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April 2, 2016

The homework question for this week (until Tuesday) is as follows:

Should parents and students get to choose the subjects they wish to study in high school?

Tell us what you think. Comment on other students opinions, as well.

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35 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    April 2, 2016 12:09 pm

    I absolutely agree that parents and students can choose subjects in high school.
    Actually in Korea, the high school students already have to choose natural science track and liberal arts track. Usually, students choose their tracks what they want.
    They can also choose the detail subjects what they want, like society and science except English, Korean, Mathematics. But the most important subjects in high school in Korea are English, Korean, Mathematics. But they have to spend most of time to study them. And if students choose their tracks, it is very hard to change to other tracks. So there are many problems although they can choose subjects. When I was high school students, my friend liked science and hated social studies. But nature science track’s mathematics is too hard to study to her. So she had to choose liberal art track. Because mathematics are more important than science! And she had hard time to study social studies in liberal art track. I saw many of my friends had hard time to study what they don’t want.
    Students usually don’t like study. I think that they don’t like study because they have to study what they don’t like. If the high schools give them free to choose their subjects, burden of study which students feel will decrease. I felt that it can cause many problems that students can’t choose their subjects. I saw many problems like many friends’ cases when I was high school students.
    So choosing subjects is needed to students and their parents.

    • Lucy7 permalink
      April 3, 2016 2:11 am

      I partially agree with your opinion, especially the reason why students don’t like studying. However, based on my experience, students who choose liberal arts can also study science. Moreover, according to the National Curriculum updated at 2015, students in both tracks should learn science and social studies. The one thing I disagree with you is that if schools provide an opportunity to select subjects what they want to study, it is hard to organize curriculum and conduct assessments. Anyway, as you said, if students can choose the subjects, their motivation can be enhanced a lot.

  2. juyong permalink
    April 2, 2016 3:25 pm

    In my opinion, students and their parents should not be allowed to choose which subjects they study at school. If so, parents are likely to enforce their children to study useful subjects like math, science because they think these subjects could help getting a job in the future. Especially, in Korea, liberal arts are more overlooked as time goes by than other practical subjects. Children can be compelled to study subject in which they are not interested to satisfy their parents’ expectation. Until they graduate high school, I think students have to experience a variety of subjects even if they do not like them. Studying different subjects could not only spread student’s background but also stimulate their thought to be flexible. And they are able to find out what they are interested in and their strengths are in the school. If students want to specialize in any study, they could choose a specific major in the university. Therefore, I insist that assigned subjects in the school could give diversified views to the students.

    • Lucy7 permalink
      April 3, 2016 2:14 am

      I have never thought about the pressure from parents, when students can choose subjects. It is interesting idea! I also think that having students learn various subjects in a high school is necessary. Like us, when they grow up and enther the university, they should choose a course what they want to take.

  3. MINA permalink
    April 2, 2016 4:47 pm

    I think parents and students should get to choose the subjects they wish to study in high school. But there should be some essential subjects that students should be taught such as ethnic, basic math, physical education, history, and etc. These subjects are very important to live as an upright global citizen. At the same time learning the basic subjects, students should have opportunity to choose their major; which they really want to learn deeper. Specialized course from an early age is really important. Also it can be a chance to search their future dreams. If I went back to high school, I’d like to learn more about movies. Actually I learned acting and movie theory little bit, and I did very well. However, the learning period was relatively short. So I confused and scared whether it’s nice choice to continue going that way forever. I still occasionally look back and I seem to need a little more thought 🙂

    • juyong permalink
      April 4, 2016 12:09 pm

      Yeah, I also agree with you to some extent. If students should be allowed to choose their subjects, it is important to teach fundamental subjects like science, math, history, philosophy.I think harmony between liberal arts and practical sujects is very important in high school

  4. Anonymous permalink
    April 2, 2016 5:19 pm

    Students should be allowed to choos the subjects which they want to study. In Korea, to get into university, they have to study Korean, mathmatics, English. And if they choose liberal arts, they also have to study social studies while if they choose natural sciences, they have to study subjects of science. Emphasizing only these kind of main subjects, however, makes students do not study other subjects. Because they don’t have to study other subjects to get into university. I think that othere subjects which are physical education, music and art are also important. These kind of nonmainstream subjects can make students creatvie, active and healthy more than main subjects. So, they should be allowed to choose the subjects when they choose the subjects for scholartic ability test.

