This commentary on edweek.org is a good example of how classes outside of a core curriculum can have a major impact on students' motivation levels in all classes. The author, Patrick Boyle, talks about how taking a few film classes in high school sparked a love for movies and opened the door to an interest in history and culture. He says:
A new world had been unlocked for me, and it wasn’t simply cinematic. Each film was a research project; I wanted to understand the cultures and time periods that produced the film. Chiefly, this led to a fascination with politics (later, in college, my field of study) that I never would have picked up without being introduced to the ideas through film.
Too often, says Boyle, these kinds of classes are the first to be slashed when budgets get tight. But his own story speaks to the importance of having a well-rounded curriculum, especially for those students who may not find traditional core classes, like history, English, science, and math, to be particularly interesting.