Teaching What Matters


This blog from last semester brings up an interesting question that many college students have most likely asked themselves. Over the last four years I have taken several classes that will most likely not directly benefit me in the future. Spending a semester taking French 101 as a sophomore may have been better spent furthering my knowledge of accounting or learning about economic history. Of course many people would disagree with this, since it is generally seen as beneficial to understand other cultures and languages. However, considering two years later I have forgotten just about everything except how to say my name, a skill I could have picked up from a quick Google search, is it still really beneficial?

Dan brings up the point that while a history class is important so that history does not repeat itself, it may be less important than teaching the average student to balance their own checkbook. He continues by saying that technological advancements cannot be made without some students learning high level math, but that this knowledge is the exception. We should be teaching each student to balance a checkbook if they do not wish to take calculus. Instead of wasting their time and energy learning math they may never use, they should take a class that gives them a more well-rounded education through furthering another aspect of their knowledge. Dan makes the great point of introducing skills such as first aid into the idea of a liberal arts education.  At the end of the day, most educators are not going to agree that removing a foreign language or calculus course from the curriculum is a good idea, but with rising tuition rates and frustrated students, this may not matter in the future.

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