What is the Importance of English Education?

5ws-300x199By Aubrey Murtha — It does not take a scientist to know that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses are an absolutely integral part of the American system of education.

In order to remain fiercely competitive in today’s global economy, it is only natural that the American federal government encourages states to expand their STEM programs and clubs.

But what about English education?
As a future high school English teacher, I feel a bit snubbed by modern America’s lack of emphasis on the importance of scholarly writing.  Literacy has always been a hot button issue among educators in America’s public school system, and it seems as though even that has fallen by the wayside as of late.

Along with art education, English classes do not get enough credit for the skills that they instill in our youth.  I know I am biased in saying this, but I think that without the ability to convey one’s thoughts in an intelligent and concise manner, many children and young adults lack the professional skills that will enable them to integrate nicely into the American work force or perhaps appear more qualified than their peers for a particular position.

I’m not saying that everyone should be well versed in Shakespearean sonnets or that all working professionals must be able to analyze the various symbolic facets of the American classics, but I do think that we should be able to as least compose a well-worded e-mail or a grammatically correct cover letter.

Maybe we English educators should look at expanding our curriculum to include these basic skills.  Not only should our students read and understand challenging pieces of literature and write critical analyses, but they should also be able to efficiently communicate with skills that we readily prepare them to use in the work force.  Maybe then the American public would have a greater appreciation for the value of English education.

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