5 - "It is unfortunate that today's educators place so much...

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"It is unfortunate that today's educators place so much emphasis on finding out what students want to include in the curriculum and then giving it to them. It is the educators' duty to determine the curriculum and the students' duty to study what is presented to them." SAMPLE-1 (score 6) The statement above conceals intesting connotations far above curriculum development. Issues of classroom control and development of scholarly talents are at stake, not simply a debate over which books are acceptable or over revisionist histories. The statement itself is a bit misleading in that in my experience, student control over curriculum hardly existed. Each year, there were certain course offerings made available, and students were to choose from those offerings, of course bearing in mind requirements for graduation set forth by the administration. On a classroom level, the immediate, initial material may have been somewhat directed by the students, but this was a part of the process allowed by the teacher/professor in order to gain the interest and attention of the students. However, too much of any one thing becomes problematic; letting students set the curriculum, as with letting students choose and design their own major in college, serves ultimately to dilute the quality of the educational experience unless a single advisor can devote significant amounts of time to the individual student. This amount of time, or even the expense to the student of this individual attention, seem to indicate that resources would be better allocated elsewhere. Of course, any school in which the students decide "what goes" is bound to have problems controlling students. Once the educators, be they administrators or teachers, are under the control of students, even a democratic situation would be like holding royalty acountable to the mob. Presently, students hear for hours that they should not forget to use a condom in the heat of the moment, and educators think the message gets through, while half the kids can't even remember to bring a pencil to class. Students go to school not to simply learn the Pythagorean theorem, but to learn direction and receive guidance. This cannot occur when students are in charge, and standards, already hard to find in America's contemporary public schools, will become unenforceable. If students dictate and administrators do, students will never learn academic responsibility, and if they can't be held accountable for homework, what other responsibilities will they avoid when they get older? But in another sense, teachers and students do exist in a partnership of sorts. Teachers are there to satisfy the needs of the student, and the student, while perhaps not being the most experienced/ knowledgeable person on what his/her needs actually are (versus wants), at least should be afforded some say. In addition, we must remember what the purpose of education is, and that there are different levels of education.
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