This subject has been referred to in passing on these boards but I would like to address it directly. I can only refer to the Canadian and American education systems but perhaps some of our members could provide input from other educationsl systems.
Does our currents syeem of education K-12 in most localities, JK-13 in Ontario, followed by another four years or more of college lead to overload?
I've noticed concerns expressed on these boards and from my younger friends that they really have motivational problems regarding learning by the time they are in their 1st year of college. At that point, they have experience between 13 and 15 years continuous learning in the school systems. Some feel mentally exhausted.
Both my son, and a woman I knew 20 years ago took a year off after graduating from high school before enrolling at a university. Both worked during that year off from education and both seemed to benefit from not being under academic pressure for a year. The young lady became a lawyer and my son is a University Scholar.
What do you think? Is 17-19 years of continuous education a good idea? Or should that time be somehow broken up to give the mind and body a chance to regroup?
(Group mods, please feel free to move this if you feel it more properly belongs on another ST board.)
------------------ "A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular."
- Adlai Stevenson
[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 04-05-2001).]
Camille Paglia's most recent article at salon.com addresses this very topic. The article is excellent, so be sure to drop by for a look see...
Instead of taking time off, I think the manner in which we educate our youth needs to be revamped. to quote Ms Paglia, she state that "While our education system has only been around for 200 years, we treat it as if it was deliverd from on high." Not to mention we take children and stick them in a room to "learn" all day. what about hands on learning? Investigation is the key to learning to think. We also need:
Less homework, to allow for more balance in time with friends and family, and time to pursue hobbies. All kids need additional physical activity, especially when they've been chained to a desk for almost 8 hours.
More "interactive" programs, which allow for much more time spent outside the classroom, especially in nature.
More focus on the "valor" of blue-collar career work. Somehow, manual labor has become synonomous with stupidity or lack of education - like it is a "waste." if you work with your hands. i'll tell you, I have a very demanding industrial sales job, and while I enjoy it, there are some days i'd do anything to be a cook in a little diner, or a carpenter. It would allow me to have an equally tired body and mind, as well as a feeling of palpable accomplishment, instead of a restless mind and a body that is jittery because i've say at a desk all day with the phone stuck in my ear.
Truthfully? I do feel that it is an overload. I can barely handle highschool right now, especially since I'm overworking myself so that I can remain in the NHS (national honors society) and since the school board has decided that it would be a good idea to cut down on our summer vacation time. Having depression and anxiety disorder kinda contributes to the crappiness of everyday schooling tasks. When I get home I am exhausted, often taking naps. I cherish the weekends. Plus, after I graduate I am looking to another 6-10 years of college for the job I want to be. I find it all quite confusing and exhausting to even think about. Maybe I'll take a year off afer I graduate, but then I'll probably get to be too lazy.
To be honest, if my last few years in high school hadn't been a school wehere I did get some very varied education, tailored really perfectly to my skills and interests, and with WAY more autonomy than most schools give young folks, I likely would have needed more than a year off.
I'm with Lisa -- anyone who sat in a desk in a neat little row for fifteen years would be burnt out (if not wind up with bedsores!). Of course, I may be a bit biased here, having taught in Montessori and other alternative schools, but frankly, anymore, general systems of schooling begin to look eerily like training to sit in a cubicle at a corporation for the rest of one's life. And perhaps that's whay a lot of people don't complain about it -- it may suit their purposes when it comes to indoctrinating people to thatt system.
But applied, active and more self-directed education is usually a better model for MOST learners to really learn in, and I can say as much not only having been a teacher, but having been a student.
(And I would actually suggest a year between high school and college to people as something to consider -- during my own, I did some seriously exhausting political activism and it not only was great work that also enabled me to save some money for college, but it gave me the head space to evaluate my plans for my life.)
I'm so sick of school, and I still have a little over two years left of high school, not counting college here.
My school is very competitive. Our district has a reputation for having very high standards. Problem is, the pressure they put on us is overwhelming. I get at least 3 hours of homework a night. And I'm not in all honors. This also doesn't count studying for a test the next day or working on a special project.
When I finish my homework, I sometimes find myself collapsing on my bed out of exhaustion from the day. I think a girl should have some social life during the week!
School also starts at about 7:10 in the morning. The younger kids start at about 9 something. Now, when I was younger, I would wake up at 6:00 am by myself and watch cartoons and play for hours before going to school. Teenagers naturally stay up later and sleep later than adults and children. So does it make sense to have us get to school so early? I don't know about anyone else, but I just don't function in at least my first 2 or 3 periods of the day, and I get at least 8 hours of sleep every night!
One last complaint about my school and I'll stop whining, lol. In my school, it seems that they care about the honors kids, and the failing kids. They don't pay any attention to those kids who get 80-85 grades. It just doesn't matter to them. I find that kind of odd...maybe thats just me...
argh. It gets to the point where I dread going to school. The highlight of my day is those precious 5 minutes between classes when I see my boyfriend and friends. How sad...
