Throughout this term, our students have been asked to select their subjects for 2022. For the middle school, this means choosing three electives that will help prepare them for their senior studies. Our Year 10s have now completed our most comprehensive subject-selection process, including individual planning interviews, leading them to the course of study they will undertake in their senior years.
Whilst for many students the process of selecting subjects can be straightforward, for others it requires a great deal of time, thought and sometimes angst. We recommend students always select subjects they enjoy and are interested in but there can also be other factors to consider, including whether the learning is sequential and therefore necessary for future study as well as whether the subject is required for senior pathways and university entrance.
As parents, there are some other factors that can be worth reflecting on when it comes to guiding daughters with subject choices. One significant factor is confidence. A study done at Cornell University found that women underestimate both their abilities and performance and this can be evident when selecting subjects.
Nicole Stott, a former NASA astronaut, wrote to students providing advice when choosing subjects, including the following three points:
Have self-confidence: It’s amazing how we can take ourselves out of the running from something by just doubting ourselves. I always thought that being an “astronaut” was really cool, but it always seemed like a job that only other special people got to do, and it took me a long time before I considered applying. I always also second-guessed that I wasn’t good enough to be an astronaut – “why would they pick me?” I thought.
Go with your gut and choose the subjects that truly inspire you: Doing what you truly love is a certain way to achieve your best!
You will learn things you never thought possible when you give yourself permission to shine.
The whole letter is available at https://www.agsa.org.au/news/inspiring-our-youth-to-achieve-great-things-letter-from-a-female-astronaut/
When it comes to choosing studies, it is important to be realistic and consider teacher feedback and reflect realistically on your skills, aptitudes and knowledge. However, it is also important to reflect on your academic achievements to date with confidence, which arguably is as valuable as competence. Confidence breeds commitment and enthusiasm, it leads to action, risk-taking, resilience and self-belief. These qualities, together with determination, hard work and self-belief, lead to success in studies.
Students who need assistance with subject selections are welcome to discuss them with me.
Dr John Fry
Deputy Principal - Studies