Education

Should school children be forced to study something they aren’t interested in?

School Children. Photo: Alvin Trusty via Flickr
School Children. Photo: Alvin Trusty via Flickr

With the structure of education, many children go through the whole of school and learn about subjects that mean nothing to them. In my secondary school, GCSEs were based around compulsory Maths, English and Science and then a choice from subjects such as: Geography, History, French, Art etc. We had to choose a language and that made me think: “If you wanted to be, for example, a television editor as a job, why would you be interested in French?”

Of course, it can be a good thing to study something, even if you’re not interested in it. If you say that you have an A* in Science at GCSE, it would be impressive on a CV even if you hated the subject. I guess from the perspective of the school, it’s about creating a student with a variety of skills in different subject areas. However, it is difficult put in the effort to study Science if the whole time you’re thinking: “What use is this to me?”

In terms of my personal experience, I didn’t like Maths but I got an A at GCSE so I continued it into A level. The work got harder and I just didn’t feel comfortable so I dropped it after year 12 and stuck with the subjects I liked for A2. In my opinion, the only ones, who could do a subject they hate and still get a good grade, are the really gifted people or the people, who put in 100% no matter what.

During GCSE, there were so many people, who were forced to do a language and their lack of interest was clear. That’s when I thought this isn’t right. When you have a class of people, that are interested and want to learn then it’s beneficial for the teacher and the students.

Students in Classroom. Photo: Jeremy Wilburn via Flickr
Students in Classroom. Photo: Jeremy Wilburn via Flickr

This is one of the main reasons why so many children don’t look forward to going to school. They’re thinking: “Oh no, I’ve got double History after lunch. I hate History so much.”

In conclusion, I believe students should be given more choice from earlier on. This way, they can decide whether to choose strong subjects like Maths, English, Science etc. to potentially make their CV more appealing or whether they want to study more creative subjects like Art, Media Studies, Design Technology etc. because that’s what they most enjoy.

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