    • Chicken permalink
      April 3, 2016 2:23 pm

      i agree too your opinion. Because of the korean style of education, we should lose our creativity after entering university. i agree too your opinion. Because of the korean style of education, we should lose our creativity after entering university.

  5. John Snow permalink
    April 3, 2016 1:37 am

    In my perspective, students and their parents should not be allowed to choose which subjects they study at school. In korea, most students enter uniersity. Because our society tends to identify reason of success with distinguished university. Distinguished universites prefer convergence stuents to normal students. So although parents and students favour particular subjects, they need to learn various subjects unavoidably such as math, korean, english, etc. There are good points on the sunny side of this tendency. As one of the experienced persons, there are good points definitely. We can feel a great interest in other subjects. As for me, it was Korean history. Thanks to this experience, i began to pay attetion at history book. Like this, students can get various experience about unwitting subjects. If so, this eperience will be helpful to choose future career. And if students learn various subjects, they can expand the scope of one’s thinking than other students who learn restricted subjects.So parents and students should not get to choose subjects they wish to study in high school.

  6. Lucy7 permalink
    April 3, 2016 2:02 am

    In my opinion, providing an opportunity to choose the subjects they wish to study is unnecessary. Korean National Curriculum prescribes some vital subjects. Based on the curriculum, the main function of school is to improve students’ basic knowledge in various spheres. Moreover, in Korea, most high school students should take a SAT in order to enter the university. Therefore, learners should study all the subjects the test requires. In other words, in accordance with the subjects, it is meaningless to choose what they want to learn. Of course, when students can choose what they want to study, their accomplishment and motivation can be enhanced. However, there also must be some limitations. The one major predictable problem is that students cannot learn essential knowledge systematically. For instance, some schools based on Progressive education pay respect to the students’ autonomy. In these schools, students can determine the subjects on the basis of their interests. However, most students only select easy and interesting subjects like art, music, physical education and so on. Thus, it can foster intellectually incompetent people and create a distracted atmosphere in classes. In conclusion, when students enter the university, they can choose a course which they want to take. Consequently, it is appropriate not to have students select the subjects what they wish to study, but to offer more chances to participate in activities based on students’ needs.

  7. Chicken permalink
    April 3, 2016 2:19 pm

    I absolutely agree about that. Students should choice subjects they favorite and are good at studying. If student are studying their favorite subjects hard, they should make a good marks at school. Also the courses that students choose early grade will have an impact on what they can study in later grade and after graduation. The sooner when the course that students choose is not suitable to them, they can change their subject the better. Although one of the students dislike science but they have to study science, their learning ability about science become less able to do. In my experience, I didn’t like science too but I had to study until high school. So I should study hard a variety of subjects we learned whether I like it or not. It amazingly influence on my general grades. So I think that to choose a favorite subject as a child is a big help in determining his future career.

    • Lucy7 permalink
      April 3, 2016 5:31 pm

      Hmm, have you ever considered why the National Curriculum prescribes some subjects? I think that the function of school is to develop students’ basic knowledge in various spheres. Besides, all subjects students should study in schools are closely related to human society. If students want to study subjects which they have interests only, then they should go to not schools but academies.

  8. saigonriver permalink
    April 3, 2016 4:24 pm

    In my opinion I think all students and their parents should be able to choose subjects they will study. Actually in this question, whether the parents can choose or cannot choose what their kids will study is not important. Furthermore, I don’t think parents should choose. But for students, choosing subjects they want to study must be allowded. Korea, student’s cannot choose subject. Subjects that Korea regarded as important and necessary are required to all students. Subjects which are compulsory is Korean,English, and math. It is mandatory even to students who want to major in art or any other majors which is unrelated to these subjects. One of the biggest problem these days in Korean society is method of education. Students intellectual capacity is getting lower and lower but entering university is getting more difficult than ever before. This situation makes students to be more stupid. To stop this foolish situation, students should be allowded to choose subjects they want to study or good at as soon as possible. Then they will be much more good at doing it also might be interested at studying. If this started, many more talented students will be discovered.

