Me: "So does Family Studies look interesting?"
Her: "Yes. Mr. X said it was easy so that's why I took it."
Superdog by skycaptaintwo
Yup. Just another hoop. Made me think of the 'Guitar Hero' part of this post by Dan Myers. It also made me think of the really bright, top of the district, student I taught a few years ago who switched from Chemistry 12 to Geography 12 a third of the way through because she knew she could get through Geography more easily. Not because she liked Geography better. I know this because she told me as much.
I don't get it. When I was in high school I probably could have taken a study block, but that never occurred to me; I was having a hard time trying to narrow down the classes that I wanted to take. I took Drawing and Painting 12 because I liked, well, drawing and painting. Not because I thought it might be easy. In fact I had very little artistic talent and taking the course probably put me in danger of lowering my GPA. I took Drafting 11 and 12, again, not because I thought they might be easy courses, but because I was interested in them. Same with Choir, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics.
So when I see kids taking "easy credits", or study blocks, or gunning through their academic courses so they can graduate 6 months or a year early; I. Just. Don't. Get. It.
I don't want to lay all the blame on these kids, though. It's human nature to do the easy thing, to keep doing those things that make you feel successful. Have you seen how most people use flashcards to study--they spend most of their time on the cards that they already understand, and not the cards they need to understand. Failure feels uncomfortable, so we often stick with what we already know.
The system is also to blame. We often focus on "these are the courses you need to graduate", "this is the minimum number of credits you need", instead of "we have some wonderful courses that you're really going to enjoy, learn a lot from, and serve you well in the future". Maybe we need more inspiring courses.
I don't know. What do you think?