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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 9 2013: Hi Brian,
    first of all , I'd like to thank u for this important topic that you have shared with us and then I think that memorization is not considered as a kind of intelligence or a special skill because everyone could do it.concerning your question I believe that kids need to learn everything starting by biology till mathematics because in that period of time their mind is not already ready to determinate what should or shouldn't learn and it's likely to get and memorize information easier,of course I'm talking about the elementary school period.once the pupil reach the high school I think he's going to be able to chose what way is the most suitable for him ,in this level the student can chose a particular course and focus on it a 100% without caring about other materials .

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