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Posts: 70 | From: a boring life in a boring town with the same old crowd | Registered: Aug 2000
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I walked through high school, academically speaking. My main problems had to do with social issues rather than difficulty or workload.
The first 7 years are geared principally towards social development, in my opinion - primary school is not exactly highly intensive.
High school, in Australia at least, is relatively laid-back until the final two years. They are essentially a build-up, to prepare students for years 11-12. (According to the two schools I went to, anyway!)
For me, year 11 and 12 were essentially very simple. For all the moaning that went on about the horrors of those two years, I saw none of it. It was a question of organising yourself, rather than staying up til 4am finishing a report.
I think the key part of avoiding overload is to relax. Constantly being stressed over your results is counter-productive.
I have experienced overload. It came after months of 18 hour days - finishing 20 page engineering reports in 36 hours, and never-ending piles of assignments - not as a result of umpteen years at school. It was a question of too much, rather than too long.
I completely agree with ThisGuy...I basically walked through high school too, so college was this huge shock. I actually have to study...who'd have expected that? Engineering school really is hard though...take normal college, multiply it by at least two and then cram it all into 4 years. It really is too much information in too short of a time period.
------------------ "Am I nervous? Am I scared? Is it worth it? Should I even care? ...Man I like this guy, I really like him alot!" ~Pam Tillis, 'Please'
I went from Secondary school into a polytechnic which is a more hands-on and skills based education programme instead of a Junior College which essentially is another 2 years of sitting down and doing nothing but study.
Here, I am doing a Diploma in Mass Communications. I get to produce radio programme, newspapers, television shows and come up with actual advertising and PR campaigns. It's fun and exams are far and few in between.
If I had gone to a Junior College and then straight to Uni I believe I would have gotten burnt out but by spending another year in a Polytechnic I feel much more refreshed actually. And I am looking forward to Uni.
As I love to mention, I left school when I was 10 and I think it was the best decision that I ever made. I see so many problems with the 'schooling system' I don't even know where to begin... although I certainly don't think too many years of "continuous learning" is one of them. If kids had more time to learn, they wouldn't forget how much fun it is! School takes that time away from them.
Lack of stimulation. Removal from real-world experience. Age segregation. Inability to tend to individual needs. Inflexibility. Emphasis on passive absorption, grades, 'right answers.' And so on. And so on. Go to http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Gatto.html and pick something and read it, and I can pretty much guarantee you that I agree with it 110%. If any of you are in school and want out, see if your local library has a copy of "The Teenage Liberation Handbook," by Grace Llewellyn.
As for me personally... I would have done all right in school (but nothing compared to where I am today), but you know who wouldn't have? My little brother. He didn't learn to read until he was eight, and I sure don't think they'd put up with that in school. Doesn't fit into their schedule. He'd probably have been labeled LD (probably ADD too) andor learned to hate reading. As it is, he's learning all kinds of stuff (Latin, Biologoy, Programming...), he's a great tennis player, and he's hoping to go into aerospace engineering. And social skills? Well, when he went to a highschool dance with a girl he likes, they were the first ones on the dancefloor. I believe his peers' commentary was like this: "You got balls, man!"
(And me? Not to toot my own horn, but I'm doing awfully well myself, too. National merit scholar. Student at an awesome selective college studying under two professors in my chosen field. Knowledgable, talented, all around perfect (*toot, toot*)... err, anyway...)
So yeah. Take a year off. Take two off. Take the rest of your life off. Or not, if that's not what you need, but please realize that it's a choice.
well, by the time i was in high school, i came to realize that my academic career would stretch well into my 30s. So the faster i got everything done, the sooner i could have a "life" so to speak.
my freshman year of college, i started getting grey hairs (among other things) from all the stress i was under. i learned to back off a little.
then last week, a friend of mine and i were discussing taking extra semesters and graduating early. he made the astute observation that graduating early only means having to deal with the "real world" that much sooner. so i figured what's my rush?
but for me, a hiatus was not an option because i need to keep chugging along. i'm one of those who if stopped, stay stopped. if i'm still moving, i keep moving.
i am Newton's First Law embodied
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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000
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I totally feel overloaded, specially right now, on these last weeks of my 2nd session in college (1st year).
Me and 3 friends are going down so fast right now and we almost lost the motivation.
Two of them will probably fail, the 3rd on is talking about taking a year off, and me... I'll go on.
Why ? Because being in the computer science program, if we graduate from college in 3 years without failing any class, we get 3000$ as prize for our effort. Still, it's not my only motivation but it's the main one I have.
But the overload isn't just because of all day at school, it's also because of the homework that we have to do. I haven't stopped doing projets all week long. For my 2 computer classes, in french, in english and even in maths. Just philosophy where I don't have to do anything(for the moment).
Still, I know it's bad but I'm skipping some classes to get some time off or if I go sometimes I don't listen because of being tired.
Guess my 3 months summer vacation is grandly needed.
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