« Big Ideas | Main | Evolution of a Controversy »

Major Decision

| 3 Comments

This spring, Florida's 8th graders will have to choose a "major area of interest,"—a course of study similar to a college major, only for high school. The majors may be as specific as forestry or digital imaging, or cover more general academic areas, such as social studies. State officials say the plan should help boost Florida's sagging graduation rate and send the message that "your high school is interested in accommodating your dreams and your goals." But what about those middle-schoolers who haven't yet figured out what they want to do with the rest of their lives? Or those who enjoy many subjects? "There are a lot of kids in college who don't know what they're majoring in," says one critic. "So the idea that they'll know in high school is a bit of a stretch."

3 Comments

Rather than helping most kids, I am afraid this will simply put more stress on young people who already have a hard time handling the pressures of "making the grade" on FCAT. I've counseled one eighth grader who was frantic because she didn't know what she wanted to do with her life, and she was entering ninth grade. Has anyone bothered to ask teachers if they think this will be a good move? We need to be busy helping kids to discover their options for the rest of their lives, not restricting them.

On the other hand, perhaps we are shortchanging young people by assuming that they cannot make decisions about what interests them. How many of us had dreams that we let go because someone told us we were too young to know what we really wanted? Certainly there are 8th graders who have no direction, but I believe this is a product of the system, not an indication of their readiness to choose what interests them. I think kids should be encouraged to examine their feelings. I do not, however, think they should be locked into whatever they choose.

It's a good idea to get kids thinking in this direction with yearly guidance counseling sessions. This is something that is sometimes lacking. I would like see more of it. I've seen students in college after 2 years who don't know what to do with their lives so they drop out. THAT is what we want to avoid!

Comments are now closed for this post.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Anne Scroggins: It's a good idea to get kids thinking in this read more
  • Melanie Wilson: On the other hand, perhaps we are shortchanging young people read more
  • Terri Hall: Rather than helping most kids, I am afraid this will read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here