Published on Sunday, September 18, 2011 by John Fuller
Students are often frustrated by the course requirements for graduation and what are sometimes seen as useless courses that they are required to take. However, most of these classes are not ‘useless’ and there is reason for their requirement.
Math, for instance, is often seen as irrelevant past the mastery of basic operations used in day-to-day life. Of course, most students who are planning on pursuing math-enriched careers will often see merit in taking advanced math courses, but students pursuing other careers can also benefit from advanced math classes.
In a subject like math, the comprehension of advanced topics can often correlate to better comprehension of topics in other areas. For example, an in-depth understanding of statistics and statistical analysis can prove beneficial in scientific fields when it is necessary to conduct and carry out experiments and analyze the productivity and accuracy of a given subject.
These classes also challenge students to analyze concepts and use their mind in ways, which allows them to become better equipped to handle problems and challenges in all content areas. For instance, students who may not be accustomed to approaching things mathematically can benefit from learning how to approach mathematical situations in a new frame of reference. Students can apply this new vantage point to problems in other content areas.
The point of school is not just to prepare students for a specific career, but to prepare them for life. Of course, we are all designed and oriented in specific ways, but school should challenge us in all areas, especially those with which we have little experience.
Through these challenges, we can become familiar with new topics and areas that we may enjoy but have never been exposed to otherwise. These classes will also teach us how to deal with and approach situations that we find difficult later on in life.
While we may never need the specific content we learn from some of the advanced classes, the skills that are acquired from such classes are invaluable. Learning is a process not restricted to facts and figures, but how to deal with problems and situations we face in life. School is not here to simply provide an outlet for our interests, but to prepare us for life after high school.