    • MINA permalink
      April 5, 2016 12:19 am

      Yeah, the problem is that the level which we learn to enter University is so high. It’s not necessary to learn such a high knowledge and the University enterance and the social structure should be changed first. This makes just a few students happy and successful.

    • Eve21 permalink
      April 5, 2016 12:19 am

      I also agree that parents should not be the one who choose the subjects for students. It is not the point of the choice after all. I think it is important that ‘students’ have right to have autonomy in taking classes.

  9. rose04 permalink
    April 3, 2016 8:06 pm

    Should parents and students get to choose the subjects they wish to study in high school?
    I am partially opposite because as I thought parents and students shouldn’t choose the subjects that they wish to study in high school for many reasons. First reason is there are important subjects despite they are so difficult we need to study it, because they are so helpful for us but if the choice depends the desire of students, they will not choose it, because every students want to study easy subjects and the subjects that they can have good grade on it so easily. Then no one will attend the courses as math, science and technology, so this is my second reason because this can menace the work of teachers. If we just imagine that teachers because the student choice will lose their jobs, so the numbers of unemployed will increase can affect the economic and others things. The third reason is that the education, the students’ knowledge will be so poor, and in the future there is no need for them because they are like empty box, they will not develop their society or their country. Moreover, I tend that the students have the right to choose optional subjects which are depend on their desire, then the student will be more creative because they will study the important subjects that can be very helpful in their life and other subjects where they can use their skills and grow it.

  10. Jukebox permalink
    April 3, 2016 11:46 pm

    I don’t agree that parents and students should get to choose the subjects they wish to study. In high school, the students learn many subjects such as mathematics, history, and science. Generally, the subjects they learn are not specialized and the depth of learning is not deep. They can learn details about the subjects when they enter university. Therefore, it is not too late for them to choose the subjects that they want to study when they enter university. And some students have difficulties in choosing the subjects they wish to study when they are in high school. So, they may choose the subjects that their parents let them learn and just follow their friend’s choice. I think these kinds of behaviors are inappropriate. Lastly, I think some subjects such as English and Korean history are essential for the students. But, if they can choose the subjects that they want to study, they may not learn these subjects. For these reasons, I think it is necessary for the high school students to learn compulsory education that the school require.

  11. mydogiscuteasteddybear permalink
    April 4, 2016 1:25 am

    In my opinion, we should not allow students and parents to choose which subjects they study at school. There are two reasons for it. First, the subject of making a choice would be the parents not the students, and it is important for the students to experience variety subjects.
    Making a choice always follows responsibility. The choice they made could make them regret when they grow up. But the choice would be mostly done by their parents. And that’s not what students want, because it won’t be different from learning mandatory subjects. So, there’s no use of giving them choices, because it would mostly be parents’ choices.
    Second point is that it could be a last chance for the students to experience variety kinds of subjects. By experiencing lots of subjects, they could learn what they feel about in each subject. I think that could be a part of the education of learning what they like or dislike. Let’s think about after graduating from high school. The students don’t get much of a chance to learn various subjects, because they have to choose their major to enter university. In university, students get busy with their major study, and don’t have enough time and credit to register for other major’s courses. Therefore, it could be a last chance for them to learn about themselves by experiencing many subjects.
    I think school is where students learn how to think reasonably and logically. So by learning different kinds of subjects, even if they don’t like it, it will make their thinking deeper in some way. It will make them grow in a positive way.

    • Jelly permalink
      April 5, 2016 11:43 am

      I like the part that you mentioned about responsibility!

