Race to Nowhere E.C. blog
The movie, Race to Nowhere, shows the pressure and stress children and teens go through in school these days. Teachers are given too much homework and too many tests, and kids are literally losing sleep over it. The combination of school, sports, homework, chores, and work already takes up the majority of the week, leaving little to no time for family, friends, relaxing, and most importantly, sleep.
The movie told the story of one tragic suicide of a 13 year old stressed out girl, a situation that has happened far more than once due to school. Not only students, but teachers are unhappy with the way schools are run. One teacher shared her thoughts on how she feels that its hard for her to teach the things she thinks really matter and will help the students when the government is telling her students need to be taught.
The result? Kids are going crazy trying to learn all this information, and usually are just cramming it all in barely remembering any of it. Every student I spoke with that watched the film agreed with it. There is also another side viewers (mainly parents) took, saying that school should be difficult and failure is a part of life.
A story on endtherace.org describes Harvard or Walmart syndrome, where students and parents believe that success is defined as getting into Harvard, and if you don’t, you’ll have no other option but to work at Walmart for the rest of your life.
The movie brought up a few different questions that it seems everyone has different answers to:
1. Where does this pressure come from: parents, teachers, the government, the universities or the students themselves? Combination?
2. Are the tests and amount of homework given to students fair, or is it an overload?
3. Are standardized tests a good way to test students?
4. Sure, people are bringing up all these problems and saying everything that’s wrong and right, but what do the students think about their education? We’re already learning more than generations before us did (there’s more history, new scientific advances, new technology), but what should we be learning and how much work should we be doing?
5. So the real question: If you could design your own, realistic high school experience, what would one typical week look like? How much homework is fair, how hard should the tests be, how much information would you be responsible for knowing, and what classes would be required to take?
Please answer at least 3 questions.
Thanks to Lizzie D. for writing this blog.