Essential courses in every high school should prepare students for life after graduation. Of course, various courses are led by different teachers, making the value of a course partially dependent upon its presentation. As such, to accurately determine which high school courses should be essential, each school must take a look at the lessons within each course and how teachers connect the topics to real life issues. This article will discuss particular high school courses and explain why each course is essential to student development.
First of all, the debate continues about students’ requirements for physical education courses. However, with an American society growing increasingly obese, physical education and health courses become essential for high school students. Graduates will require knowledge about how to maintain their health to help them make crucial decisions as adults and parents. This knowledge could inevitably save them money on co-pays and prevent many expensive health conditions like heart disease and cancer. It could also extend their lives.
Students should also take a foreign language course that somehow integrates other subjects. Foreign language in a global society becomes essential for maximizing students’ hiring potential. It also helps students gain an appreciation for other cultures, addressing stereotypical judgments currently running rampant in American schools. In addition to developing cultural appreciation, learning math or economics within a foreign language course would make deeper connections for students.
Economics, high level mathematics, and personal finance courses should also be required for graduation. After so many Americans have chosen to get bogged down with debt, the cycle must stop. Teaching students how to manage money becomes important not only for their own lives, but for the American economy. Most students no longer learn money saving techniques from their parents. As such, high schools should offer courses to help students make good financial decisions as adults.
Finally, communication courses including English, drama, and online experiences help students learn to express their ideas with meaning. Whether designing videos, articles, or blogs, students will use these skills over the Internet to communicate with coworkers, clients, or supervisors one day.
Overall, states which have embraced the 2010 common core standards seem to be headed in the right direction. The standards require students to be prepared for either college or a career upon high school graduation. By integrating all the courses mentioned into a student’s education, high schools will best prepare students for life beyond their local community. Communication, health, and economic understanding while appreciating a difference in culture will all help students lead successful adult lives.