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Benjamin Franklin Case

Essay by   •  February 8, 2013  •  Case Study  •  1,265 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,465 Views

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Education is traced back to the beginning of human existence and differing academic curriculums have been established over the chorus of our generations into what it is today. Education is most commonly defined by "a degree, level, or kind of schooling" and by "the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life" (Dictionary, n.d.). Ben Franklin described his idea of an education back in 1749 in the Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania. In Franklin's own interpreted ideas of an academy and education, there was tremendous importance stressed on morality and the significance of being a great moral individual. He expressed the need for an extensive variety of topics including Geography, Chronology, Religion, English Grammar, History, Arithmetic and Astronomy to name a few (Franklin, 1749). Franklin placed a strong focus on the perceptions of character in addition to the ultimate importance of interdisciplinary studies in what we refer to as "general" education. Today's academic system upholds a strong focus on a curriculum that values the significance of interdisciplinary studies and it is necessary that the structure remains the same with a stronger focus on personal gains and interests at the college level.

As a society, it is our responsibility "to give individuals access to lifelong learning in a changing world" (Pierce, 2004, p. 25). In order to achieve this, an educational curriculum must include in-depth teachings in generalized fields of study, with a concentration of specialized fields in the later years following high school. In the earlier years of grade school through high school, an individual should learn the essentials of their native language including the use of proper grammatical structures, correct spelling, a broad use of vocabulary, and the ability to write an educated and well written essay. Mathematics should include the fundamentals such as addition, subtraction, division and multiplication and follow beyond these basics to include algebra, accounting, statistics and calculus. A focus should be placed in American history as well as world history, truly analyzing and concluding our human presence on this planet, how we came about, learning the events that made our previous generations what they were, and gaining an understanding of what molded us into the people we are today. Our students should gain an understanding in the field of science and take classes in subfields such as biology and chemistry to gain insight on the compounds of created matter and of the remarkable things that surround our everyday lives. In addition, a curriculum should also include physical education and nutrition courses to teach the essentials of living a prolonged and healthy life. While these conveyed topics are very scattered on subject matter, a curriculum through high school should place significance on all areas of focus as this will allow for a civilized and well-rounded individual to progress and grow on a foundation of wide-ranged knowledge.

Upon graduating high school, I believe that a curriculum should only focus on the topics that are of interest within ones preferred passions and selected career. As Alfred Whitehead explained, "the way in which a university should function in the preparation for an intellectual career, such as modern business or one of the older professions, is by promoting the imaginative consideration of the various general principles underlying that career" (Whitehead, 2004, p. 39). A doctor should not have to place further focus on world history and geography as this takes time away from the topics that will promote further gain and experience, in areas such as medicine and science. A lawyer should not be forced to go on and learn about the fundamentals of an accounting course, however should place focus elsewhere pertaining to their specific areas of study; criminal justice, narcotics, alcoholism, child abuse, communications, etc. The emphasis on general education courses beyond high school should be re-evaluated by our school boards and academic advisors. Students already spend a majority of their lives learning and retaining information from such courses beginning in

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