Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pick a Major

Some inner city high school kids are getting prompted by administrators to pick a major. This sounds scary. Since the average American college kid changes his or her mind about a major at least three times How can we expect high school kids to do this when they're still figuring out what kind of cool they want to be?

Many European countries like Germany, though, do this to a lesser extent. They don't expect high school students to pick majors, but they do separate the university bound from the non-university bound pretty quickly after grade school. They view it as a more efficient system, teaching less high achieving students more practical skills while the university bound learn skills like foreign languages and calculus. Transfers among the three levels of study isn't impossible, but it is pretty unusual.

Is this a better system? I'm not sure. But it seems that assuming everyone will need the same skills in life is something of a strange assumption. Thoughts?

Cross-posted on Campus Progress.

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