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Friday, May 22, 2015

Well-Rounded Education

"Why do I even need to take this class?" This is an oft-repeated mantra in high school, especially because of its course requirements. (For example, in my school, students are required to take four years of English). These requirements can seem restrictive, especially as most students know what types of fields they will enter later in life, and may want to focus on that in their high school studies.
The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Davinci,
a great example of a Renaissance Man 

If such requirements seem a bit old-fashioned, it's because they are. Curriculums requiring extended education in many different types of studies can be traced back to 15th century Italy, where the idea of the Renaissance man was born. The Renaissance man is a man who is well-versed in many subject areas, from math and science to literature and art.This ideal became the model for education at the time and survived to modern day education, resulting in a more rounded, less specialized schooling.

But old-fashioned doesn't necessarily mean irrelevant. Having at least a rudimentary understanding in all major fields confers major advantages.  For example, knowing how to communicate clearly in writing helps in all careers, like when drafting a scientific research paper. And you never know when one subject will connect to another. For instance, when tasked with drafting a paragraph explaining what interests me about science, I drew from my knowledge of European history, discussing the Scientific Revolution. Another example could be how learning about the Great Depression and its causes and consequences can help to understand modern economics. The possibilities are endless.

As you can see, the idea of learning a variety of subjects is a beneficial one that spans back centuries. But if you still find yourself dreading the next English literature or trigonometry class, just think. A few more years and then you are off to college, free to pick and choose which subjects to take and specialize in.

Written by Jenna M., Homework Assistant

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