This is the Issue Essay of GRE AWA
A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college.
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation above and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your
position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how those examples shape your position.
There is often debate over our nation’s educational system and curriculum in political arenas: teachers’ efficiency and influence in the classroom, our pundit position compared to the more scholarly incisive China and Europe, how to improve our scores compare to these countries. Many have contended that a required national curriculum would fix some of these problems. All students would learn the same things, and our schools would therefore further excel. We would be a well-rounded educated society. However, this suggestion fails to point out the many disadvantages a restrictive curriculum could have.
By demanding certain classes over others, the educational system would be eradicating other less renown but otherwise flourishing and creative areas of study. Of course, the staples like mathematics, science, and reading should always be implemented, but in the creation of a national curriculum it is possible that less conventional classes would be cut out permanently. A robotics or technology class, while not traditional, could be extremely influential in students’ will to learn and expansion of passion and knowledge in this burgeoning filed. Debate classes have sprouted around high schools recently, and have fostered a love of critical thinking and inquiry in teens today that they might not have had otherwise. This leads them to apply that thinking to the real world, making them more educated in and out of the classroom. By being exposed to less conventional classes, students would miss out on opportunities to learn new skills and areas of study that would greatly affect their inclination to learn and their career choices later on.
Furthermore, by providing alternative classes, students can become more inclined to want to excel in these more traditional routes of academia. For example, classes in the arts such as theatre, creative writing, and photography could open a child’s artistic mind, introducing them to both an area of potential passion in the arts and a career. If creatively inclined children were only stuck and math and science classes, they will not excel, since that part of their brain is not being regularly exercised. Those same debate students will apply the critical thinking they acquired in that class to history and social studies classes, examining hot-button often complex times, such as the debated ethical decision for the US to drop the atomic bomb on hundreds of innocent civilians to stop a cruel expansive war. If a national curriculum was instilled, it is not concrete that these atypical classes would be subsumed. By keeping the avenues to these classes open, students could gain relevant skills and improve their overall academic success.
One could argue that having a national curriculum would make for strong students, since they are all on the same page, learning the same thing. While, yes, it would be more uniform to have an equal-across-the-board curriculum nationwide, it would not be beneficial to students. Uniformity does not equal excelling. Excelling depends on a teacher’s efficiency and a student’s will to learn. This would not provide adequate enforcement for this recommendation.
Limiting students to one strict structure of knowledge squelches their desire to learn, and therefore, successes in the mandated courses. Students array of skills and career interests would also be suffocated. Thus, a national curriculum would not be beneficial for students in the end.