Have you ever wondered what exactly the Critical Race Theory is? What is the complex field of study referred to as “sociology”? Oftentimes, high school students will have a hard time answering these questions. The core subjects at school, English, math, science, and history, do little to teach young students about our current society and ways to examine pressing societal issues. While some schools offer elective courses such as sociology and psychology, many high schools ultimately lack the course offerings for students to gain an opportunity to explore these areas in the humanities. However, it may be that sociology is one of the most needed courses for high school students today.
Sociology is generally known as the study of society. But what exactly does this mean? Sociologists examine the everyday interactions between people. Founded by Comte in the 1800s, sociology continuously expands, having nearly 40,000 graduates majoring in the field. “Taking a course on sociology has taught me a lot about our world today,” says Hannah Yang, a student from Orange County, California. “I know so much more about the various injustices in our world, and the inequalities we face in our everyday lives.” “And most important”, Hannah continued, “is the fact that a label could be put on for all these daily phenomena we witness around us.” As Hannah mentions, taking these courses can help us identify and work to solve societal issues, which may go wholly unnoticed if you never learn the proper terminology and history behind the situation.
Some students also suggest that schools should try to incorporate sociology classes within a standard high school curriculum. “It would be immensely helpful if students grew up learning about these issues so we can recognize and deal with these things around us,” says Joshua Kim, a high school student in Los Angeles. “I’ve definitely grown immensely as a student and as a member of my community since taking my introductory course in sociology,” recounts Joshua.
Although sociology is not typically a course offered in public high schools, students can look into taking dual-enrollment classes at a local community college. “The process to register and enroll in classes at SMC was easy and intuitive,” notes Hannah Yang. “It’s worth the extra step to go through the process with your high school guidance counselor.” Not only does taking sociology as a dual enrollment class help broaden your perspective and comprehension skills, it also helps to boost your GPA and earn high school credit as well.
Suhh Yeon Kim, 11th grade
Beverly Hills High School