Do you think Schools should allow children to focus on what they are good at

Do you think Schools should allow children to focus on what they are good at

I remember in school having very little interest in most subjects, barring art and design and English. I was never particularly good academically in general though. I only realised in my early 20s that I had dyslexia. I wish I’d known I had it in school so I could have been given help. I think there is more help now with learning difficulties, but I don’t know for sure. If this is the case, do you think education in schools should put more focus on helping students to focus on their interests and strengths, rather than pressing them into subjects they will struggle or have zero interest in?

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Comments: 4
  1. ursula

    There are some subjects that you really, really need to get a grasp of the basics of, and kids that are struggling with them need the support to ensure that they can cope with at least the basics – literacy and maths in particular.

  2. Andy

    School represents the last opportunity for a kid to learn about the stuff they are unlikely to find out about on their own.

  3. Ifin

    No, because children are too young to know what they will want to do for the rest of their lives. I wasn’t keen on science or maths as a kid. If teachers had noticed that and let me do less so I could focus more on my skills at English — which I was very good at — then I wouldn’t be an astronomer today. I didn’t learn to love science until loads later. I’m not naturally good at it, either. Just worked hard.

    I think kids should be told why they’re learning what they’re learning, whether they’re interested or not. Outside of the obvious literacy and numeracy skills, the point of school isn’t (or shouldn’t be, anyway) to cram kids’ heads full of knowledge. We should teach kids how to problem-solve, critically think about what they see and read, independently learn and apply what they learn, understand the general geopolitical situation, express themselves creatively, gain knowledge about other cultures, find and retain useful information and be able to present it… these are things which are or can be done via teaching subjects like the sciences and the humanities and the arts and so on. These are skills I think are important and useful for everyone to have!

    As an example: learning trigonometry may seem boring and pointless when you’re 14, god knows it did to me: but what you’re actually learning is how to apply a formula and solve a problem, which is useful for a huge number of careers and helps you build logical and analytical skills that will help throughout your life.

    I don’t think schools are all that successful in doing this, mind. That’s a different argument.

    I have ADHD and stopped going to school at 15, I hated secondary school and really struggled there. I actually really empathise with how you feel. I don’t think the problem is the subjects, though.

    EDIT: schools definitely need to get better at recognising learning and developmental difficulties. They missed my ADHD too. Would have been nice to have an early diagnosis and some support, or even for someone to care enough to find out why I was struggling…

  4. oneman

    No.

    The point of schooling is for kids to learn enough to get by in society and to be exposed to a huge range of other things they might not realise they are excellent at until they try.

    And kids hate stuff they then find is useful later in life.

    At 14 you can choose subjects anyway, and maths, english and science are important to keep to 16.

    Its a complex world we live in.

    We could do to improve teaching for things, languages and modern history especially

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