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High School teacher talked my daughter out of the major she thinks she wanted.

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Replies to: High School teacher talked my daughter out of the major she thinks she wanted.

  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 4,531 Senior Member
    My guess is that if the comments were as off the wall as we're reading, then your daughter would have ignored them.

    I think the explanation probably got confused along the way somewhere. If they were strong enough to convince your daughter to change her major, they must have been arguments that actually make sense.
  • prof2dadprof2dad Registered User Posts: 694 Member
    Let us pretend the teacher is a female. Would things get better?

    Next, there is big push to have more female students study STEM, etc. But in order to make that happen, one would think these female students would come from those traditionally female-rich fields, such as psychology and education, right? If the push toward STEM is legit, how about the push away from psychology?

    I proposed questions and have no good answer. I do agree that if the teacher is a male, he can be a little bit more sophisticated in his articulation and reasoning. But my conjecture is that this teacher had good intention when he said all those things.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,535 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    There are more opportunities for bright, open minded, well educated psych majors than counseling. Or working with male clients. OP's daughter may have said counseling, but in hs, she's not expected to know where every avenue leads. There's corporate, marketing, program management, research, the non profit sector, and more. And the fact that not all jobs require specific book learning.

    Maybe @juillet will comment.
  • PetraMCPetraMC Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    If that's his POV, seems like he should be persuading young men to go in to the field, not talking young women out of it.

    Whatever she chooses, she's going to have to look for supportive mentors, and learn to tune certain things out. This is an opportunity for the latter.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,378 Senior Member

    "psych is not a good choice of major for most students in my opinion. Unless you really like working odd hour for very low pay or play to get a phd. It seems to me that too many students choose it casually."

    Replied to with: "There are jobs you can get with a psych major that aren't in the field of psychology directly.

    Not all people want to choose the major with the highest paycheck. Not all people view college as a vo-tech degree."

    What matters to me is that students make informed decisions, not that they need to choose the degree that leads to the highest paying job. In my experience, many students and families chose a psychology major without a clear understanding of where that path leads. My goal would be to make sure they have a clear understanding of the options that a psychology major provides. If that works for them, that is great.

  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,378 Senior Member
    @oldfort "An English teacher told D1 that she sees in the future for D1 to marry someone rich because the teacher thought she could see the future. D1 is getting married, and he is not rich. The teacher also told D1 she would be better off marrying well than pursue a major in math.
    There is no lack of stupid opinion out there."

    OMG. This would have put me through the ceiling. Still, it is so stupid, it is almost comical. Wow.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,859 Senior Member
    Much2learn wrote:
    What matters to me is that students make informed decisions, not that they need to choose the degree that leads to the highest paying job.

    To add another angle to this, students who choose a higher cost/debt college education may feel more financial pressure to chase the money career-wise (and possibly for undergraduate major, if the potential career directions are dependent on undergraduate major) even if their preferred career directions are less well paying, but sustainable after a lower cost/debt college education.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,463 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    Perhaps something got confused along the conversation as I doubt your daughter would have taken the argument seriously if it'd been as silly as presented here.
    (Although it seems girls have a tendency to pick lower-paying fields than boys, but it's another debate, and not just about majoring in psychology).
    An issue is that, indeed, many students take psychology as a default, some because they hope they'll understand themselves better. In this situation, perhaps taking a few Psychology classes would be sufficient.
    Some also double major in Psychology and Religion (or religious studies) in order to go to Divinity School and become ordained, which will put them in contact with mental health issues and counselling.
    There are lots of fields related to psychology (organizational psychology, psychology+CS, marketing) that have nothing with counselling, and many areas of counselling not to mention mental health (including clinical degrees, PHDs, fields in medicine and nursing). Exploring the jobs outside of "counselling" is worthwhile but if OP's daughter was discouraged so easily she wasn't really interested in Psychology. In any case, taking one or two Psychology classes doesn't mean she'll major in it and can bring insight to many, many professional fields.
  • mamalionmamalion Registered User Posts: 659 Member
    I guess I am in the minority, but I would have a discussion with the principal about the inappropriate, gender-based discouragement. I suspect this misogynist jerk has been discouraging girls for years. I would be furious if some HS teacher presumed to discourage one of my daughters from pursuing a career because of her sex.

    Just imagine him telling some Asian-Americans that there were too many Asians in science and that they should pursue the arts or . . .
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,420 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    @AbsDad

    This is a good opportunity to teach your kids the difference between opinions and hard facts.

    It's also a good time to teach them that at some point they will be making up their own minds about their future majors and careers.

    This was ONE person's opinion....the teacher!
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,690 Senior Member
    I hope he "didn't talk her out of it" but rather make her start studying the advantages/disadvantages that come with any career choice no matter what she ultimately decides on.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,690 Senior Member
    There are lots of considerations in majors-- where is the majority of the work located? Would you want to live there? What kind of lifestyle do you aspire to?
    If you dropped out of your profession to have kids could you get back in?
    What can you do with your major?
    Do you need higher degrees to get to your goal?
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited September 14
    An English teacher told D1 that she sees in the future for D1 to marry someone rich because the teacher thought she could see the future. D1 is getting married, and he is not rich. The teacher also told D1 she would be better off marrying well than pursue a major in math.
    There is no lack of stupid opinion out there.

    If two of my HS classmates and I had taken one jerky teacher's daily refrains about us "not being fit for college" in 9th grade, none of us would have attended....much less graduated from respectable or in their cases elite colleges(Reed, Columbia). And the Reed alum would have dropped out as he almost did instead of becoming a tenured track Prof at an elite university that he is currently.

    IME, best thing to do when a K-12 teacher offers up a negative opinion....especially if it's off-base is "smile and wave" while internally thinking "How did this moron end up as one of my/my kid's teachers?!!".
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