Call me cynical, but I don’t think they needed such a large, and surely expensive, survey to find out this:
School can be a real yawn. Two out of three high-school students in a large survey say they are bored in class every single day.
Perhaps if some of the findings were new or enlightening. The article calls them disturbing, but I can tell you from my own school experience that these findings were old news when I was in high school 20 years ago:
- 73 percent said, “I didn’t like the school.”
- 61 percent said, “I didn’t like the teachers.”
- 60 percent said, “I didn’t see the value in the work I was being asked to do.”
- About 25 percent said, “No adults in the school cared about me.”
I took many courses in college dealing with the educational system, since I was considering becoming an educator myself. These statistics are nothing new. Indeed, what we tend to remember from school–other than typical teenage strife–is those few teachers who did have a profound effect on us at the time. And those of us who were lucky had more than one teacher who made us want to learn. They were few and far between then, and it seems they still are today. What I find truly disturbing is that nothing has been done about the problems that successfully addresses them.
I must stress that I’m not placing blame upon the teachers themselves per se. In fact, teachers today have less resources, more students, and far more requirements forced upon them that they simply don’t have the time to deal with. In some cases they lack training, whether it’s in new educational techniques, dealing with special needs children, or training to meet specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Less students are choosing to go into the teaching profession for those reasons and more. The blame cannot be placed solely on their shoulders. Educators are now expected to be counselors, babysitters, and arbitrators, rather than simply teachers.
But these problems, like the results of the survey, are nothing drastically new. We’ve been hearing these same complaints for a while now and all it seems we get for our efforts are: more “studies.”
Perhaps if the money poured into this grand non-result had been instead used to buy books, desks, computers or lab equipment? To hire teacher’s aides to help offset the growing class sizes?
Surely there’s a better way.