The Issues With School
Dear future president,
In the United States, it is a privilege to be able to receive free education. However, the tedious routine it possesses defeats it's purpose of enlightening students. Instead, students say the phrase, "I hate school" daily. It is a common statement expressing irritation, but through different studies conducted, it could be going farther than just being a nuisance. Three detrimental issues in high school include the amount of homework and loss of sleep, the stress, and the material being taught is considered futile or boring.
To begin, the quantity of homework is excessive and there is too much sleep deprivation. Caroline Bermudez argues differently by believing that we don't have too much homework. "Too much homework seems like a luxury problem of the sliver of the population whose schools actually expect a lot from their students. If more schools actually pushed kids, we’d see the progress we’ve all been clamoring for"(Bermudez). The problem with this statement is that kids are already being pushed, but not in the correct direction. High school students are known for complaining about homework, but the amount of it is no longer reasonable. An article written by Valerie Strauss called, "Homework Hurts High-Achieving Students, Study Says" discusses the immoderate amount of homework students are given. "Less than 1 percent said homework was not a stressor, and 56 indicated that homework is a primary cause of stress" (Strauss). Many people agree that there is too much time used for homework. The article written by Allie Bidwell states: "The survey of 1,000 K-12 teachers found, among other things, that high school teachers on average assign about 3.5 hours of homework each week. For high school students who typically have five classes with different teachers, that could mean as much as 17.5 hours each week"(Bidwell). Along with the immense amount of homework, students are still expected to eat dinner, exercise, and have enough sleep. Free time is also recommended although with those numbers, impossible. Sleep however, is always something students are deprived of. A study done by Cari Gillen O'Neel and others show the negatives of not receiving enough sleep. "Results suggest that regardless of how much a student generally studies each day, if that student sacrifices sleep time to study more than usual, he or she will have more trouble understanding material taught in class and be more likely to struggle on an assignment or test the following day"(O'Neel). Immoderate amounts of assignments cause students to stay up regularly resulting in lack of sleep. A multitude of problems occur the next day including not being able to focus. Shortage of concentration means doing worse in classes and having grades plummet. Speaking from personal experience, this is a never ending cycle for most students. I am someone who is concerned about maintaining brilliant grades and it is burdensome to continue to be sleep deprived. I believe there should be regulation for the amount of homework students are assigned. A time limit could be set for each class so that the time taken to finish homework is not excessive and students still have time to do things unrelated to school.
Secondly, both the amounts of homework and exhaustion causes too much stress in students. I, along others, always seem to be stressed out about different assignments and I feel like there is no break. Author Eva Lesko Natiello discusses the effect of stress: "Becoming sick from stress diminishes well-being and the productivity of brain cells - since it becomes nearly impossible to think and reason effectively when you are under great stress. Additionally, experiencing habitual anxiety will not guarantee you a spot in a prestigious college… No, sadly all it guarantees are future stomache aches and more stress" (Natiello). Students undergo stress constantly, but the effects of it are serious.
Mayoclinic.org reports the outcomes of stress, "Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes"(Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior). Along with these, Mayo Clinic listed physical consequences of stress like pain in certain parts of the body including in the stomach, fatigue, and problems with sleep. For the impacts on mood they said it results in: "Anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation or focus, feeling overwhelmed, irritability or anger, sadness or depression" (Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior). Lastly, the mentioned that stress influences people to take wrong actions like overuse of drugs and excessive drinking. Unfortunately, stress is experienced often in high school as students fuss about all of the items on their agenda. It is very damaging yet persistent in our lives. Much of this comes from the vast amounts of homework and loss of sleep like discussed earlier. I always feel insecure about my work load, unsure if I will be able to complete it and still get an excellent grade. I always worry about the sleep I lost and if I will ever be able to stay awake in school. Many of us cannot live our lives without stressing over assignments. Stress is never absent in our lives. I
Third of all, homework, loss of sleep, and stress make school intensely uninteresting. Just like many students, I have said "I hate school." This sentence has been said many times before by many people, but the main cause is that school is too boring. Although it does not sound like much of an issue, it actually affects students' learning. An article from Geniconsulting.org discusses how students view their work in school. "Students often perceive the process as artificial, arbitrary, and largely meaningless. They feel the content they are covering has little relevance to their lives. For them, doing school is going through the motions of learning in order to satisfy the requirements of teachers" (Why Students Don't Learn: the Nature of Doing School.) If students are not enjoying school they are not going to remember anything. Although we are taught to just toil away and complete homework, it makes it seem even more useless. Tedious tasks make it harder for us to concentrate and usually end up memorizing with absorbing any information. I believe that many students would do better in school if it was more engaging. Without any interest, many students don't try their best and their grades are affected by this. Lacking enjoyment leads to a drought of motivation. Without motivation, students are tempted to disregard education. Also, stuffing information in one's head is not the same as gaining knowledge.
In summary, the defects of school are numerous, but some of the most important ones include outrageous amounts of homework and deduction of sleep, unhealthy amounts of stress, dissatisfaction and lack of motivation. All of these topics relate to each other as they result in each other. Everything around us in our society is evolving, so why doesn't that happen with where we receive our education? It's time to make school more tolerable so that more students succeed.