Here are some more thoughts on our inquiry.
Reasons for compulsory subjects
Compulsory subjects exist because the learning areas in which they belong are regarded as fundamental to building the key competencies of students. Some reasons for making some secondary school subjects compulsory include:
The perception that many students do not always know what might be best for their future learning or employment. This is highlighted by the shortage of skilled professionals in certain employment areas, and the comparative over supply in others. A high level of knowledge in these learning areas is essential to developing a career in some professions. It is important that a “foundational” knowledge is developed at secondary school.
Reasons for freedom of subject choice
Subject choice in schools is consistent with the principle of “self-directed learning”, in which students decide what learning areas they have an interest in and would like to develop further skills and knowledge.
Greater freedom in subject choice in linked with greater student satisfaction, and higher performance at secondary school.
Somethings that need to be considered:
What key competencies and knowledge will students require to be successful in the modern workforce?
What key competencies and knowledge will students require to ensure they will be able to make decisions about complex social, economic and technological issues?
How important are subjects such as science, maths, digital technologies in modern society?
Should more subjects be compulsory? If so, which ones?
Should students have more choice about the subjects that they take currently? If so, which subjects shouldn’t be compulsory?