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Should we force kids to learn material they don't show interest in?

As a college graduate I was thinking about how much material I have studied in all of my educational career and then promptly forgotten after the test. Is it a waste of time to try and learn something you are not interested in? To what extent should we allow educational autonomy?

There are a lot of different ways to be intelligent. Memorization and regurgitation are just one small facet.

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    Feb 6 2013: I think it is the fear of not giving sufficient information in school what makes the curricula so packed with unnecessary topics.

    It is a good idea to introduce students into different majors, but that doesn't mean they have to be expert in everything to choose what they want to do for their careers!

    Memorizing and taking tests is just the worst model for education. Who started this way of teaching? It distracts us from the true purpose of school and turns knowledge into numbers and ratings. We need a system that gives the student a better reason to study other than just a grade.

    We need a system that brings us back to the meaning of education.

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