This question is adapted from one suggested by Joyce, Amy, Garfield and Jenus (2E). In our secondary school, the courses for junior form students are fixed, though in Form 3, they can choose to take design and technology (D & T) or home economics (HE). In Form 4 (Grade 1o), students enter one of four streams. If they perform well in Form 3, they can get their first choice of stream, but do not have freedom to choose courses within the stream. Should students be allowed more freedom in choosing their own courses? If so, how much freedom should they be given? What courses should be mandatory (i.e., every students must take the course)? How will students know which courses to choose?
Also, I find that junior form students here study a LOT of subjects (15 to 17 subjects). Looking back at my education in Canada, I can’t remember ever studying more than nine subjects at one time. Is it really necessary to study so many subjects at once? Are there any subjects that can be combined (e.g., Chinese and Putonghua), alternated (e.g., geography in Form 1, history in Form 2) or offered as electives (e.g., choose Art or D & T)?
A related question from the same group (I think) is: Should students have more freedom to choose their teachers? What are your views?