  12. GreenYellow permalink
    April 4, 2016 1:33 pm

    I totally disagree about the opinion that students and parents should be allowed to choose their subjects in high school. If they are allowed to choose the subjects they learn, they are in danger to get only specific knowledge and become a narrow-minded person. There are some things that students must have, grounding. These are basic things to live well in the society and the relationship with people. This is the reason why compulsory education exists. It’s really good to study what I am interested about, but before then, we must have basic grounding. Also, while we study various fields, we can find out what we are really interested in and good at(fitness and aptitude). This is the role that high schools took, to help students to figure out about themselves. As you can see through this text, there are so many reasons that we should not let students choose their subjects. So, in conclusion, we should not allow students and parents to choose the subjects they wish to study in high school.

  13. daino permalink
    April 4, 2016 3:01 pm

    I think parents and students should be able to choose the subjects they wish to study in high school. In Korea, students can choose some specific subjects of society, science, the arts , and foreign language while they have to learn Korean, math, and English obligatorily. But generally, students has not much choice about what to learn.
    There are two reasons why they should get to choose the subjects. First, many students usually waste too much time and money to study the subjects which they are not interested in. Because of their grade, they spend a lot of money on private lesson and educational institute. It’s inefficient use of time and money. It could be more efficient use if they spend money and time to study the subjects which they are interested in.
    Second, if students can choose the specific subjects which they want to study according to their ability, aptitude, and ,career, they could have a chance to discover interesting aspects of themselves in their career exploration. Nowadays, many students are usually go on to university without much consideration about their career. And they determine their major depending on their grade. So many students change their major after they enter a university and even they graduate. Since it could be a waste, it’s better to concentrate on the subjects which they are interested in.
    So Choosing the subject which students wish to study should be considered nowadays.

  14. Noah permalink
    April 4, 2016 4:12 pm

    I have good take on the opinion that students and parents should be allowed to choose their subjects in high school. There are a few basis to support my point : in terms of efficiency of study and development of personality.
    First, according to Jerome Bruner who is celebrated psychologist and professor of Harvard, we are exactly more concentrated on high interest. When I was in high school, I had to study Korean, Math, English, Society, and Physics. Sadly,I hated Physics even if it was essential subject. In Physics class, not only I couldn’t understand, but couldn’t be awake at all. And always thought ‘Why I had to study this?’. However, I had interest in and really liked Society and Culture. Therefore, studying those subjects make me passion. Finally, now I am studying Culture. By the way, balanced knowledge seems nice and ideal. However, specialized knowledge is far better than knowing little by little. And it is even more efficient.
    Secondly, forcing study what we don’t like cause bad influence on our personality. Daniel Kahneman who is also celebrated psychologist told that ‘During 13 to 18, personality is nearly settled by external factors’. During 13 to 18 is delicate age and exactly when we are in middle or high school studying many essential subjects. Enforcing what to do kills interest, and makes devious. One report say that the reason why high school students in Korea more commit misdeed than other OECD country is huge stress and under repression.
    When if we choose what we learn, we can study pleasurably and relieve from stress.

    • Jelly permalink
      April 5, 2016 11:46 am

      I also thought about the same thing as you did when I was in hogh school. But I think it was some how useful to me.

  15. Eve21 permalink
    April 5, 2016 12:16 am

    In my opinion, the students need to have choice in their class, but with some mandatory subjects. If we have choices in taking classes, For example, when I was in highschool, the classes I took were 2 types. There were mandatory classes that all my classmates take together, and classes that was taken separately. The seperate classes were classes that were able to choose by the student, due to their department major. In 2nd year, all students pick their department, and take classes they need for their graduation and university entrance. In this way, we can study deeply in subjects study we want and save time studying too many subjects that really do not affect our graduation.
    Mandatory subjects are needed such as Korean, English, Math, History, which is needed for basic knowledge and graduation. Also, PE was mandatory when I was in 3rd year of highschool too. It was because that students study too much sitting in their chair, so at least 2 hours of outside activity for students to get fresh air. For that kind of reason, I think that mandatory classes are needed even we have free choice in taking our classes.

