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Educators Should Find Out What Students Want Included In The Curriculum And Then Offer It To Them.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position.

Most schools offer a fixed curriculum to their students. It is only when they enroll into university that they will have some say in the things that they study, through applications for electives and ancillary courses. However, it will be immensely beneficial to extend this system to all educational levels, as giving students the choice to choose their curriculum allows them to be more involved in the course, caters to the different needs of students, and contrary to popular belief, does not lower the quality of education.

When we are given the choice to choose what we want to do, we are naturally more motivated to do it. This is human nature; it also applies in the classroom. Letting students choose what they want to have included in the curriculum does not mean relinquishing control over what they study completely. Instead, a core curriculum, consisting of the basic fundamentals such as language and math should be preserved. However, curriculum that aims to enrich the student’s experience can be left to the student to decide. By letting students handpick their desired curriculum, they will benefit from increased motivation and interest, which will lead to naturally lead better grades, itself a byproduct of a more important benefit, an increased retention of knowledge. Studies have shown that when students were given powers to make simple choices such as choose which subjects they wanted to have in which timetabled period, they managed to remember more from the class which they had just attended, and their average satisfaction with school life also improved significantly.

Better grades are neither the only nor the best motivator for the proposal. Letting students have a say in the curriculum allows us to tailor the curriculum to meet the varied needs of each unique student. The increased use of tailored education in Singapore, where primary school students can choose between learning about circuits or having a expedition in a tropical rainforest for example, show how having a choice in the curriculum can fulfill the needs of the student who is inclined towards nature as well as the student who is fascinated with electronics. Every student has different interests, and educational institutions have the responsibility to nature and guide the student to the path which he is passionate in. There is no better way to do this than to give students some leeway in what is otherwise a rigid and cookie cutter curriculum.

Contrary to hidebound educators’ protests that giving students power over the curriculum will lead to a slide in educational standards and missed educational objectives, letting students have a say in what they want involved in the curriculum teaches does not detract from the primary goal of education, which is to inculcate students with skills that are transferable and will last a lifetime, such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving. While students may choose not to take “boring” subjects such as history, the values imparted to them through other courses are the same. In liberal arts schools in America, students are encouraged to take a wide variety of courses outside of their field of study. Doing so leads to a slight disadvantage in that they acquire less knowledge in their specialized field, but this is more than compensated by the skills that they developed pursing the various courses that they loved. A survey conducted by IBM over 60 countries has shown that employers favored employees with soft and transferable skills such as communication, writing, and problem solving skills, over those equipped with merely technical skills, which could be taught on the job. As long as students are engaging the courses seriously and with the right attitudes, it matters little what kind of course they are enrolled in, for they are on the right track to being educated.

Education is not merely about the transfer of standardized knowledge. If that is the goal of education, we would have only to turn to books and computers for our all information needs, and we would be educated. Giving students a say in their curriculum can only increase the effectiveness of our education, and should be considered by educational institutions at all levels.

Submitted by: yukarin

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