Major dilemma: more schools are requiring high school freshmen to declare a major. Do majors make school more interesting, or do they force students to specialize to soon?Sometimes it's hard enough just deciding what to wear to school each morning or what to have for lunch, let alone picking a field to major in. But as of this fall, freshmen at Dwight Morrow High School Dwight Morrow High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Englewood, New Jersey, United States, as part of the Englewood Public School District. Founded in 1932, the school is named after Dwight Morrow, an American businessman, politician, and diplomat. in Englewood, N.J., are required to declare a major that will determine which electives they take for the next four years.
School officials say that for Morrow--a school that has struggled with low test scores--establishing majors is a way to keep students interested until graduation.
Some parents welcome the requirement, noting that a magnet school magnet school
A public school offering a specialized curriculum, often with high academic standards, to a student body representing a cross section of the community. in the district already allowed some students to specialize spe·cial·ize
1. To limit one's profession to a particular specialty or subject area for study, research, or treatment.
2. To adapt to a particular function or environment. . But other parents and some educators crticize it as an educational fad or a marketing gimmick.
"I thought high school was about finding out what you liked to do," says Kendall Eastman, an Englewood parent who graduated from Morrow mor·row
1. The following day: resolved to set out on the morrow.
2. The time immediately subsequent to a particular event.
3. Archaic The morning. in 1978. "I think it's too early to be so rigid."
In fact, many college students don't pick majors until junior year. Debra Humphreys of the Association of American Colleges and Universities This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using . calls high school majors "a colossally bad idea," saying students should develop a broad range of skills.
"Today's economy requires people to be constantly learning and changing," says Humphreys. "A lot of jobs that high school students are likely to have 10 years from now don't yet exist, so preparing too narrowly will not serve them well."
FLORIDA'S 400 MAJORS
A number of school districts around the country are experimenting with high school majors--an outgrowth of the popular "career academies" that have become common nationally. The Southern Regional Education Board, a nonprofit A corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive.
Nonprofits are also called not-for-profit corporations. Nonprofit corporations are created according to state law. education organization, said that of the 1,200 high schools it works with in 32 states, about half now require students to specialize.
But while many career academies simply add a few courses to a core curriculum, majors require students to make a more serious commitment to a particular educational path.
This fall, Florida became the first state to require majors in high school. Ninth-graders must choose from 400 state-approved subjects, ranging from world cultures to fashion design.
In Englewood, every eighth-grader already works with a guidance counselor guidance counselor Child psychology A school worker trained to screen, evaluate and advise students on career and academic matters to formulate a six-year academic plan that stretches through the first year of college.
District officials say they are adding majors to personalize per·son·al·ize
tr.v. per·son·al·ized, per·son·al·iz·ing, per·son·al·iz·es
1. To take (a general remark or characterization) in a personal manner.
2. To attribute human or personal qualities to; personify. the learning experience and engage students. Another reason is that colleges have said that they favor students with expertise in a particular area because it shows commitment and passion.
Morrow offers six majors: sports management (the most popular); fine arts and performing arts; health sciences; international studies and global commerce; communications and new media; and liberal arts liberal arts, term originally used to designate the arts or studies suited to freemen. It was applied in the Middle Ages to seven branches of learning, the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. . Students will take at least one course in their major every trimester trimester /tri·mes·ter/ (-mes´ter) a period of three months.
A period of three months.
The first third or 13 weeks of pregnancy. , in addition to state-mandated requirements in core subjects.
Nicole Hutchison, 14, a Morrow freshman, likes to make people feel better, so she imagines herself becoming a doctor, nurse, or cosmetologist cos·me·tol·o·gy
The study or art of cosmetics and their use.
[French cosmétologie : cosmétique, cosmetic; see cosmetic + -logie, -logy. . But she is majoring in performing arts because she loves to dance. "I think I'm too young to make a decision because I might change my mind later on," she says.
Students entering the ninth grade applied for majors last spring by submitting essays about why they wanted to specialize in a particular field. They are expected to stick with their major through four years unless they have a compelling reason to change.
Randy Sherry, a teacher at Morrow, sees majors as a way to emphasize real-life experiences. "It eliminates the phrase, 'I'm never going to need that when I grow up,'" says Sherry. "I don't just want to throw education at them. I want them to be here for something they like, and that's what the majors can do."
Winnie Hu is a reporter for The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times.
LESSON PLAN 2
Discuss a key argument made by proponents of high-school majors--that requiring majors wilt keep students motivated because they'll choose subjects that interest them. Do students agree with that premise?
* Note that in Englewood, N.J., students are expected to stick with their majors throughout high school, unless they have a compelling reason to change. Ask students to discuss whether or not this makes sense or is too strict.
* What should qualify as a "compelling" reason to change majors?
Do a quick survey, asking students what major they would choose if they were required to do so.
* Then assign students to write five-paragraph essays explaining how the major they chose might help them in college or in their careers.
What questions should students ask guidance counselors when they are trying to decide on a high school or a college major?
What are some of the factors that high-school students might consider when they are deciding on a major?
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a recent survey, the most popular college major is business administration and management. Rounding out the top five are psychology, elementary education elementary education
or primary education
Traditionally, the first stage of formal education, beginning at age 5–7 and ending at age 11–13. , biology, and nursing.
A list of FLorida high school majors. Click on "view" for the courses offered for each major.