  16. Daniel permalink
    April 5, 2016 12:54 am

    I do not agree about the system that students and parents can choose subjects which they wish to study in high school. There are two reasons why I don’t prefer.
    Frist reason is, if students can choose subjects they want to study, there are some possiblity that students cannot find their preferences. For example, a student has high ability on studying mathmatics but he love to use his body. So he makes his schedule wiht only PE. After class started he finds that he has very low ability on using body but he kept going on. Get on in years, he find his ways with using body. However, if he studied mathmatics he could be awesome guy in mathmatics. Like this kind of error, students and parents should not choose the subjects that they wish to study.
    Secondly, if students get gathered in some popular classes, except that kinds of subjects last of them can be canceled. It means teacher of leftover classes lose their jobs. It can cause the problem in education system. Education systems can be corrupted.
    Like these kinds of problems, I suggest to get on all classes in high school. If students have an inclination on particular subjects, they should be many problems.

  17. April 5, 2016 2:59 am

    I absolutely think that students and their parents should not be allowed to choose which subject they study at school. In Korea, we can choose some subjects whether they should study or not. Because, in Korea, almost students should choose their curriculum, liberal arts and natural science, when they enter the high school. So the students who choose the liberal arts course, don’t need to learn about science and intensified mathematics. Also, the other way, the students who learn about the natural science, don’t need to study for the social studies. That course directly connected with their major when they enter the university. But, I think that it is not much useful for korean students because I am also korean and was the one who chose the liberal arts course, and did not learn about the sciences. Even now, I totally don’t have any knowledge about science. It is very unpleasant for me. I think that we need to learn about the both curriculum to live comfortably and have a well-balanced knowledge. If that customs keep going in Korea, the biased students will be one of the serious problem in the future. For example, we should learn about history for our posterity and should learn about electric science to save our money which we might pay for repairing our home appliances in the future. So I think that all students need to be educated to have a well-balanced viewpoint by the harmonized education. So, in my opinion, students and their parents should not be allowed to choose which subjects they study at school.

  18. Yolo permalink
    April 5, 2016 5:35 am

    I definitely disagree on the idea that students and parents get to choose the subjects they wish to study in high school.
    The role of high school education is not to give them professional, specialized knowledge but to let them figure out what one’s strengths are and what one’s good at. In order to do that, students should take a class with diverse kinds of subjects. If students and parents get a chance to choose the subjects what they want to wish, they will never get to find out what they are really interested in or what they are really good at.
    Also, there are few things people of one’s nation ought to know. It is also a duty for high school education to teach fundamental essential knowledge.
    If someone is specialized in one subject and has no knowledge in others, that person could have a prejudiced perspective on matters that he has no interest in.
    Finally, students should not be taught relative merits between subjects and such a young age. There are actually no such things as one is better than others in terms of subjects. For example, english and science are subjects that people use a lot after they graduate high school and literature and physics are not that kind of subjects. But that doens’t mean that english and science are better subjects to be learned than literature and physics. Students in high school should not learn that kind of narrow-minded perspective from choosing what they want to learn as parents would insist their children to learn what could be helpful in the future.

    • Yolo permalink
      April 5, 2016 5:37 am

      and should be replaced to as at line 13

  19. Polar bear permalink
    April 5, 2016 7:58 am

    It is of great worth to discuss whether or not parents and students enable the subjects to choose they want to study in high school.
    While some people might agree with the statement, others might disagree with it.
    As far as I am concerned, I believe that the former argument is justifiable in terms of effect to take courses. To begin with, students are not interested in subject that they don’t like. it cause something worse that decrease their studying effect. Remind your childhood, when you are a child who eats only what he likes. Can you eat beens or carrots easily? It is same to study the subjects they don’t wish. Perhaps, it cause bad effect to their grades. However, whatever they do, whatever they decide something, It is up to them. Who say to us “You live can’t by doing everything you want to do”. Why? I don’t agree with him. They have a right to choose something they want. I want to teach ‘Carpe diem’ to our students.

