In some countries, secondary education focuses in depth on two or three subjects, while in others, students take a large number of subjects. What do you think are the problems to this pattern of study and what could be a solution to it?
Not only in some, but in most of the countries secondary education focuses on two or three subjects in depth, while in other places, students are allowed to take a large number of subjects to study. It’s a simple question, if you had a medical problem, would you rather go to a specialist or to a general practitioner? There are times when both are needed. In this essay, I will discuss whether studying a wide range of subjects is better than concentrating on one or two areas or not.
First of all, it’s not surprising that many countries have opted for secondary school systems with a large number of subjects. For one thing, having many subjects helps young people to become more balanced. They learn about the world through science, art, music, literature, sport, cooking, woodwork, design, or computing, and they learn skills in each area. A second point is that there is plenty of time to specialize. Now that more people go on to college and further degrees, there is no need to begin to concentrate too early. In addition, specialization does not allow people to change. As we grow, our tastes may change, and someone who is interested in math at 12 years may suddenly prefer to study music when she is 17.
However, many countries prefer fewer skills in secondary school. In the UK for example, students take only a couple of subjects at “A” level. This can have several advantages. First of all, it leads to excellence in each subject. Students can learn much more than when they are taking 9 or 10 subjects. Secondly, it makes it easier for students to get into university and to do well. The student already knows the subject in depth, and does not have to make difficult choices. But an important point to remember is that studying one or two subjects in depth does not mean students know nothing about other topics. Doing A-Level chemistry does not mean that you cannot play the violin or excel in Russian.
In my opinion the solution is that students should be able to choose between these two options. For some, a wide range of subjects is a better choice, but for others, it’s more interesting to dig deep and specialize in only one or two areas. I believe it depends on the student’s personality, and while most students are adaptable, one or other approach will suit most students better.
(Word Limit is 407 words)
GLOSSARY OF WORDS
Specialist – a person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity; a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field
Practitioner – a person actively engaged in an art, discipline, or profession, especially medicine
Balanced – taking everything into account; fairly judged or presented
Specialize – concentrate on and become expert in a particular subject or skill
Specialization – the process of concentrating on and becoming expert in a particular subject or skill
Excel – be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject
Adaptable – able to adjust to new conditions