Hello, another sample essay for you today, this time on a well worn topic in education. You might have seen this or a variation of it before, it’s the one about should non-academic subjects be taught in schools. This version is a “To what extent” type of question, although you might have seen it as a “Discuss both views” or “Advs vs disadvs” version.
Anyway, I wrote this to illustrate a point to a student so as not to waste the effort I shall post it below for you to make use of also. This was a tricky subject as I couldn’t think of any compelling reasons for either side, this is sometimes the case, as you will find. you might get a topic about which you have no real opinion or knowledge, in which case you have to do the best you can with what you have got. That is, in your planning time, whatever you come up with, regardless of how bland or boring or unconvincing it might be, you have to run with it. I am referring to the two reasons you need to explain why you agree or disagree with the statement. However, as I have mentioned before the IELTS is not a truth test and we don’t have to be necessarily original and creative in our reasons and examples. As long as the criteria are met, then a boring unoriginal essay will get the job done.
As for the example below, I wrote it quickly before a lesson to show a structure, so it is not my best effort. However, I think I managed to salvage it with some reasonable examples, proof that you can in fact “polish a turd”.
With the pressure on young people today to succeed academically, some people believe that non-academic subjects such as physical education and cookery should be removed from the syllabus so that children can focus solely on academic subjects.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
It has been argued that non-academic lessons should be taken out from the school curriculum so that school children can focus purely on academic subjects. I disagree with this view and will argue that other subjects such as PE and cookery help to make children more rounded individuals, and secondly that as children are too young to know their future direction it makes sense to keep all their options open.
Firstly, we need to ask ourselves what is the purpose of education. That is to say, is it just to prepare children to fill various roles in society and to turn them into consumers and obedient wage slaves. If as some believe the purpose of education is to make children more rounded and open individuals then it would make sense to teach them skills other than academic ones such as PE and cookery so they can function better in later life. For example, the University of London conducted research in 2016 which showed that children who were taught a wide range of subjects at school described themselves as more content and able to “handle” lifes problems than those whose focus was purely academic.
Secondly, as children with their whole lives ahead of them does it make sense to define their future studies and life path at such a young age? I believe that children should be allowed to be children and to be taught a variety of subjects so that they may decide later where their interests lie. For example, research by the Dept of Employment in the UK in 2015 showed that 50% of employees expressed some regret over the subjects they took at school and their subsequent career path.
In conclusion, although a focus on pure academia may seem a good idea, I believe that exposure to a range of subjects allows children to be happier and have more life skills, and also may prevent them from taking an unsatisfying career path in the future.