    • Jubbit permalink
      April 5, 2016 11:05 am

      It was very impressive that you put disliked subjects as carrots and beans. It really helped me understand the point you are trying to say. Also the part you want to teach carpe diem and humans can not live by their desires all the time were rational statements that might persuade other side of discussions. It was beneficial reading your writing. Thank you:)

    • Jubbit permalink
      April 5, 2016 11:07 am

      It was very impressive that you put disliked subjects as carrots and beans. It really helped me understand the point you are trying to say. Also the part you want to teach carpe diem and humans can not live by their desires all the time were rational statements that might persuade other side of discussions. It was beneficial reading your writing. Thank you!

  20. ghrksk123 permalink
    April 5, 2016 9:03 am

    I think this question is little bit abstract. In Korea, students are imitedly allowed to choose their subject, a track. But they still don’t get to choose detail subject like math, English, Korea etc. I think that, however, students should not allowed to choose which subjects they study at school not only the track also detail subjects. In my experience, I have studyed science at first grade in high school eventhough I didn’t choose natual science track and it is still useful. Thanks for the science class, now I can explain the process of big bang which is the basic concept to understand expansion of space to my younger brother.
    The students in lower grade like elementary school don’t have any knowaledge of detail subjcts. Because they don’t have their own ablities to choose proper subjects the young students nessesarly need an experienced hand. This people could be someone like parents, school seniors or friends. In fact, parents don’t have right to choose which subject their child study at school. The right is the students’s own.
    Also the school seniors or friends can’t help the students. A diract experience of the studends tend to be differ from the advisirs’s. For example one of school senior says ” P.E class is too tired phsycally.” Whereas as you know, to well-being your body and mental health, P.E class is useful enough.
    Because of these three reasons, students should not allowed to choose which subject they study. Young students can have less idrect experiences and also adivces from others tend o be inappropriate with them. In fact university students are in enough age to choose which subject they study. Until that grade they essentially need more firsthand experiences.

  21. jelly permalink
    April 5, 2016 10:27 am

    Before answering the question, I want to point out that parents and student’s choices cannot be same. They always want different things and that cause the conflict. So the question should be changed to the one side, whether parents or students.
    However in my opinion, neither parents nor students should be the one who choose the subject in high school. For the parents, they tends to control their children. They just figure out what students should do without asking them. This force can pressure the students. There were some students who suicide because of that pressure. So enough conversation and respect between parents and students have to be taken before choosing the subject.
    For the students, they are still immature creature. They usually wants temporary happiness which is the subject that the can easily learn. But there are some subjects that students have to learn even though they don’t want to. For example, Ethics can be boring but still it is necessary for students. So that they can grow up in a better ways. So letting them to choose the subject is like putting the fox in charge of the chickens.
    As a result parents and students, both are not appropriate for choosing the subjects. That’s why we need an educational institution to do it instead of them. Educational institution considers the best way for everyone.

  22. Jubbit permalink
    April 5, 2016 10:54 am

    I believe allowing students and their parents to choose the subject has more dangerous factors than effecient ones. Most of students tend to select the subject that is useful to enter college. However there are much more values in studying certain subject than entering a college. For example, there were many discussions about making Korean History mandatory. Learning Korean History may not be essential to enter colleges but it is essential to know as a citizen of Korea. It is important to give rights to students and parents by choosing the subject , however the atmosphere of society , somtimes, might confuse people’s mindset and lead them in wrong way. Although letting students and parents decide what they want seems liberal, society has reponsible for providing fundamental education. In this process, I believe subjects can be mandatory.

  23. The flaming lips permalink
    April 5, 2016 11:51 pm

    I think students should be allowed to choose classes they want. because students can learn to choose and make decision. by learning how to make decision, students will also learn how to manage their lives and this is very important thing to learn to prepare for adulthood. In my country, students are not very much allowed to choose subjects in middle school and high school. in results, many students get in trouble in their major by choosing subject without considering in many ways in middle school and high school. so i think students should be allowed to choose subjects to learn how to handle things in life.

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