Electives | Teen Ink


December 6, 2007
By Anonymous

Every year, middle and upper school students receive the green and salmon colored sheets and are forced to choose from a list of electives which don’t interest most students. Electives are supposed to be a chance for students to take a class they enjoy and take a break from the core courses. The way an elective is created is that it is first proposed to the Department Chair, who then takes the proposal to the curriculum committee. The committee gets together to decide how valuable the elective would be to the school community. As of now, the fields into which these electives fall are rather limited: computer, art or literature.
When asked about the variety of electives offered at Country Day, senior Michael Nelson responded, “We definitely need better electives here, something like shop or woodwork.” Other schools such as Pinecrest and Chaminade provide a more broad range of electives that may appeal to a different variety of students. Some of the electives provided by these schools are Psychology, Criminology, Forensics, T.V Production, Home Economics and shop. Can Country Day compete when it doesn’t provide students the opportunity to learn how to fix a pair of jeans or find a murderer?

When polled, the majority of the freshman class, the students most likely to benefit from any electives that might be added to the curriculum, stated that Cooking, shop and Video Game Creation were electives they would most like to take in their next three years of high school. Pinecrest and Chaminade are both college preparatory schools and provide these types of electives, but when asked why our school does not, Upper School Assistant Director Ms. Locker responded, “At Country Day we expect that 100% of our students will go to college, so we do not provide electives to students to prepare them for the vocational part of life, but more for the liberal arts type of experience."

However, according to former Academic Dean and current Middle School Director Mr. Mathes, “The main reason that County Day does not provide these kinds of electives is because we simply do not have the space on our campus to house these electives.” With the construction of a new Media Center coming soon, Dr. Davies says that there will be classroom space. If those extra classrooms will generate any new electives is yet to be determined.

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