In the United States education system there are four core subjects: Math, Science, History and English. There is at least one class dedicated to each subject every school year starting in first grade. However, is this necessary? Could a student interested in physics forego history and english? Would it be more beneficial for this student to use the time spent on history and english on more physics and math? With more time dedicated to the subjects closer to physics, the student could learn about the subject they are interested in with more depth and become an expert sooner, allowing them to contribute more.
However, when would students know that their “calling” is in physics? What if, after 4 years dedicated to physics starting from the age of 7, the student changed his mind? At this point the student would have very little knowledge and skills to apply to other fields of study. The student would have to start over. Not to mention, the student would miss out on learning some key things for other subjects when they are younger, which is a vital period for learning. With a variety of classes, students might have an easier time choosing what they think they would like to focus on because they will have the basics for several subjects.
What about supplementing classes? There is an overwhelming amount of evidence suggesting that music and math are closely tied. Students who pair music with their academic studies tend to perform better in math. If a physics focused student ignores music, could this actually hinder the students ability to improve in performance? Could it be that other subjects enhance a student’s ability to learn physics, too?
Which is better: focusing or broadening? What is the proper balance?
Our current model is: broad learning from K-12 and then focused learning after that. Does broad learning last too long, just right or not long enough?