counterargument that "educators should consider ... societies' needs" when planning courses. That is a possible counterargument, though probably not the most compelling one. If I am teaching a course in English poetry, I may find that considering "societies' needs" will just leave me depressed. In any case, your discussion of this counterargument is problematic.

First, your remarks about the need to teach mathematics and language suggest that you may have misunderstood the prompt, which I think concerns not what educators should do when planning what subjects to teach, but rather what they should do when planning the courses they are going to teach; e.g., if I'm teaching poetry, should I listen to those students who say they want to skip Milton because he's boring? (The answer of course is NO! - I cannot skip Milton, and he's only boring to illiterate philistines).

Second, your paragraph thereafter (from "But more concerns are unnecessary" on) is a bit vague. I'm not sure what you mean by the phrase I quoted parenthetically in the previous sentence. The rest of the argument is not really clear or complete. I'm not sure of the value of the somewhat banal conclusion to the paragraph, and don't see why one could not as readily claim that because students will be responsible for the future, educators ought to ensure they are taught what is important to know for taking on the burden of that responsibility, and not just what students are interested in learning.

Your final paragraph is also a bit confusing; as the most basic level the logical connection between the sentences is unclear, so the whole thing feels a bit elliptical. What, for instance, does the fact that we can see education "as a service to students" have to do with the claim that "taking student's suggestions into account" can help one be objective, or with the conclusion that students' ideas "can also edify educators"? (Note: I am not claiming that there is no connection between these sentences, but merely pointing out that the logical connections need to be articulated explicitly.)

Finally, in part because you devote so much of your essay to your own reasons for agreeing with the original claim, you devote much too little to your discussion of the reason cited in the prompt in support of that claim. You make a few assertions in your second paragraph about the motivational value of being interested in a subject, but I don't think you can legitimately arrive at the conclusion you arrive at in that paragraph ("nothing could replace interests in students' learning") without considering other possible sources of motivation. (One might also consider the depressing fact that students often lack the motivation to pursue with any kind of enthusiasm or assiduity the very topics they claim to be interested in!)

Best, EJ.

P.S. Please note that we are now asking students to submit no more than one essay per day. Also please proofread essays prior to submission.
Submitted by: Juliana

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