One of the current issues in the educational world today has to deal with elective education courses. Especially in the state of Michigan, education is going through many changes in its curriculum requirements. This come be bad news for those currently in the elective fields as well as those pursuing a degree with elective subject matter.
One of the most over looked electives are those of the music department. When Michigans Department of Education creative the new curriculum requirements they did not take music students into consideration.
This new curriculum is expected to prepare students for college by challenging them to the limit. Michigan Merit Curriculum is set to be one of the most rigorous and prestigious in the United States. With extended math, science, language arts, and social studies requirements, students will be well versed in the core subjects. This could potential prepare students more efficiently for general education courses, but not all major specifics. This new curriculum was signed in 2006 by Governor Jennifer Granholm, and was put in place for students entering the eighth grade in 2006 as well. Although all of the knowledge a student will gain through completing this program with be beneficial, they will also miss out on valuable opportunities to learn and experience other types of courses relevant to the real world. This includes business, music, theater, nutrition and lifestyle courses.
All of Michigan’s high school students are required to complete four full years of Language Arts and mathematics, three years of Science and Social studies, and a credit a piece to both health and the Arts. Also for the students entering the 3rd grade in 2006 will also have to complete 2 years of a foreign language. This requires 18 credits preset and leaves only 6 for electives students can chose.
This will most definitely affect students, starting at an even younger age. Most students are already taking foreign language as early as elementary school, and the standards are continuing to rise. The level of expectation it set very high at the beginning of every students education. This could potentially add a great deal of stress for students because they have almost no room to make any type of mistake. With the old curriculum, a student would have the chance to repeat a failed course in plenty of time to still graduate on if an opportunity of that sort should occur. The new curriculum makes it near impossible for students to have any room to make even a small mistake. Not every student will necessarily excel in either math or another core subject, but may in music or business. By having such a defined set of requirements, it also will limit the variety of classes available to students. They will not have to independent decision making power because every thing will be basically laid out for them and there peers will also be taking most all the exact same classes.
If a student is very interested in music they will be limited to only 6 credits in that field. The students participating in marching band for 4 years will then also lose 4 additional elective credits they could be using for art, nutrition or business classes. Also, it would be beneficial for a student interested in business to take several of those courses in high school to prepare for college courses more specific to a potential major. The business is always continuing to grow and even with the poor economy in the United States there are always jobs in the business world internationally. Nutrition classes could also help prepare students to lead a healthier and happy lifestyle.
An example of elective scheduling conflicts could be a student interested in international business would not be able to take 4 years of business and take foreign language and a music class. Students are not able to be interested in more than one elective if they are interested in persuing it longer that one credit.
This also affects the teachers in the elective subjects such as business, art, music, theater, and nutrition. The new Michigan Merit Requirements are calling for more core subject teachers and are eliminating jobs in the elective subjects. Aspiring business and music teachers are having continuous trouble finding job opportunities. Many schools are also having to cut music, business and nutrition program teachers to make room for more core subject teachers. Several teachers are losing there jobs because of the new curriculum.
What the government doesn’t address is how important electives are to students.For example:Business is a very broad profession and there are endless job opportunities available for students. Also, by having introductory classes as well as some specific content classes future business students would have better preparation for college courses in that department.Music is an area that many students are passionate about whether it be choir, band or dance. To some students music is a way of life and many have significant talent, enough for a possible career in music. By having new requirements in core subjects, it gives less time for music students to concentrate in their musical fields.Health and Nutrition classes could also help students learn to and maintain healthy lifestyles while dealing with there more intense academic curriculum.
As of right now, the government feels that 6 extra credits is plenty for students to experience elective. Teachers and students in those areas most defiantly do not. Teachers are forced to step up and fight to keep there job. No matter how much effort they put in, because of the new standards there is still a high chance of programs being cut all over Michigan. In the future, teachers hope to express the importance of these elective course in the high school curriculum.
The new curriculum standards here in Michigan not only affect the students ability to choice elective courses but also affects going into the subject and those already in it. This presentation was made to create awareness to how important elective courses are to students along with the core curriculum. Students need to get a wide variety in other subject areas beyond core classes to be able to fully prepare themselves for first colleges courses and then the working world.
Importance of Electives
Current Issue in education <br />By: Raychel Payne<br />
Are Elective Teachers in Trouble with new Michigan Merit Requirements?<br />
A number of high school elective courses are being cut because of the new curriculum requirements. Many instrumental music programs are affected by these changes.<br />
Why New Michigan Merit Curriculum?<br />Preparing students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.<br />Rigorous requirements among the best in the nation.<br />Students will be well prepared for college and future jobs. <br />Graduation rate projected for 85%.<br />Government Support.<br />
New Michigan Merit Requirements<br />4 Credits For Language Arts<br />4 Credits For Mathematics<br />3 Credits For Science<br />3 Credits For Social Studies<br />2 Credits For Foreign Language<br />1 Credit For Health<br />1 Credit For The Arts<br />TOTAL: 18 Credits<br />
How Does This Affect Students?<br />Cover more difficult topics at a younger age.<br />More pressure to do well in classes.<br />Smaller number of class choices.<br />Less variety in courses.<br />
How Does This Affect Students? (con.)<br />Less opportunities for students interested in:<br />Music <br />Health Nutrition<br />Business<br />Life Skills and Development<br />
Classes in the Elective category are just as important as Core Subject Curriculum classes in preparing students for the future.<br />
How Does This Affect Teachers?<br />Limited job opportunities for future elective course teachers.<br />Potential threat to existing elective teaching positions.<br />Potential loss of current teachers jobs.<br />
Importance of Electives<br />Business<br />Many Jobs.<br />Prepare for college.<br />Music<br />Students are passionate about it.<br />Large part of our culture.<br />Health and Nutrition<br />Good knowledge to promote healthy lifestyles.<br />Life Skills<br />Prepare students for real life experiences.<br />
What is being done to help?<br />Government sees no problems with requirements.<br />Many elective teachers stepping up.<br />Promote awareness of the importance of elective classes.<br />Present<br />Future…<br />
Overview<br />New Merit Requirements: <br />About them.<br />Affects on teachers and students.<br />Importance of Electives.<br />
References (con.)<br />Information<br />Bibliography<br />Michigan Department of Education. (2009, September 2). Department of Education. Retrieved October 2009, from Michigan Department of Education: www.michigan.gov/mde<br />Michigan State Board of Education. (2009). Grade Level Content Expectations. Retrieved October 2009, from Michigan Department of Education: www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Item_B_213997_7.pdf<br />Vanessa Keesler, A. W. (2008). Calculating the Ability Within-School Teacher Supply to meet Demands of New Requirements: The Example of the Michigan Merit Curriculum. ERIC , All pages.<br /> <br /> <br />