The course with no meaning


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Stressing about homework

Academic Seminar is an impractical subperiod sandwiched in between each and every student’ 1st and 2nd Period. It’s intended purpose is to “address work avoidance behaviors for middle and high school students at risk of poor school outcomes” (From PBIS). But does that definition actually apply to what Wilsonville High School students know as Academic Seminar? 

First of all, most students are fortunate enough to not deal with this problem. And most importantly, there is no addressing of any sort going on. Teachers are lucky if they so much as attain the class classroom’s attention. Here’s what Cooper McQueen, a sophomore at WHS, had to say about the class’ methods. 

“It is a waste of time and it doesn’t benefit us in school.” The basic reason for why students go to school is to learn. If there are classes where students feel they are not acquiring an understanding in a particular subject inside or outside that specific class, then there is no point in students even being enrolled in this class.”

One idea this course tries to accomplish to setting its students on their path to success. “I think it’s a good place where we can target specific things to specific things to specific grade levels. So for example, if you’re a senior then we can make sure we’re helping you take the steps [needed] so that you’re going to graduate. On the flip side, if you’re a freshman and you’re entering high school then we can help target the lessons in Academic Seminar. So that it helps you transition into high school and be able to find the support that you need and maybe develop some skills that will be helpful for you as you start you’re new freshman class,” stated Mr. Deeder, Academic Success Coordinator for Wilsonville High School. But there are so many paths that it can’t be taught once in a year. So, how far does that specificity go to help everywhere? This matter should be dealt with in each particular class that you plan for and even have a separate course all together. If some students don’t have a set idea or an idea at all for some courses, that can be dealt with much more easily than in just one 45 minute period. 

Overall, a course that doesn’t assist or enhance an individual’s learning is a course that shouldn’t be taught at all. Academic Seminar is the course with no meaning.


Swain-Bradway, Jessica and Pinkney, Christopher J. “Academic Seminar, the High School Behavior Education Program, 2nd Edition.” PBIS [Eugene], p. 4. PBIS (Swain-Bradway and Pinkney, 4).